Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.
And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they’re sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few “dates”, it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.
What’s a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you’re meant to be with if you’re still figuring out the person you’re meant to be?
I know The Art Of War by Sun Tzu is a classic Chinese military text. It shares strategies to resolve conflicts and it’s a great little book with useful ideas that can be applied to soccer, business negotiations and… life. So, I was super curious when I read the synopsis of The Art Of Lainey. I wanted to see what Lainey learned and applied from the little book and I wanted to find out if her life would be changed because of The Art Of War.
After reading the book, I felt a slight disappointment. While Lainey did pick up and learn something from The Art Of War, her transformation didn’t have much to do with the little book. For the most part, she changed because she realized she had to be honest with what she really wanted for herself in life if she had to grow up. It’s a good self-realization but it wasn’t exactly an insight that she got from reading The Art Of War.
The way Lainey applied the principles she discovered from the little book was somewhat hilarious, especially in the first half of the book. She was very much fixated on the idea of wanting her ex back that she would almost do anything she could to accomplish her mission. To be honest, I didn’t like her very much at the beginning. But as the story unfolded, I got to see more of who she was and learned that she was someone loyal, sincere and with a good heart.
It’s quite hard for me to pick one favorite character from the book. I liked Lainey’s best friend, Bianca, as she was truly a girl with a fantastic personality. I liked Lainey’s mother. Her way of caring was sometimes not-so-subtle but always heart-warming. I liked Micah, the coworker/ classmate who was one of the most adorable male characters that I’ve ever read. But if I must pick one favorite, I’d say it’s Micah’s little sister, Trinity. She didn’t make a lot of appearances in the book but she was exactly what I needed from the story – someone wise beyond her age and did things that would not just crack me up but also make me feel touched in all the right places.
Overall, The Art Of Lainey was an entertaining-read. Even though I had my slight disappointment with regards to the bit about The Art Of War, the secondary characters totally won me over and gave me something to feel happy about when I closed the book. I’ll probably remember Trinity and Micah for a fairly long time.