Warning: Spoilers 

Continuing with my streak of borrowing e-books from the D.C. library system, The Art of Lainey is yet another novel I stumbled upon. I hadn’t heard of the author Paula Stokes before, but I figured it would be something to check out.

Lainey Mitchell is content  with the plan for the summer before her senior year of high school, working at her parent’s coffee shop, keeping fit with her best friend Bianca, and her relationship with her boyfriend Jason Chase. One day at the beginning of the summer, he abruptly breaks up with her in public and offers no explanation. Devastated, Lainey devises a plan to win him back by using tactics from an ancient Chinese war manual called The Art of War.


The plan involves making Jason jealous by pretending to date her coworker named Micah. But soon Lainey finds her fake relationship with Micah seeming more and more real and that her relationship with Jason was really not what it seemed.

Lainey is a likable character. The breakup forces her to think about what her and Jason’s relationship was really about. She also discovers what it means to have real friendships.

I did find the story mildly predictable. I knew who Lainey was going to end up with from almost the beginning. Nevertheless, the story has a good message about forging real relationships with people and knowing who your true friends are.

If you’re looking for a fluff novel sprinkled with some cliches, this might be something to check out.