Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"The Art of Lainey"

Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where she graduated from Washington University and the Goldfarb School of Nursing. When she's not writing, she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands.

Stokes applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Art of Lainey, and reported the following:
The Art of Lainey is a YA romantic comedy novel about a popular soccer player who is inexplicably dumped by her boyfriend but vows to win him back using strategies from The Art of War. Page 69 is a great representation of what the book is about. In this scene, Lainey is establishing ground rules for a fake relationship with her coworker Micah, who is also trying to win back an ex. They have established an alliance and are going to do the old “pretend to date” scenario in order to make their exes jealous and improve their positions in their respective wars. Like Sun Tzu said, it’s better to attack from high ground…or level ground at least.

I love this scene because it showcases how different they are, which is a major factor throughout the book. Lainey is a control freak who is used to having her way. Micah is much more laid-back, kind of going along with Lainey’s plan just to see what will happen. Let’s take a look:
Micah is sprawled across his unmade bed. He looks up from the TV long enough to roll his eyes. “So, the rules. What are they? You strike me as the kind of girl who probably came up with a thousand of them.”

“Actually, I only have a few.” I clear my throat. “Number one: No telling anyone else about the plan.”

Micah nods. “Okay.” His eyes flick back to the TV. He’s watching the Cartoon Mayhem channel—an episode of Happy Cheetah.

“Two: no touching. Three: definitely no kissing.”

“As much as I have no desire to turn myself orange by brushing up against you and your spray paint tan, I think we might have to touch occasionally to look like we’re dating,” Micah says.

“Fine. Minimal touching.” I hold out my arm and admire my silky bronzeness. “And by the way, this isn’t orange. It’s Desert Glow.”

“More like glow in the dark.” He yawns. “Is that all you got?”

I nod. “Go ahead. What are your rules?”

“I’m kind of a ‘no rules’ guy.” He turns to me, a slow smile spreading across his face.
As the story progresses, Micah and Lainey share their drastically different worlds and go from being allies to something more like friends. And Lainey learns a few things about herself, The Art of War, and the things that really matter.
Learn more about the book and author at Paula Stokes's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue