Discussion Guide for THE ART OF LAINEY

Are you reading The Art of Lainey for class, book club, or as part of an online readalong? Here are some questions you might want to think about:

1. At the beginning of the story, Lainey is a girl who seems to have everything going for her. Do you have friends like that? Do you think their lives are as perfect as they make them out to be? Why or why not?

2. Bianca tells Lainey that The Art of War can be applied to all kinds of settings--sports teams, businesses, relationships, etc. Have you ever read The Art of War? If so, what settings do you think it can be applied to?

3. Relating to question 2, some of The Art of War focuses on using deception and taking advantage of people's weaknesses to get what you want. Do you think this is acceptable in war? In business? In sports? In relationships? Are there certain things in life you'd never use these tactics to achieve. Why or why not?

4. When do you think Lainey first feels attracted to Micah? Where do you think her feelings come from? When do you think Micah first feels attracted to Lainey? Where do you think his feelings come from?

5. A lot of Lainey's hesitance throughout the book comes from the idea that certain types of people just don't belong together. This may come off as shallow, but plenty of single people are searching for significant others who have a lot in common with them. What do you think? Do opposites attract? Or would you prefer someone more like you? Why?

6. Even though the book centers around Lainey and Jason's breakup, there are a lot of examples of positive relationships in the story--romantic ones, sibling ones, friendships, etc. List all of the healthy working relationships you can find in the story. Which is your favorite?

7. What do you think of Lainey's final interpretation of The Art of War? Tell why you do or don't agree with her.

8. Not everything in this story is neatly resolved at the end. What do you think is going to happen when Lainey goes back to school? What will things be like between her and Kendall? Between her and Jason? Between her and Micah?

9. Parents are often literally or figuratively missing from YA novels in order to give the teen characters more freedom throughout the story. Do you think Lainey's mom and dad hindered the plot? Did they feel like real parents? Why or why not?

10. This book was rejected by some editors because Lainey was too abrasive for them. She's not what you think of when you imagine a teen girl who likes to read--going as far as to say she doesn't read much herself, except for gossip magazines. Did you find her difficult to relate to because of her personality? Why or why not?