Review: The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn BarnesThe Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Fixer #2
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on June 7, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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five-stars

Tess Kendrick, teen fixer extraordinaire, returns in a pulse-pounding thriller about a deadly conspiracy at the heart of Washington.

For Tess Kendrick, a junior at the elite Hardwicke School in Washington D.C., fixing runs in the family. But Tess has another legacy, too, one that involves power and the making of political dynasties. When Tess is asked to run a classmate's campaign for student council, she agrees. But when the candidates are children of politicians, even a high school election can involve life-shattering secrets.

Meanwhile, Tess's guardian has also taken on an impossible case, as a terrorist attack calls into doubt who can--and cannot--be trusted on Capitol Hill. Tess knows better than most that power is currency in D.C., but she's about to discover first-hand that power always comes with a price.

Perfect for fans of Harlan Coben and Ally Carter, the second book in this thrilling series will leave readers breathless.

Both in my original read and my reread, I fucking loved The Fixer. It’s fast-paced, tense, and has amazing characters. The Long Game really puts The Fixer to shame. Where The Fixer was like Veronica Mars, The Long Game isn’t really. Or, actually, it IS but just MORE. The Fixer was sort of like a couple of the regular episodes and then a finale, but The Long Game is like starting with finale-level intensity and then just kind of ramping the tension up and up and up while leaving you there broken.

gif veronica mars flip off
The Long Game to your feelings

Bookish masochists, you really need to be reading this series. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE books that can hurt me, because omg you made me black heart feel and that is some dark witchery. Like, this damn book even made me cry on an airplane. AWKWARD. Yet I REGRET NOTHING. I’d been warned about how this book was painful, but usually that results in me being sort of underwhelmed, but this time I was still totally shocked because I really didn’t see this shit coming AT ALL.

Alright, so, backing off the tension a bit, this book is a lot of fun. Tess and company are totally squad goals. Tess, Asher, Henry, Vivvie, and, rather grudgingly, Emilia. I love this crew with a fierceness, and I really wish that nothing bad would ever happen to them ever, but um yeah. Asher is king of the banter and Tess is a marshmallow disguised as a calculating ice queen. Actually, Emilia’s that too. Then there’s Vivvie, who is the fluffiest fluff queen of flufftown. She’s such a good, sweet, genuine person, despite all the shit she’s been through, and I really love how her dynamic fits with the rest. So many fucking friendship feels. There’s still not really much romance but I hardly care because dear god these characters are amazing.

gif marshmallow bake veronica mars

Tess continues to sort of grudgingly accept her role as the high school fixer. She won’t take money for her work, and she always says she’s not one, but then she just cannot resist helping people. Adorable marshmallow of sarcasm and thorns. I will always have a special fondness for characters who come across as total bitches but are genuinely lovely people if you can get them to open up.

Though, that said, I also love Tess’ dark side. Tess can make hard calls, make sacrifices, both of herself and others. She actually reminds me a lot of Clarke from The 100 in the way that she can’t resist helping but can also make the sort of decisions that might end lives. Another thing I love about this book is that Tess is affected by EVERYTHING. All those deaths and things that happened in the first book have affected her, and the stuff in this book sometimes leaves her traumatized. Sometimes in mystery fiction, stuff happens in a vacuum seemingly and doesn’t shape the people involved in any way, but that’s not how Barnes works because character development.

gif veronical mars high five

Speaking of character development, Barnes hurt me in a real way. A very real way. My poor precious babies. SERIOUSLY MAJOR SPOIL DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THIS. View Spoiler »

Basically my only critique is that there wasn’t enough Asher in this book because of legit plot reasons. I’m sure he’s going to be more of a star of the next one, which will probably kill me, given how much terrible shit lies ahead in the plot. I want to hug all of my babies close because if book two is this dark and fucked up, book three is going to be a nightmare hellscape.

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This series is awash in potential ships still. TBH, I still totally ship Tess and Henry. But also Tess and Asher. And now I’m also into Tess and Emilia. So um yeah. I would OT4 except that Asher and Emilia are siblings which just no. So I guess I’m still on the OT3 of Asher/Tess/Henry, but Tess/Emilia could be great too. Then again, I feel like this is the sort of series where people are safer if they’re not part of a happy couple, so I also kind of want them all to just hold off on the romance Raven Cycle style.

If you missed The Fixer last year, catch up. These are some of my favorite YA novels, and most def my favorite mystery/thrillers. Hop on board and flailsob with me, please.

Favorite Quote:

“Henry was the only five-year-old to run on a three-pronged platform.”
I honestly couldn’t tell if Asher was joking or not.
“The third prong,” Asher continued, “was cookies.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif veronica mars crying

2 responses to “Review: The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes”

  1. I AM SO SCARED. I had no idea that this was a crying book! And I cry. A lot. So if you did it on a plane? THERE’S NO HOPE FOR ME.
    Zoey @ Uncreatively Zoey recently posted…Review: Summer of SloaneMy Profile

  2. Gillian says:

    CLARKE COMPARIONS, VMARS GIFS, THE AGONY OF MY OT3 BABIES, THIS REVIEW, THIS BOOK, WHO DO I HAVE TO GOD DAMN MURDER TO GET A THIRD, MY GOD THIS BOOOOOOK
    Gillian recently posted…BEA-Yootiful: 2016My Profile

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