The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes Will Destroy Your Soul With A Smile On Its Face

The Fixer #2

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.

How do I even begin to put this book into words? Anyone who has read the first book, The Fixer, will know how indescribably thrilling it was, as well as how enjoyable an experience it is for anyone who is a fan of Scandal, or even anyone who is simply interested in political thrillers. I fall into the latter category, though I did watch the first season of Scandal after reading book one because one book is seriously not enough. Imagine my surprise when The Long Game turned out to be so much more intense than the first book. After a certain point, the book was honest-to-goodness stressing me out, but it turns out I like being stressed out by books. I get a feral grin and everything.

We get all our lovely characters back again, with Tess and Ivy, and of course Tess's wonderful best friends. I definitely wish Asher had more scenes in this book because sometimes you really just need his humor to stop yourself from freaking out over uncomfortably intense things. And betrayals. And the like.
"If you get yourself killed," he whispered, "you'll never get to see the interpretive dance I plan to create based on this experience."
So yeah he's still as perfect as he is in book one. I loved seeing the dynamics between the group in this novel since they were more comfortable with each other, and once again I found myself wondering why I don't have friends like that. Well, I do, but would they go against the government with me if it came to that? I haven't actually tested that yet. And who doesn't want romantic moments with Henry? In addition to the brilliant character development, Jennifer Lynn Barnes also weaves an intricate plot that will keep you on your toes and leave you gasping for breath. I was laying in bed while reading this book and I was in the most tense position ever - I even cried, and this is a thriller, so that should tell you enough.

Building on top of friendships, there are also so many familial relationships that get matured and it's actual such a beautiful thing to see. I think my favorite relationship may have been that between Tess and her newfound grandfather - he had this one line near the end and that's one of the moments I cried, but one of those happy cries one does after suffering through so much emotional trauma. Ivy and Tess also have a few more breakthroughs in their relationship, and Tess also grows as her own person and really realizes what it means to be related to Tess, even more than she did when she was held hostage.

There's also this incredibly unexpected plot twist that I only saw coming right before it happened, but it was exactly at that point that my soul got shattered, and I can pretty much guarantee that yours will too if you're a fan of the series. Don't get me wrong: your emotions will start breaking down much earlier, because things get tense fast, but that moment shall be the breaking point, and it really isn't pretty. I wish that it hadn't happened the way it did, or at all, but I have to agree that it makes everything so much more interesting. But it brings up the question of will there be a third book in the series? Because I need a third book in the series. Also there are some things that need conclusions that don't have conclusions. For one, you can't have a plot twist like that and not have another book straightening things out.

I am a huge fan of Barnes's other The Naturals series, but I think we can all agree that The Fixer series completely blows it out of the park. Everything in this series is simply so much more intense and detailed and has everything to make the reader obsess over it, and I don't even know what I'm going to do if it turns out there really isn't a third book.

Rating: ★★★★★

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