YA Book Review: The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Posted 2 June, 2016 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | Review | 0 Comments

YA Book Review: The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn BarnesThe Long Game on June 7, 2016
Pages: 368 pages

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.

This was a seriously satisfying story. While the young adult book market has exploded in the past 5-10 years, there are still gaps in the genres within YA, especially in the mystery/thriller area. But this series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes has really helped fill that gap. It’s the story of a “fixer” (much like Olivia on Scandal) who fixes issues at her school — and, because many of those students are kids of high-powered politicos and business people, also makes waves in the world of DC.

This second installment can be read as a standalone, much like the first one.¬†Tess is a bit more settled into her role in this one and takes on the job of running a classmate’s student body president campaign. At the same time, her sister-mother (Tess thought she was her sister but found out in the first book that she was her mother. A tangled web, to be sure) — the professional fixer — is dealing with the repercussions of some terrorist actions. Tess is a great character who’s passionate about her friends and righting wrongs and who usually goes about it in a smart way (I say usually because without the “usually”, there wouldn’t be a story…).

But it’s not just Tess who makes this story sing — the secondary cast of characters all help to really bring this story to life and fully immerse the reader in the wild and crazy world of DC politics (both school politics and “real world” ones). There’s a hint of romance (with two boys in the picture it seems like there might be a triangle looming but we happily avoid that mess) but even that’s a twisty-turny situation (and pretty darned unexpected, too).

Knowledge is power and secrets are currency in their world and Tess and her family deal in both. Read it. Highly enjoyable.

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