Tea & Book Chat: The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Fixer #2)

Personal Thoughts:  OH MY GOD I LOVED THIS BOOK.  After adjusting to teenagers being privy to the happenings of the US Government, I ended up enjoying The Fixer which is book one in the series.  I thought I would have similar feelings toward The Long Game but boy oh boy did the feelings this book inspired come out of nowhere!  The Long Game is exponentially better than The Fixer.  My only issue now is that the sales aren’t high enough and Disney hasn’t contracted Jennifer Lynn Barnes to write a third book (AND THERE NEEDS TO BE A THIRD BOOK, TRUST ME OKAY?!).

Plot Summary:  In this follow up to The Fixer, Tess Kendrick embraces her role as Hardwicke’s resident fixer.  Someone cashes in a favor and she ends up leading their campaign to become president of student council.  Meanwhile, her guardian, Ivy, is working on cracking a terrorism case unfolding in the United States and chaos ensues when both issues intertwine.

Critique:  The Long Game had much higher stakes than The Fixer which you might find hard to believe if you’ve already read book one.  I came to appreciate Asher even more in this installment because his comic relief was a necessary addition to the otherwise intense situations.  The Long Game is full of action in the best way possible.  The story pulls you in and there’s such a sense of urgency for every issue that it’ll get your heart rate pumping.  I also loved the parallels to the game of Chess which were prevalent in the story.  But best of all are the characters who shine even more than they did in book one.  The Long Game is overflowing with awesome female characters from Tess and Ivy, to Vivie, Emilia and Georgia, and as I mentioned above, the only disappointment is not knowing how their story will continue.  The series was sold as a dulogy, but there is a CLEAR cliffhanger at the end of book two.  It’s rather frustrating but I am still grateful that I was able to spend any time with these characters and I will forever hold out hope that a second duology or even just a final installment with some more closure will be on the horizon.  Also, if you’re looking for romance, this series is almost completely devoid.  It focuses much more on the politics and social issues.

Do I Recommend?:  YES PLEASE READ THIS AND HELP MY DREAM OF A THIRD BOOK BE REALIZED THANKS.

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Fixer #1)

Personal Thoughts:  For my second read of 2017, I wanted to consume something quick paced and exciting so I landed on The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.  I remember seeing a bunch of positive reviews from trusted blogger friends when it first debuted and I had been meaning to check it out ever since.  In recent reading years, I’ve noticed that I’m really interested in fictional politics.  I never thought I would be, but it’s always what I end up loving most about stories with any type of political element so when I read the synopsis of The Fixer and found out that it’s a political thriller, I was so in!

Plot Summary:  The Fixer is about a sixteen year old girl named Tess Kendrick who is forced to move from her grandfather’s ranch to Washington D.C. to live with her estranged older sister Ivy.  It turns out that Ivy has quite the reputation around Washington which she uses to secure Tess a spot at Harwicke Academy, a prestigious school attended by basically every rich politicians offspring.  Tess gets completely thrown into this new life that she never asked for but since she’s a bit outspoken she quickly acclimates and becomes her classmates go-to for fixing their issues, big or small.  She gets involved in investigating a potential conspiracy theory involving her classmates family and it’s not long until lie after lie surfaces.

Critique:  I’m pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed The Fixer!  If I could give an initial warning, it would be that you’ll need to suspend all disbelief that a sixteen year old could be so instrumental in solving a national scandal (I’m not saying that it couldn’t happen, I’m just saying it’s a stretch that she had so much access to top politicians including the President and his wife).  Tess is a sarcastic and bossy character with a heart of gold.  She doesn’t take no for an answer and when the well-being of people she cares about is at risk, she’ll stop at nothing to help them.  The secondary characters in the story were also wonderful! I really enjoyed the possibility of a Tess / Asher romance without it actually happening.  It’s so rare to find a YA book without a romance plot and it was refreshing to have Tess be completely focused on solving the mystery at hand instead of fawning over a high school crush.  I also really loved Ivy’s chauffeur / bodyguard Bodie.  He was quite entertaining and his relationship with Tess was adorable from start to finish.  The pacing was incredibly quick and I felt like there was never a dull moment.  The last third of the book was impossible to put down and I was surprised several times by the outcomes. I cannot wait to read book 2!

Do I Recommend?: Yes! This fun political thriller will keep you entertained the whole way through.  Another plus is that it has short chapters (I always read quicker when that’s the case!).

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Kristin