by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
To be published on June 7, 2016
Source: ARC from publisher for review
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.My take: Wow -- that was quite the wild ride! Kudos to Jennifer Lynn Barnes for actually writing a thrilling thriller -- this book was suspenseful and twisty and dark in a way that YA thrillers often aren't. I was never able to accurately predict what would happen, and the surprises just kept coming.
The Long Game moved a little bit away from the focus in The Fixer on Tess's "fixing" -- like Olivia Pope in Scandal, she spent a good deal of time in that book as a quasi-vigilante, helping fellow students with their problems. There is one "fix" in this book, so Tess continues her role as a champion for the underdog, which is nice. But I'd say that this book moves more into the political thriller category, taking the events from book one and building on them to create a gripping and intricately plotted story that plunged Tess, Vivvie, Asher and Henry into a believably terrifying situation. I love it when an author makes gutsy narrative choices - there were some things here that I definitely did not see coming!
So ... about that romance. After the first book, I was curious about what form (if any) the romance in this series was going to take. There were two guys in the first book that suggested several romantic possibilities, but no romance really developed. So I was 100% expecting a triangle to pop up in The Long Game (especially since Barnes has used triangles in the past.) But in this book, the whole romantic aspect took a very interesting turn. Let's just say that I'm not sure things are exactly what they seem in this installment, but who knows? That's been the case with the plot in this series, so maybe the romance will follow suit.
Definitely recommended for readers of thrillers and especially political thrillers!
I have an extra ARC that I'll offer up on a future Freebie Friday, so stay tuned!