The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – Review

the long game by jennifer lynn barnes bookstagram.jpgSummary:

The Kendricks help make the problems of the Washington elite disappear…but some secrets won’t stay buried.

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 firsthand that power always comes with a price.

Review: 3 Stars

The Fixer was the first Jennifer Lynn Barnes book that I had ever read, but after reading it I knew that I needed to return to this author. Since then I have read a bunch of her novels and loved them all, but The Fixer was one of my favorites. There is this emotionally manipulative aspect to it that made it clear Jennifer Lynn Barnes studied psychology and that background made her novels amazing. I had tried to get this sequel from libraries after it finally came out, but they didn’t have it. I asked for it for my birthday and am finally able to return to the series that started my love of Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ writing.

The Long Game was super fast paced and the stakes were higher than ever. I whipped right through this book, but found myself disappointed as it didn’t live up to my expectations. I found the stakes to be a little too high, so high that the tension didn’t feel like it matched the story. The scenes should have felt packed with adrenaline, but since the stakes were so high throughout the whole book the climax of the book didn’t feel like it packed any more tension  than the rest of the story. It just fell a little flat for me.

I wanted to get to know the characters better. They all seem really interesting, but we don’t get the chance to really get to know them. I wanted more character development, but I got all action. I could have gone for some lower stakes. I love Tess and Ivy, but I feel like this story didn’t do these characters justice. Ivy is supposed to make scandals disappear for important political people of Washington D.C. and Tess is supposed to fix scandals for their kids, but Tess winds up getting too involved with Ivy’s work. I feel like we could have had a better story if Tess stuck to fixing her classmates scandals instead. Maybe it’s just because it had been so long since I read the first book, but I thought that it was much better than this one.

Overall, I love Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ novels, but this one fell short of my expectations. I found that the stakes were too high so the climax of the story fell a bit flat. I wanted to get to know the characters better, but this book was all action. I will continue to read Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ novels, as a lot of them are amazing and I will continue with this series in hopes that the next one is better. If you are looking for a fast paced read, this is perfect, but if you are looking to get to know the characters from the first novel better, you will be disappointed.

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