Teenage Girl Outsmarts Terrorists (The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes [ARC])

This is the second book in a series and may contain spoilers. For my review of the first book, click here: The Fixer

TThe Long Gameess is not your average high school student. Despite her best efforts, she’s known around Hardwicke Academy as a fixer–just like her mother. When people need their problems to go away, they come to her. Not only that, but now everyone knows that she has the blood of William Keyes, the kingmaker, in her as well. Now she’s doubly dangerous. With such powerful family members, Tess can’t help herself from investigating the shooting of one of her classmates especially since one of her friends is being framed for it. She just doesn’t anticipate how deep this investigation will really go.

First of all, this cover is awful. Not attractive at all. Despite that, I thought this book was pretty good. It was really similar to the first book in tone and overall feel. I really like that Barnes writes unique books in the YA genre. The Fixer series is basically political thrillers for teenagers while The Naturals series are criminal thrillers for teenagers. It’s refreshing to read something so different every once in a while. It feels like romances are always at the forefront of a lot of YA books, but in both The Fixer and The Long Game, there’s barely a hint of it and what little there is takes a backseat to the rest of the plot.

All of the issues I had with the first book kind of came back in this one as well. Tess is super powerful for some reason. She has control over certain things that I don’t feel like a teenager would actually have control over even with her powerful relatives. So you’ll have to suspend belief for a bit in this book, but the plot is so engaging that you barely notice. Also again, I wish that we’d seen her do a little more low-key fixing. We get a couple of glimpses of it, but I almost wish that was the plot of the book instead of something big and crazy.

I like the way that characters are developed in these books. We have obvious protagonists, but they’re still not black and white. Tess lies to some of her best friends to keep them “safe” in her mind. Ivy sometimes has to do questionable things in order to do her job. No one has clean hands in this series. I thought the cast of secondary characters was great as well. I really enjoy how different they all are. They each have a unique voice and it makes them seem that much more real. The only thing about the characters is that they’re a little too witty for my taste. It comes across a little forced and unnatural.

Overall I thought this book was a great read. There’s some adult(ish) content, but nothing comes across as crude, crass, or smutty. I would definitely recommend this series especially if you enjoy other political thrillers whether books, movies, or TV shows.

Overall Rating: 4
Language: Mild
Violence: Heavy (a lot of violence, but not much gore)
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate
Sexual Content: Mild

Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.