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review 2016-07-07 18:40
Currently broken because of this book
The Long Game - Jennifer Lynn Barnes

***This review has also been posted on Xpresso Reads

Do you like Scandal? Do you like political thrillers? Do you like mind games? WELL. YOU HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE. But also, go read book one which is called The Fixerand is amazing.

So, if The Fixer made you swoon and made your heart beat faster and nearly killed you, I have some real bad news for you. It all gets worse in The Long Game. I had my feels shredded, my OTPs stomped on and my heart set on fire. I hope Jennifer Lynn Barnes at least feels a little bad about what she did to me.

Tess is still as amazing as always if a little more nosy than she should be. She thinks she is nothing like her sister but we all know that she enjoys fixing other people’s problems and helping the underdog. The thing about her is that even with her hero-like qualities, she doesn’t quite become a trope. She is more complex and multi-layered than that. There is more to her with her insecurities and her imperfections and her tendency to NOT always be right or do the ‘right’ thing.

But then again, most of the characters in this book are. Barnes takes complex characters who walk the grey line to a whole new level in this book. THE PUNCHES. I am still not over this book. So basically, if you thought you knew what the characters were capable of, think again because they will surprise you and hurt your fee-fees (feels).

I think many of us have wondered whether or not The Long Game would have more romance and the answer to that is complicated. The book has one of the swooniest kisses ever but also so much heartbreak and not enough cuddles. Some ships sail and others don’t and it’s all very complex. Much like the characters. Much like literally everything about this book.

The plot is also really amazing but there is one twist which I have not entirely made up my mind about and is also the reason why this book doesn’t get the entire 5 stars. I love twists but it turns out, I am super picky about them. Oops. And even though it’s been a while since I finished this book, I still haven’t made up my mind yet about that twist. I don’t know if it works for the book and there are certain things it might suggest which I don’t think the author wanted it to.

Overall though, this book is still amazing and this series is amazing and please read/buy it so that I can get a third book. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, DO IT FOR ME. TAKE PITY ON ME. LET ME HAVE THE THIRD BOOK.

Note that I read an advanced copy of this book, courtesy of a friend who took pity on my soul

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review 2016-03-14 21:40
Don't read this story ever
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli

Okay, picked up this book thinking it would be a nice gay romance to read. I've never actually read a boy x boy book outside of the internet before, but being queer myself I thought it would make a nice change.

Five pages in, they mention Tegan and Sara. hmm. This is a story about a gay teenage guy, right? Yep...female author as well, I don't mind as long as it's something substantial. Wait. They mention Harry Potter. Manga. Harry x Malfoy ships are also mentioned. Oh, and they talk about Tumblr a lot, only they call it "THE Tumblr" for some reason...

Okay, it's starting to sound a bit like a bad fanfic here, what with all the fandoms going on. I can still tolerate it, though. Gay romance. Maybe Simon Spier really is into Tegan and Sara. I'm still looking forward to it...

Then I reached page 47 (of my copy) and it went downhill in an instant.

I'm going to quote three things from the page. You read these three things, and tell me if you still want to read this book after knowing this was in there.

1. "Leah, did you know you have a really Irish face?"
2. So I guess you learn something new every day, because I really thought Jewish people came from Israel.
3. "Hey, I think I'm going to get a drink," Martin says, jumping up again in that spastic way.

I...I have no words. If that entire page wasn't completely racist, then it wasn't far off. It wasn't even written very well. I understand that the author was probably just trying to make the whole scene seem "awkward". Well, congratulations, she succeeded. In the worst possible way.

I made it to the end of the chapter and then threw this book down. Yes, I was looking forward to a decent gay romance. This isn't it.

A quick summary of what else I managed to glean from the other chapters. The book starts off with the main gay character being blackmailed by a straight guy, threatening to out him. The characters in general are also pretty flat. I actually found myself flipping back to previous chapters because some of the characters were that forgettable.

Initially, I was interested in the relationship between Simon and Blue - their pen-pal exchange over email seemed really sweet and reminded me of some nostalgic memories from school. But after reading that last chapter, I cannot continue with this any longer.

Oh and by the way, there's a love triangle. A love triangle between straight people which exists before the book has even started. Even in a story about gay romance, we're stuck with a love triangle.

Don't read this, please. I'm sure a lot of people love this book for the romance side, and I really did want to enjoy it, but the sheer amount of flaws just ruined it for me. 1/5.

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