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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 2015-06-22 00:01
YA political thrillers FTW
The Fixer - Jennifer Lynn Barnes

This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

What we need more in YA is political thrillers. SERIOUSLY. This book was so much fun and so addictive. It’s the kind of book you want to high-five while reading (don’t question my logic of high-fiving inanimate objects).

For starters, believe the tagline, this book actually did remind me of Scandal (the tv show) and in the best possible way. I would also encourage you to disregard that bit about love triangles in the blurb because I don’t have a clue as to where that came from.  There isn’t even a romance in the book so I don’t know what that love triangle bit is referring to.

Tess is forced to move to DC to live with a sister she hasn’t talked to in years. Understandably, she is pissed and doesn’t really want to have to move and have to deal with a whole new environment. Sometimes though, you don’t have a choice and you just gotta go with the flow. The problem is that Tess’s sister Ivy is hiding something from her and when she is thrown into a politically charged environment, Tess needs to catch up and FAST.

After a little questioning, Tess finds out that her sister is a professional fixer and is actually quite an influential person in DC (she is on a first name basis with the first lady.) All of that might make the reader wonder whether Ivy is actually an asshole and thankfully she isn’t. She has been absent for the past couple years but she had her (somewhat selfish) reasons and you find those out later on in the novel. It’s obvious she regrets not being there for Tess and she is trying to make up for it now. I really liked the way Tess and Ivy's relationship was explored in this book. It's done in a very realistic manner so that even though Tess is understandably mad, she also trusts her sister and would walk through fire for her.

Tess is also a great main character. I love how clever she is. I love how smart she is. I love how she hates bullies. And I love how badass she is. I love me some smart characters and Tess definitely hit that mark. She is also loyal to her friends and family, makes good decisions, and will stand up to the bullies. I am not going to say that Tess if the first female lead with those characteristics in YA but I would also love to see more Tess-like female lead in YA.

The secondary characters are also a great bunch. We have Bodie and Adam who ‘work’ with/for Tess' sister and we have her friends Vivie, Asher and Henry who add so much detail into the story and make it so much fun to read. We also have Mr. Keyes who was very fishy (someone needs to stop eating all that fish *shakes head*) but also written really well as a dubious character whose moves you can never guess. 

The plot in this book is intense. The thriller bits keep you on your toes trying to guess who done it but the best part is that it’s not an easy answer. In the world of DC, there is never just one person who is responsible but a chain of people. We never find out who is on top of the chain in this novel (because they were probably PRETTY high up) but that's okay because we found out a lot of other interesting things.

This is the kind of novel that is impossible to put down but also YOU DON’T WANT IT TO END. I know I didn’t. When the book finished, I wondered about the characters. I wondered who Tess could potentially get romantically involved with (not that I didn’t enjoy that there wasn’t a romance), I wondered about a potential romance between Ivy and someone (PLEASE MAKE THIS HAPPEN. I SHIP IT), and I just wanted to know where things would go from here.  Goodreads doesn’t say anything about there being a sequel but I NEEDS there to be a sequel to this fantabulous read. I am not ready to say goodbye to this politically charged world and to the fantastic characters.

This is a book I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys reading thrillers with high stakes!

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review 2011-09-28 00:06
The Ezekiel Option (Political Thrillers Series #3)
The Ezekiel Option - Joel C. Rosenberg Joel Rosenberg continues his political/apocalyptic thriller saga with "The Ezekiel Option," which is a great follow-up to "The Last Days" and "The Last Jihad." I'm not 100% in agreement with the interpretations of Old Testament Scriptures presented in this novel, but this still makes for riveting reading. If you liked Rosenberg's first two outings, you'll probably like this one, too.
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review 2011-08-18 11:20
Dead Heat (Political Thrillers, No. 5)
Dead Heat (Political Thrillers, No. 5) - Joel C. Rosenberg It was really good...until the end.
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review 2011-08-18 11:19
The Last Jihad (Political Thrillers Series #1)
The Last Jihad - Joel C. Rosenberg Wonderful story, well-written, seemed so real. Only reason I didn't give it a perfect score was because the references to Bush being President didn't make sense with the rest of the story. Other than that, though, it was awesome.
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