The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
An e-galley was provided by the publisher in exchange for review consideration.
Summary: 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.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Nyyyaaaggghhhh. I have so many feelings about The Long Game, and I've delayed writing this review for close to a month just because I'm not sure how to properly share all of them. It was so good to be back with Tess and to get answers about so many things, but yet, at the same time, I feel like so much is not resolved but I've seen Jennifer Lynn Barnes say on multiple occasions that a third book isn't planned at the moment, that she sold The Fixer and The Long Game as a duology. To get back to my point, there were answers and resolutions, but I needed more closure. I didn't need a happily-ever-after epilogue, but the ending happened so fast.
I liked that Jennifer delved further into Emilia's and Henry's personalities. All of the characters are complex and not so black-and-white. I also appreciated Tess's strength - she has a fire that she doesn't like to tap into unless it's absolutely necessary, and she uses it to support other girls, which I think is awesome and important to see in YA.
There are also a lot of secrets unveiled, and some made me very angry, which I think means Jennifer did her job well. I'm very cranky about the direction one of my ships went in, and I guess a lot of that plot line is why I'm not entirely happy with The Long Game. Elements of it made a lot of sense, but it didn't go where I wanted it to, and there's nothing I can do to change how I feel. A lot of what I liked is pretty spoilerish, and I'm trying to keep this as spoiler free as possible.
Mild language, some violence, kissing. All pretty clean.
The Verdict: It was good, but I liked The Fixer more overall. Maybe I can blame the book slump I've been in this year for the fact that I didn't love The Long Game.
Will I be adding this book to my library?: I'd like to in the very near future!