Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Book review: Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer

Book Summary
This mystery thriller reunites Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama for a political mashup full of suspense, intrigue, and laugh out loud bromance.

Vice President Joe Biden is fresh out of the Obama White House and feeling adrift when his favorite railroad conductor dies in a suspicious accident, leaving behind an ailing wife and a trail of clues. To unravel the mystery, “Amtrak Joe” re-teams with the only man he’s ever fully trusted—the 44th president of the United States. Together they’ll plumb the darkest corners of Delaware, traveling from cheap motels to biker bars and beyond, as they uncover the sinister forces advancing America’s opioid epidemic.

Part noir thriller and part bromance novel, Hope Never Dies is essentially the first published work of Obama/Biden fanfiction—and a cathartic read for anyone distressed by the current state of affairs.

Flo's Review
I mean, where do I even start with this book?! Did you ever think you'd be in world where "Obama/Biden fanfiction" is a thing?! 

So this book is cray, basically. But in a good way. It's meant to be fun, and it's fun. I had a good time reading it. Shaffer did such a great job with Joe. I could see him thinking these crazy things and saying these crazy things and even doing (some of!) these crazy things. Like, here's an example: have you ever played the game "Cave, Marry, Kill"? (We did this a LOT on the Hunger Games Fireside Chat back in the day. In fact, I think "Cave, Marry, Kill" might be a spin on another game that I can't think of the name of right now.) Anyway, Joe and Barack are having like a slumber party, basically, in a shady motel (and this isn't even the weirdest part of the book, folks!) and Joe tries to start a game of POTUS, SCOTUS, or FLOTUS:

"It's a game we used to play in the Senate, while we were waiting our overnight filibusters, I name three women, and you say who you'd like as your--"
"You got it."

I won't reveal how the game went, because #spoileralert.

But interspersed in the book are some great quotes -- I have a lot of page flags in my copy. For example, here's a nice inspirational one:

"You've got to have patience. It takes more than eight years to build a legacy--and it takes more than a term or two reshape the world. Change happens incrementally."

A large part of this book is the focus on the bromance between Joe and Barack. Indeed, it actually reads like a romance novel in some parts (as it's meant to). The beginning of the story starts with Joe idling away at home, looking at all the pictures of Barack out doing water sports and having fun. He feels like Barack just dropped their BFFedness -- yes, I think I just made that word up -- after the two of them left office. His feelings play a part in the plot of the novel. Because, oh yes, these two are running around Delaware trying to solve a murder.

I would be interested to hear how much research Shaffer had to do about Joe Biden for this novel. Because I believe a lot of it is based on fact, and it's just embellished and added onto to get the fiction.

This was a quick read, definitely a tongue-in-cheek kind of affair. It publishes July 10, 2018. Let's end on a final, inspirational quote:

"As long as you have hope," he said, repeating his words from that day, "you're still in the game."
"And when you lose it?" I asked, echoing a field organizer's question.
"You can't lose it. Hope never dies."

*Thank you to Quirk Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for may honest review.

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