Cover Image: Hope Never Dies

Hope Never Dies

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Member Reviews

Such an entertaining book, and quite creative too. It's no murder mystery masterpiece and its pace could've been much faster, but if you miss Obama and want to have a mental image of ripped Barack in a toga with a unicorn, this is the book for you.
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Happy 5th of July. It's the day after Independence Day, and you might have a bit of a fireworks and freedom hangover today. If you are an angry liberal like me, you might also be wondering whether America is worth celebrating right now. You might be thinking back to happier Julys when our president wasn't a racist and when immigrant children weren't being taken from their parents and when Roe v. Wade didn't seem like it was getting overturned any time soon. You know, happy days when all Joe Biden wanted was an ice cream and our presidential memes were about friendship. You know the ones. 

Yeah, there's one. Half of the reason I decided to write this post was to include Joe and Barack memes, so if you're not prepared to look at more, there's the door over there...

Okay, still with me? Let's go. 

It's in this political climate, right after the most confusing 4th of July in my time as an American (seriously, I feel like I'm in an emotionally abusive relationship... do I stay and try to make this work? CAN America change?) that author Andrew Shaffer releases his much hyped (by me) novel Hope Never Dies: An Obama/Biden Mystery. This isn't Shaffer's first time working in the parody genre. Check his past releases and he's got a whole slew of goofy titles, such as Fifty Shames of Earl Grey and Catsby, a Great Gatsby parody about cats (duh). This book follows our favorite political duo Obama and Biden as they become detectives. When Joe Biden's favorite railroad conductor dies mysteriously, it's up to Barack and Joe to crack the case. This novel is advertised as BOOK ONE in the Obama/Biden mystery series. Let me decode that for you. That means there will be more Biden and Obama adventures to look forward to. But should we be looking forward to them? Was this book the CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN (TM)? I eagerly read this book to find out. 

Let's start with the cover, which deserves our full attention. I love the cover of this book, which should be surprising to no one, because this is published by Quirk Books, and they are notoriously awesome at book covers. See exhibits A and B, which we have discussed on the podcast/blog before: Grady Hendrix's novels Horrorstör and My Best Friend's Exorcism (I love this book so much y'all). It's not just the Grady Hendrix books though, I swear. Just check out any of their titles. Super cool. Okay. So yeah. This is a great cover. Look at the awesome wing design on the car. Look at Obama with his tie flying in the wind, but he's got not time to worry about his tie because there's serious business to attend to over that way (where he's pointing). Look at Biden who's all like, "You're ridin' with Biden." Hell yeah. I'm here for it. So much so that I got myself a pin of this book and have it nicely placed on my tote bag. And I don't even care about pins. Like at all. 

But that's the cover, you say. Is the book any good, you ask?  Well... yes and no? I don't know what one is really supposed to expect from a parody book like this. To me, this book is worth the price alone to just have out when guests come over, sort of like a conversation piece. The plot of the novel itself doesn't matter in the end. You're picking up this book because you are an angry liberal who just wants to see Obama and Biden ride together again. That's what all of us angry liberals want. That and for Joe Biden to run for president in 2018 (what? No presidential election in 2018? RULES CAN CHANGE!). But really, once you've read the synopsis of the story and have had a nice long look at the cover and chuckled about it, you've gotten everything you need from this book. This book has done its job.

Essentially. This book is like one really long Obama/Biden meme. And there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think it's time for another meme break.


So yes, what was I saying? This book is a really long meme. It's like staring at an Obama/Biden meme for several hours. At first, you chuckle and then you're like, "Okay I get it. Let me put this down for a while." As such, it took me a while to get through this book because every time I started reading it, the meme-ness of it all got old fast. The mystery itself was interesting, but as someone who reads a lot of mysteries, I didn't find that to be the exciting part of the book. The characterizations of the former president and vice president were funny, and that was the highlight of the book. 

Let's break the characterization down a bit...

I am a HUGE Joe Biden fangirl, and I'm pretty open about that. I recently finished reading Joe Biden's book Promise Me, Dad, which is about Biden's last year in office and his eldest son's last year battling brain cancer. I recently lost my brother to Leukemia (seriously... FUCK YOU, cancer), so I had strong feelings about Biden's book. I'm no vice president or anything, but his struggles felt painfully familiar. How do you carry on after such an enormous loss? How much are you beholden to what your lost loved one would want you to do, and how much do you have to listen to your own heart and care for yourself in times of pain that seems insurmountable? These are the difficult questions Joe Biden (and anyone who has grieved the loss of a loved one, including myself) has had to deal with over the past few years. After reading Promise Me, Dad, I felt like I should write Joe Biden a letter and personally thank him for putting such difficult feelings into words. 

I also had the amazing opportunity to see Joe Biden in person just a month ago, and he mostly talked about Promise Me, Dad and about his work for patient advocacy. Joe Biden may seem like a goofy guy, but he's also someone who has been through a lot and is trying to take that pain and turn it into something positive for everyone else who is going through something similar.

Of course, the Biden in Hope Never Dies is all goofy Biden. There's no a lot of room to explore grieving Biden, and it wouldn't fit with the tone of the book. I understand that. Again, the Biden of this novel is a personified meme and isn't meant to be taken as an actual representation of the man himself. With that being said, having read Biden's own words and seen him talk in person (yes I'm rubbing it in just a bit), I could actually hear him saying the things he says in Hope Never Dies. The personification was not far from the truth; one very important facet of Biden's personality is his goofiness. It's part of why so many people (such as myself) find him endearing.

Let's talk about the other half of this dynamic duo...

This gif pretty much sums up the Barack Obama of Hope Never Dies. He's cool. He's a mic dropper. He is the cool and collected calming force to match Biden's goofiness and hot-headedness. This is an Obama that is partially based on fact (I mean, yes, he did actually drop the mic like that, soo...) and partially based on the Obama that the Internet created based on semi-hero worship. 

To be fair, I am less familiar with Barack Obama's personal life. I have a copy of Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, but I haven't read it. And I know The Audacity of Hope is sort of his big important book, but I don't even own a copy of it. Please let me know if you've read it and suggest that I get it though. I'm definitely not opposed! Because of this, I probably see Obama as closer to the unicorn-riding meme than he actually is. He's more of a mystery to me, and in the novel, he's sort of a mystery as well. The book is told from Biden's perspective, and Obama comes off as a super cool dude with plenty of secrets and magic tricks up his sleeves. 

 Seems accurate? 
Seems accurate?

So would I recommend this book? If you're really looking to get into a great mystery book, then I would say no. Then again, I don't understand why this is the book you would pick up if you wanted a mystery novel and nothing else. If you think the cover is cool and want to have this lying around your house as a conversation starter about the good old days? Then, yes, absolutely, get yourself a copy IMMEDIATELY. God bless America. 

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I will agree that this book is campy ... and slightly pandering... and slightly twee. 

But the audience for this book could all use a break from the world right now, right? And have a moment where Biden has a fever-dream about Barack rescuing him in the most meme-worthy fashion ever? 

If you're expecting the Onion's Joe Biden, this persona isn't quite that; it feels more realistically like an older man unsure of what to do with himself while missing a good friend and at loose ends for life's direction. Solving a murder wasn't exactly the direction he saw himself going, but he's willing to do everything it takes and a little more. 

Barack and Biden -- buddy cops -- solving crimes about trains. If you don't want to read it after hearing that...then don't. I thoroughly enjoyed it and want most people to know all about it.
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This is a charming read - definitely silly but the kind of silly we need right now.  I loved the portrayal and narration of Joe Biden - it felt so true and just a bit exaggerated.  This is certainly a unique premise for a book but not unwelcome.  It's definitely a fast summer read, perfect for a lazy afternoon at the beach. My favorite of this book may be the title, which is both true in life and an important part of the book.  

Hope Never Dies comes out next week on July 10, 2018, and you can purchase HERE.  

We stood there in the doorway, Barack and me, staring into each other's eyes like a couple of gunslingers ready to face off at high noon. Except it was past five o'clock, I was in my boxers, and neither of us a had a six-shooter. 
"Aren't you going to invite me in?"
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While the book was fun, I don't think it managed to live up to the hype. Reads much like a cozy, but with major bromantic overtures and a lot of vice presidential pouting. I think the buzz around this book - and its premise - got me too excited and I expected too much from it. Great for fans of cozies and amateur sleuths, but less so for someone expecting a lot from a spoof.
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If you need a break from present day America, this is the book for you. It's completely unrealistic, but that is why I read fiction. Some may say it's a little too late for a book to help people with the hope hangover from the previous administration but you know what? Hope never dies.
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What a fun read that is just for those of us who are feeling less than hopeful with the current administration in place.

It is a few months into the start of the new administration’s term in the White House, and Joe Biden is feeling a bit bored, and a bit put out by President Obama’s many adventures with celebrities that he sees online and on television.

At this time he learns of the death of a friend, a favorite Amtrak conductor. However, the former VP is dragged into the events of the death, and soon begins to suspect that a murder may have occurred. As Joe Biden starts following the trail of (what seem to be) clues in an effort to discover the mystery surrounding his friend’s death, he finds himself joined by Barack Obama as well as secret service agent Steve who does his best to keep the two safe.

This book is told completely from the perspective of VP Biden, and you can’t help but feel like you are getting a true account of his thoughts and actions as he and Barack Obama confront a hostile police lieutenant, a biker gang, and a long haired mystery woman in the pursuit of a killer. You might as well throw poor Steve in there who just wants to survive this two so he can get on a better detail.

Exactly what you need to read for fun during the summer. I laughed out loud so many times. It isn’t dark, heavy, or requires even trying to figure out “whodunnit.” It is a book to read for sheer enjoyment as well as for the nostalgia of the hope that these two figures brought us while in office. It made me happy the whole time I read it.

For fans of mysteries, humor, over the top action, as well as VP Joe Biden and President Barack Obama. I highly recommend to any book lover, period.  Rating:  LOVED.
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This want quite as funny as I expected it to be, but it was delightful all the same. That cover is perfection!
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This is a lark of a book and really fun to read. The mystery is serviceable and all is well at the end. I would have given another star if Joe wasn't portrayed as such a whiner. Still the cover alone makes it worth owning.
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Is this book 100% Barack Obama and Joe Biden fanfic where they solve crimes together in a sweet-ass car? Yes, it is. I love Quirk Books as a publishing company because they publish the weird, quirky shit that other people wouldn't think of. Like who would have gone "oh hey, now that Obama/Biden are out of the White House, let's write a book about them?" Andrew Shaffer, that's who.
This was a fun book. It was engaging. I can't attest to how well the author sticks to the personalities of Obama and Biden, since honestly I have never met them or researched them much.  It was a fun mystery, not too scary, not boring at all. The fun of this book, I think, is giggling over the situations that Obama and Biden find themselves in, and how they interact with one another. Especially in the shithole that is the Trump administration, it's nice to think these guys are out there, still doing good deeds in the world. I hope they actually read this book.
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The 2016 Presidential Election has ended. Former Vice President Joe Biden doesn’t quite know what to do with himself. As he watches his former boss Barack Obama vacationing with the likes of Richard Branson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Hollywood superstar Bradley Cooper, he feels discarded and hopeless. All this changes when Obama arrives on Joe’s doorstep one evening with the news of the death of a dear friend of Joe’s..

Hope Never Dies is a fun read with an interesting premise – “Hey, I got an idea! How about Biden and Obama team up to solve a murder?” When the story begins, it doesn’t appear to be anything deeper than a total bromance between the internet’s two favorite political pals, however, there is actually a pretty solid mystery at the novel’s core. Shaffer kept me guessing right up until the end due to several sly red herrings thrown in to misdirect this reader.

I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I can’t say I know much about Joe Biden, so I’m not sure if this characterization comes anywhere close to that of the former Vice President. I’m not sure if that even matters, to be honest. Biden is described as a broken-down man struggling to come to grips with a directionless life. Some of the similes and descriptions that Biden explores are surface-level deep and downright groan-worthy, although, I believe that’s the point. Above all else, it’s his incorruptible character that makes him the perfect fit for an amateur sleuth.

On the other hand, Obama is played like the ultimate bad-ass dripping with swagger, which is a far cry from the casual, Dad-jeans wearing forty-fourth president we all remember. That said, he ends up being the perfect Yin to Biden’s Yang. To put it another way, if Biden is Carlton, than Obama is Will Smith. Shaffer succeeds in writing some entertaining back-and-forth dialogue between the two, even if I could never imagine them saying some of the things that come out of their mouths.

I have to admit I really only asked for a copy of this book because the cover made me laugh. When I finished it, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. While I generally like my mystery novels dark and bleak, it’s nice to try something lighter once in a while. Hope Never Dies is the literary equivalent to a fun buddy-cop movie; an ideal summer read.
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Irreverent, funny, and an utter joy to read.  The author manages to seamlessly mix the mystery, crime drama, satire, and action/adventure genres into a tale that is an utter delight to read.
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I have such mixed feelings about this one. 

On the one hand, it is a decent mystery with lots of plot excitement (when it relates directly to the mystery), clue reveals, fights, and chase scenes.

On the other hand, when the story isn't directly centered on the mystery itself it just goes off the rails (no pun intended). It's downright boring.  And the actual characters of Biden and Obama are so vague as to be anyone. Obama comes off as a mythical creature who pops in randomly and doesn't say much. Biden is given the biggest disservice, though, because he comes off as whiney and incompetent.

This one missed the mark for me.
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Enjoyed this book- part hard boiled mystery, part bromance nostalgia tour with Biden & Obama. Silly but fun and surprisingly well written
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

HOPE NEVER DIES by Andrew Shaffer reunites former-Vice President Joe Biden with his best friend and partner in crime, former-President Barack Obama, in a hilarious and somewhat-suspenseful mystery. The novel is due out on July 10th 2018 by Quirk Books. 

Ever since their term in the White House ended, Joe Biden has been hanging around at his home in Delaware and getting increasingly more upset with Barack Obama for going off and having the time of his life while ignoring his best friend. Needless to say, but the bromance is definitely suffering. And it’s unfortunate circumstances that bring the dynamic duo back together. When Barack learns that one of Joe’s old friends – a railroad conductor that Joe has known since he first started traveling on Amtrak to Washington DC during his early days as a Senator – has died under mysterious circumstances, he travels to Delaware to give Joe a heads up. The two then team up together to uncover the truth of what happened to Joe’s friend, and help bust a crime ring in Delaware. 

While HOPE NEVER DIES is definitely campy fanfiction, it is also an interesting mystery novel staring Joe Biden and Barack Obama. When I first saw the novel, I almost couldn’t believe it was real. But it is real, and it is a must read regardless of your political affiliation. I mean, how could you not read a book starring Joe Biden as a straight-forward, sarcastic, corny, and slightly bitter protagonist? The man is bumbling around and going up against biker gangs and hardened criminals. And his wife, Jill, has no idea what he’s gotten himself in to. Joe Biden doesn’t even know what he’s gotten himself in to! What makes it even better is that his best friend is reluctantly along for the ride. Barack Obama is Joe’s shotgun wielding, unicorn riding, Secret Service dodging, ninja-like side-kick. Yes, the tables have turned and now Joe is the one calling the shots. 

I’ll admit that I couldn’t take this book all that seriously. The whole concept is absurd – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a wonderfully, insanely, absurd idea. After reading HOPE NEVER DIES, I want to believe that somewhere – perhaps in a parallel universe – Barack Obama’s and Joe Biden’s bromance is alive and well, and that they are fighting crime while ducking the Secret Service and accidently breaking the law themselves.
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Ok this book is a hoot😄. Humor, sarcasm, chases (with a bum knee), speeding trains and the ‘brothers’ keep going. The author made me feel as if Amtrack Joe was really speaking. He captured The VPs voice—or what I would think his voice would be— beautifully. The Pres comes off a little too humorless and stiff but it works well with the storyline. The Medal of Honor parts were so heartfelt and the premise of Guy jealousy was sweet. A very unusual read so read it!
Provided by the publisher for an honest review
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"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."

I need an escape from the currents state of affairs...
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If you enjoyed the Obama/Biden memes of the past, this book is for you, If you long for a simpler time when we all just wanted Uncle Joe to tell Dad jokes and Obama to look cool doing whatever it is he did- this book is for you. I hate to compare it to fan fiction, but it is some damn good fanfiction and I'm living in hope for a sequel right now.
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3.5 Fabulously campy. The completely ridiculous guilty pleasure I needed right now while still dropping some truth bombs.

“The current administration knew how to do one thing right: if you wanted to push through an unpopular agenda with minimal resistance, distract the bastards. Do something everyday to grab the headlines - something big, bold, and preferably stupid - thereby banishing dull stories about how you were systematically dismantling the country to the back pages with the Hagar comics. “

Also that subtle nod to Zoolander with the orange mocha Frappuccino was fantastic.
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This book is highly amusing, and will appeal to both conservatives and liberals. Politics plays a backseat, and the focus is on the relationship between Obama and Biden. The plot is fairly predictable, but still entertaining, and the tone has a noir feel. Biden is sometimes portrayed as a doddering old man, while Obama is portrayed as a ignorant of Biden's feelings of loneliness and abandonment. This will still have lots of appeal in libraries, as readers will flock to the title for the characters.
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