The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


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Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Fixer (#1)
Read: August 20th, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Release Date: July 7th, 2015
Genre: mystery, YA
Rating: ★½

In short: such a great book! Fast-paced, riddled with political mystery, and filled with great characters. Reminded me of my beloved Prep School Confidential!

Goodreads: This thriller YA is Scandal meets Veronica Mars.

Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather’s ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems.

And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess’s classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting—and complicated—for Tess.

Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for this compelling teen drama with a political twist.

Uh, don’t listen to what the blurb says about Pretty Little Liars—The Fixer is far more Heist Society and Scandal. I absolutely adored this book and I’m so glad I picked it up!

≫ THE PLOT:

“You’re telling me that my sister is a professional problem solver?” I asked tightly. “She just goes around solving other people’s problems? How is that even an occupation?”
“Supply and demand?” Vivvie suggested. “Around here, we call them fixers.”

Tess Kendrick’s sister Ivy unceremoniously pulls her out of her normal life and into Washington DC. Tess is, of course, angry and resentful—there’s a big age gap between the two sisters, and she’s always thought Ivy neglected her. But it turns out there’s far more to Ivy than meets the eye. Ivy is a fixer, paid to make the problems of the rich and the famous disappear without so much as a poof. Her sister’s job makes Tess infamous at her new school, Hardwicke, which is peppered with the children of DC’s who’s-who. And when a major political player—who’s a relative of one of Tess’s classmates—dies a seemingly accidental death, Tess finds herself swept into a dangerous political conspiracy.

Read that summary and tell me what’s not to like. Conspiracies, check. Family secrets, check. Private school drama, check. We could use more political thrillers in YA, and reading the twists and turns in The Fixer was like riding a rollercoaster—in the dark.  Not to mention the humour! This book was funny too, ladies and gentlemen!

≫ THE PROTAGONIST:

“There are a lot of ways to castrate a bull,” I said, my words deliberate and slow. “You can band the balls off, so they shrivel up and die. Or you can take a knife, and slide it just so.” I demonstrated with my free hand. “I grew up on a ranch. I know a lot about castrating bulls.”
There was a moment of stunned silence.
“Are you threatening me?” the boy asked.

Tess was definitely my kind of heroine, cut out of the same mould as Anne Dowling. She’s tough, but not unbelievably so; she’s smart, but she knows when to take risks; and she’s a real cool cookie. It was such fun reading this story from her perspective.

≫ THE OTHER CHARACTERS:
You know a book is doing something right when you fall in love with even the secondary characters. Secretive-sister Ivy is definitely the top of my list there. I loved her complex relationship with Tess and her professional, emotionless demeanour—because you just know it’s going to fall away, and when it does, fireworks. Then we have Tess’s little gang at Hardwicke – in fact, all of the Hardwicke characters. From sweet Vivvie (desi represent!) to ambitious Emilia to ridiculous Asher to sombre Henry, all of Tess’s friends are vivid and fully three-dimensional. Even Ivy’s colleagues are wonderfully fleshed-out.

≫ OF VILLAINS:
Let me tell you, you will not see this coming.

THE ROMANCE:
Guys. Get this: THERE IS NO ROMANCE.

It’s beautiful. Now, don’t me wrong, romance buffs. I’m pretty sure there will be some lurve in the next book, but I’m so glad the author took the time to develop the characters and friendships first. Plot first, romance second, happy me all the way.

≫ THE ENDING:
That plot twist, ba dum tss. This is just the kind of ending that makes me want the next book now.

≫ TO SUMMARISE:
I think my overenthusiastic use of italics throughout this review tells you how I feel. I adored The Fixer and I cannot wait for the sequel!

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