Expected Publication: July 7th, 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
*I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinions stated
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.
An endless amount of thanks to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for this one. I always struggle to find good contemporary - fantasy seems to be all I read and love these days, but The Fixer really broke me out of that genre for a little while, and it was SO refreshing.
The Fixer is definitely a political thriller full of tense emotions and PLOT TWISTS GALORE. Barnes surprised me at EVERY turn, and it was the most incredible thing. The last fourth or so of the book is full of reveal after reveal, each even more shocking than the last. I love Jennifer Lynn Barnes, but this is easily her best book yet.
While I think the strongest point in this book is, obviously, the incredible shocks, our main character, Tess, is a close second. I spent the entire time wanting to give her a huge hug. I felt what she felt. Her frustration with her sister, Ivy, is a very deep-rooted emotion, and I found myself holding a grudge along with Tess. The last 25% of the book is full of SO many emotions, and I felt every single one of them along with Tess. It kind of broke my heart. (Read: It REALLY broke my heart.) Tess, who just wants to take care of her grandfather. Tess, who's ripped away from him and her life by a sister who left her all those years ago. Determined and stubborn and witty and clever Tess. If I could wrap her in a blanket and give her some hot chocolate, I would. There wasn't a single thing I didn't like about her.
"My sister was a mover, a shaker, a problem solver - and right now, the problem she'd set her sights on solving was me."
A really cool thing about The Fixer is that it doesn't have any romance, really. I think there's definitely some potential for it in the next book (I hope with Asher, but probably not), but this one is solely focused on these fantastic characters and murders and politics. You guys are going to love it.
Tess manages to find a few friends, and it never felt like they were being pushed aside for bigger plots or more important things. They were part of the plot, intricately woven in in their own ways. Vivvie becomes her first friend - another character I just want to hug forever. Asher is fun - and sometimes a little annoying for Tess - and I can't wait to learn more about him. Tess is quite reluctant to be friends with him at first, but he worms his way in. Then, of course, there's the prim and proper Henry, who we may or may not be able to call a friend of Tess at this stage. He's a very stiff person, a child always immersed in politics, dealing with things no teenager should have to deal with. I'm excited to see more of him, too. (Basically, JUST GIVE ME THE NEXT BOOK NOW.)
"Some memories were like scars. This one had never healed right."
I also really loved Adam, a friend of Ivy's. He's an ex-military man with daddy issues just trying to take care of Ivy and Tess when they need it. Once again, next book please?
There were so many details and different places the plot of The Fixer went, and it all felt very authentic to me. We get glimpses of the president, members of the Supreme Court, all the people behind the scenes who really pull the strings.
"He would bury this, push it into the recesses of his mind where he kept the secrets that hurt him most."
And, you know, murder.
In addition, I just really love the concept of Ivy being D.C.'s own Fixer, making problems disappear at every turn. And the way Tess accidentally and unwillingly follows in Ivy's footsteps at school.
Overall: It's hard for me to talk about why I love The Fixer without giving away basically the entire book, but in short: The Fixer tugged on all my heartstrings. It's got an incredible main character, a great supporting cast, but what really stands out is how truly shocking The Fixer is. I didn't predict any of it coming, and the plot twists are INSANE. If you love Jennifer Lynn Barnes, this book is for you. If you don't, this book is still for you. It lives up to the term "political thriller" in all the right ways. 4.5 stars.
*Quotes subject to change