The Fixer – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Synopsis

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.

Review

Oh my gooooood. This book was insane in such a good way. From The Naturals, I knew Jennifer Lynn Barnes could write a killer (hah!) thriller (also hah!), but only now do I appreciate it. I thought The Naturals was scary but compelling. I couldn’t put it down.

The Fixer, on the other hand, is thoughtful, mind-racing, and utterly compelling. I couldn’t put it down, and I didn’t WANT to. This book is everything that I wanted from all those other trendy political books lately (all of which let me down!). Power is currency. People truly have skeletons to bury. Everyone has a motive. No one is 100% good or bad. And my goodness, you won’t get anything unless you have something to give. This book gives a whole lot in terms of action, plot, pacing, mystique, and all the truly important things in life. A lot of things were unpredictable, and that’s what made it awesome.

I definitely called one half of the most impactful reveal to Tess (at this point in her life). But since the very beginning, I assumed the same thing she thought from a picture. That part was unexpected, but nothing in this book came out of left field. Everything has a reason. And for the things that haven’t come into play yet (like a penchant for STEM), I’m sure they will by the next book.

There was little-to-no romance in this book, which surprised me a bit. These days, almost every book has a primary love interest, even in dystopian and action stories. This one is definitely a contemporary thriller (or maybe even mystery?). The pictures on the wall made me think this was a giant game of Clue. Or chess, to be honest. I seriously thought something would happen with Asher. Then I thought, “No, no, it’s definitely going to be Henry.” But then… this book wasn’t about the swoon at all. And I was actually okay with that! Barnes cleverly put certain relationships front and centre. The side characters are certainly developed though, don’t get me wrong. The devil is in the details, from remarkable eye colours to the fact that an Icelandic heir loves low-cut tops. Such strong characterization left me fascinated. I also couldn’t help but believe that there was some unfinished business with a Georgia peach… hopefully the key(e)s will fall into place in the next book.

I really loved the ending. It was a little tongue-in-cheek and really humanized some of the less “approachable” characters. Even someone’s reaction didn’t come out of left field, based on some hints on the road as Tess drove home from Hardwicke. I know I’m being annoyingly vague here, but I don’t want to spoil a thing! One last teaser — based on some of Tess’s burning questions, I truly thought that a certain powerful woman would be found guilty. But if there’s one thing I should have learned from the greatest mysteries of all, I should have realized that you can never trust “the help.”

Related Reading

  • All Fall Down – Ally Carter
  • Georgetown Academy – Jessica Koosed Etting (except 10000x better)
  • Where the Stars Still Shine – Trish Doller
  • The Wrong Side of Right – Jenn Marie Thorne (politics? SIGN ME UP)

Rating: 5/5… was there ever any doubt?

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