Thursday, June 30, 2016

Book Review: The Fixer

Title: The Fixer
Series: The Fixer
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Format: Hardcover, 372 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Source: Won from Bloomsbury's Twitter Account

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.

My Review

I love politics. I really do. I'm involved with politics, and I often find myself watching C-SPAN or reading about everything going on in our country. I'm also curious about the inner workings of politics, so this book seemed like the perfect read for me. I honestly don't have an answer for you for when you ask, "Why did it take you so long to read The Fixer?" Maybe I was just afraid because of all the hype, but now that I've read it, I can tell you that all the hype is worth it, and I am already looking forward to getting my copy of The Long Game

The Fixer follows Tess Kendrick, a sixteen-year-old girl who was just plucked off the farm by her sister, following the confirmation of their grandfather's dementia diagnosis. Tess moves in with her older sister, Ivy, in a posh Washington D.C. condo. She's enrolled in a very private and very pristine school, and no one even bats an eye. Why? Because Tess' older sister gets things done for people - politicians, mostly - but it leaves her with getting what she wants.

The writing style of The Fixer isn't fancy or anything, but it's as addictive as a can of Pringles! Ms. Barnes knows really knows how to keep a reader's attention on her book. I know it took me a long time to read this because of personal things, but I didn't really want to put it down. The chapters flow into one another, and before I knew it, I had read about thirty of them in a row. The writing is quick, easy to follow, and it's exciting.

The writing isn't the only exciting thing about The Fixer. The plot is just as exciting and definitley adds to the quick pace. When Tess is uprooted, she doesn't know much about her older sister. All she can assume from the house that they share is that Ivy works with some of Washington's most powerful people. But once Tess enrolls in school and helps a classmate, people start assuming that she does what her sister does. They think that she'll be able to help them fix their problems, like Ivy does with the most powerful people in the country. Tess Kendrick soon learns that power is the most powerful form of currency in Washington D.C. - both in her small school and in the government. 

It was interesting to see how Tess had to familiarize herself with so many new environments. This isn't just a story about power, but it's also a story about family. Tess needs to learn who she is, where she comes from, and who she'll grow into while she's in D.C. I think that's something that any teen reader will be able to relate to, so I really enjoyed seeing it brought up in The Fixer. Tess also needs to figure out where she stands at her new school with the sons, daughters, and grandchildren of politicians and ambassadors. I really liked how Ms. Barnes weaved all of that into a thrilling story about the murder of one of Washington's most powerful people.

I don't want to steer you wrong, so I will tell you that a lot of crazy things happen in The Fixer. Basically anything that can happen in politics is fair game in this book. There's a lot of family drama and there's a lot of political drama, but Ms. Barnes really balances the two out so that they are both equally important. I really liked being able to experience all of the events through Tess' eyes, and I think that readers will really this story.

All in all, The Fixer is a book that pleasantly surprised me. I wasn't so sure about it when I won a copy from Bloomsbury, but after multiple people pushed it on me, I gave it the chance that it deserved. It's full of crazy events, and it's a little shocking, but overall, it's a great book. I would recommend this book for anyone who is a fan of the inner workings of politics. I also think fans of Ally Carter's Embassy Row series will enjoy this fast-paced and fresh book.

Jennifer Lynn Barnes has written more than a dozen young adult novels, including the Raised by Wolves and Naturals series. She has advanced degrees in psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive science. She received her PhD from Yale University and is now a professor of psychology.

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