The Fixer #1
Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.
The Fixer is a perfect blend of humor and gravity, the world of political intrigue Tess is drawn into proving to be a deadly one, but through it all we’re treated to banter between her and her new friends to make sure the weight of all that Tess faces doesn’t grow too heavy. Ms. Barnes also manages to give us teenage sleuths who play by the rules for the most part, making smart choices and sharing pertinent information with one another as well as people in a realistic position to help, thereby completely eliminating the need to suspend disbelief. Instead, we get to easily settle in with Tess as she uses all the resources at her disposal to put the pieces of an ever-expanding political conspiracy together.
Tess is easy to like from page one, her love for her ailing grandfather and her fear that someone will find out just how fast he’s declining palpable, but instead of throwing a fit when her sister intervenes and takes her away from everything she knows, she handles her anger and disappointment with maturity. It’s not to say Tess is without flaws, after all a perfect character would be a bit of a bore, but she makes–if we're being brutally honest–the same choices we can see ourselves making at every turn, even when those choices are ones that land her in hot water with family, friends or school authorities.
One of the many highlights of this tale is Ms. Barnes’s sense of humor, the witty repartee between Tess and resident troublemaker Asher making us laugh out loud as insults are hurled back and forth before bouncing harmlessly off the other person’s shield of sarcasm. While there are two boys in Tess’s orbit, there’s only the barest hint of a possible romance as the story progresses, and a love triangle doesn’t even come close to entering the picture. Tess’s journey from Montana farm girl to D.C. fixer is at the forefront the entire time, keeping us guessing as we try and sort through all the political lies along with her.
Overall, The Fixer is a hugely entertaining first installment, weaving a complex mystery and giving us a cast of characters we won’t soon forget. We’re left in a satisfying place, a few cogs in the political machine revealed and a few answers brought to light, but the larger picture still hovers just out of reach to tease us into picking up future books. I personally can’t wait to see what Ms. Barnes has in store for Tess and company moving forward.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.