Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Review: The Fixer

The Fixer
By Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published: July 7, 2015

When sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick is sent to live with her older sister, Ivy, she has no idea that the infamous Ivy Kendrick is Washington D.C.'s #1 "fixer," known for making politicians' scandals go away for a price. No sooner does Tess enroll at Hardwicke Academy than she unwittingly follows in her sister's footsteps and becomes D.C.'s premier high school fixer, solving problems for elite teens.
Secrets pile up as each sister lives a double life. . . . until their worlds come crashing together and Tess finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy with one of her classmates and a client of Ivy's. Suddenly, there is much more on the line than good grades, money, or politics, and the price for this fix might be more than Tess is willing to pay.
Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for more in this exciting new series.

My review:

Jennifer Lynn Barnes is one of my favorite YA authors and so is Ally Carter. The book description says it is perfect for fans of Ally Carter's Heist Society but it reminded me more of her Gallagher Girls series and All Fall Down, the first book in her new series about the kids of ambassadors and diplomats.  I have only seen one episode of  the TV series Scandal but this book reminded me of the show which may be popular with teens too. 

Tess's sister Ivy is kind of like Olivia Pope, the protagonist of Scandal, as she takes care of secrets and averts crises among Washington's political elite. Ivy's work is eye opening for Tess as the two sisters have been estranged for years ever since Ivy invited Tess to live with her when Tess was just 13 but then retracted the offer and stopped returning phone calls. This leads to major friction when Tess is forced to move in with Ivy after their grandfather's dementia becomes apparent.

I felt sorry for Tess. She has had a rough life after the death of their parents and Ivy's seeming abandonment. Her grandfather was the one bright spot though in recent years Tess has had to take over more and more of the chores as well as hiding her grandfather's condition from others. Her bad relationship with Ivy is not helped by Ivy's remoteness when Tess moves to Washington or all the secrecy. Tess has to learn to navigate minefields at her new school as well as at home where politicians might drop by at any time. Tess does make a few friends at school like Vivvie, whose dad is the President's physician, and Asher, a flirty troublemaker. Unfortunately things become complicated when Vivvie comes to Tess for help about her dad. Soon Tess finds herself in over her head investigating a possible murder with connections to the White House but her issues with Ivy keep her from going to her older sister for help. 

I liked the exploration of Tess's relationship issues with her sister and how Ivy became more "human" through sharing her own missteps. I also appreciated that this book doesn't have any romance though if there were sequels, there is a possible candidate for a love interest for Tess. She also has some good friends in Vivvie, Asher and Henry. They made a pretty good team even though they did get in over their heads during the investigation. 

It takes a little while to get to the suspenseful part of the book but then the story just takes off. I was surprised by the villain's identity. It was unexpected and maybe a little disappointing. There were some other surprises in store as well. In the end I thought Tess was pretty brave and I liked how she took ownership of her mistakes. The story is entertaining but also offers some depth with its characters.

I certainly wouldn't mind if the author turned this into a series. It is less graphically violent than her Naturals series and I think readers who like Ally Carter's books and Robin Benway's teen spy novels (Also Known As, Going Rogue) would like it although The Fixer doesn't have as much humor. If you like books with smart teens working together to solve crime, add this to your TBR list!

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley 


  1. I have really liked some of this author's other books - namely, The Naturals. I'm looking forward to reading this one soon. Nice review!

  2. This is on my TBR! I've never read this author, so I'm curious to see. Great review!

  3. I LOVE Scandal and Olivia Pope, so I will have to check this one out. Great review, Christina!


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