Personal Thoughts: For my second read of 2017, I wanted to consume something quick paced and exciting so I landed on The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I remember seeing a bunch of positive reviews from trusted blogger friends when it first debuted and I had been meaning to check it out ever since. In recent reading years, I’ve noticed that I’m really interested in fictional politics. I never thought I would be, but it’s always what I end up loving most about stories with any type of political element so when I read the synopsis of The Fixer and found out that it’s a political thriller, I was so in!
Plot Summary: The Fixer is about a sixteen year old girl named Tess Kendrick who is forced to move from her grandfather’s ranch to Washington D.C. to live with her estranged older sister Ivy. It turns out that Ivy has quite the reputation around Washington which she uses to secure Tess a spot at Harwicke Academy, a prestigious school attended by basically every rich politicians offspring. Tess gets completely thrown into this new life that she never asked for but since she’s a bit outspoken she quickly acclimates and becomes her classmates go-to for fixing their issues, big or small. She gets involved in investigating a potential conspiracy theory involving her classmates family and it’s not long until lie after lie surfaces.
Critique: I’m pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed The Fixer! If I could give an initial warning, it would be that you’ll need to suspend all disbelief that a sixteen year old could be so instrumental in solving a national scandal (I’m not saying that it couldn’t happen, I’m just saying it’s a stretch that she had so much access to top politicians including the President and his wife). Tess is a sarcastic and bossy character with a heart of gold. She doesn’t take no for an answer and when the well-being of people she cares about is at risk, she’ll stop at nothing to help them. The secondary characters in the story were also wonderful! I really enjoyed the possibility of a Tess / Asher romance without it actually happening. It’s so rare to find a YA book without a romance plot and it was refreshing to have Tess be completely focused on solving the mystery at hand instead of fawning over a high school crush. I also really loved Ivy’s chauffeur / bodyguard Bodie. He was quite entertaining and his relationship with Tess was adorable from start to finish. The pacing was incredibly quick and I felt like there was never a dull moment. The last third of the book was impossible to put down and I was surprised several times by the outcomes. I cannot wait to read book 2!
Do I Recommend?: Yes! This fun political thriller will keep you entertained the whole way through. Another plus is that it has short chapters (I always read quicker when that’s the case!).