Thursday, June 18, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: The Fixer (The Fixer #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

This is a book review for The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The scheduled publication date for this book is 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.

I'll admit it: I totally requested this book because of the Scandal comparisons. I freaking love that show so much. Here is what I did like about the book: the mystery was a very compelling one. There were twists and turns and I kept reading just to find out what happened and who the bad guy was. As it turned out, everyone was a bad guy. 

Here is what I didn't like about the book: just about everything else. That is not to say that I hated the book exactly, just that I didn't like it very much. Does that even make sense? I was trying really, really hard with this book but it was so incredibly unrealistic. Yeah, I know. It's a work of fiction. But come on . . . these were teenagers who were trying to solve a government conspiracy that went all the way to the White House. I mean, really? And even though Tess's sister Ivy has way more experience with it and even though she understands people's lives are in danger, she still goes out on her own and refuses to seek her sister's help.

That brings me to another issue I had: the relationship between Tess and Ivy. Tess is upset because Ivy promised to take her to live with her after their parents died. Instead, Ivy left Tess with her grandfather and basically removed herself from Tess's life. Ivy only called for birthdays and holidays. I really, really never got why Ivy did this. When Ivy finally revealed her reasons, it was anticlimactic. Ivy's reasoning does explain why she never took Tess to live with her (well maybe), but it doesn't explain why Ivy stopped talking to Tess at all. I still don't agree with Ivy. I still don't understand why it was better to leave Tess with her grandfather, who was elderly. The whole reason Tess came to live with Ivy was because Tess's grandfather had Alzheimer's. And then there was a twist that I should have seen coming, but didn't, and it was super soap opera like. I had a really hard time rooting for the relationship between Tess and Ivy, mainly because Ivy was so cold and distant. Ivy spent lots of money making sure Tess was comfortable, but then she would disappear because she was working all the time. When Tess was around and concerned for her friends because of the mystery, Ivy acted as if she didn't even care. 

The ending was a bit of a surprise and of course they set it up for the sequel. There was not a huge cliffhanger at the end, but there was enough of one to make for new stories in future books. Honestly though, I don't have any interest in reading any of them.

Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip


  1. Hm, I was also tempted for the same reasons (Scandal fan :), but I'm glad I waited for a review. I must admit, I did have doubts to the protagonists' age. Thanks for the warning!

    1. No problem Ramona! This is one of those times when I am glad I got this one for free. I am glad I could save you the money and the time. :)