Review of The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

THeFixerThe Fixer
By: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release Date: July 7th 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:

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 Thoughts:
I have been a fan of Barnes’ books from before I blogged so anytime I see her name I know I’ll want to read whatever her book is regardless of subject matter. Her books aren’t generally my typical genre but I think she has such a fun, fast paced writing style that always has the ability to addict me.

For me, the main draw to this particular book were the characters. I thought that on a whole the main cast was so complex and well rounded. I will say that I had an emotional response to this story and to the main character especially. Tess’ grandfather was dealing with memory loss. My grandfather passed away recently and he was suffering from frontal lobe memory loss. It was so hard to watch (even from a distance) as he forgot how to speak so I could totally relate and empathize to Tess and her desire to stick with him and hide the truth. I think that this similarity between my life and Tess’ really got me off to a great start with relating and connecting to the main character. I immediately liked her and felt for her.

I of course adored Tess’ grandfather and each scene he was in broke my heart. I was incredibly moved at times and I think enough time had passed since my own loss that it was therapeutic in a way. We also get to know Tess’ sister Ivy fairly well as the story progressed. I found it incredibly interesting watching the two sisters work out their relationship problems. Ivy was a very interesting character because of her political clout and ability to get things done.

As you can tell a good portion of this book focused on family relationships. I really loved that and found that the growth between the sisters was really a highlight for me. I have an older sister so I can relate to Tess here as well. Granted, my sister and I aren’t estranged but it wasn’t much of a stretch to imagine what it might feel like.

There’s something about posh academy life that has always been appealing to read about so Hardwicke Academy and all the students captured my interest. Barnes played into some of the common stereo-types but I felt it was done quite well. Tess won me over yet again by standing up to bullies and being such a loyal friend.

Notice I’m not highlighting much about a romance- that’s because there really wasn’t one to speak of. This novel focused on those other relationships and the mystery and action side of things. Barne’s knows how to write an intense scene. Sections of the book flew by since I couldn’t stop reading. I was also unable to really predict exactly what would happen so that’s always a plus.

Final Thoughts:
I’m honestly not huge into political thrillers (I don’t think) but this book completely captured my interest…that says a lot about Barnes’ writing and characters. The Fixer had wonderful action, intrigue, relationship development and heart.


  1. says

    I really liked this one as well! There were a lot of twists that I didn’t see coming. I loved that the relationships between Tess and the boys were platonic, at least in this book. 🙂 Nice review!

  2. says

    Great review! I’m really looking forward to reading this one. I haven’t read any of the author’s other books but I’m hearing a lot of good things at the moment. 🙂

  3. says

    Gorgeous review Kristen. <3 So happy that you enjoyed this book so much 😀 I haven't heard much about it at all. But you make it seem amazing. It do sound heartbreaking, though. Yet pretty amazing as well. Thank you for sharing about it sweetie 🙂

  4. says

    Great review! I also loved the characters in this book. Tess and Ivy were fantastic and I agree on how the focus on their relationship was a highlight. I loved watching that all play out. I liked the students too but I think my favorite characters were the people outside of Hardwicke. I was so engaged when the larger mystery kicked in.

  5. says

    Great review! This has been in my wish list ever since I found out Jennifer has a new series coming out. I’m so excited to read it, more so now that you’ve said it has big family relationships 🙂

  6. says

    I’ve heard so many great things about this book! I’m sad about the lack of romance, but it sounds like all of the characters are really interesting. I’ll definitely be checking this one out!
    Lovely review, Kristen. 🙂

  7. says

    I really loved this book myself. One of the best things about it, like you mentioned, was the characters. I really loved how diverse they were and how complex their interaction came to be. Plus Asher just made me laugh every time he opened his mouth.

  8. says

    I really loved this one. I am not into Political thrillers either so this one proved to be a shock when I rated it four stars. I loved how this book didn’t have romance, it proved a point that I was talking about with my co-blogger on how a good book doesn’t need a romance to make it well rounded. The characters and the story line in this book was enough. Great review!

    Amber ❤ The Book Bratz

  9. says

    This one sounds really interesting! I didn’t realize there was such a focus on family–I might be remembering wrong but I feel like a lot of Barnes’ other books lack that family aspect either with an orphaned MC or absent family figures. I’ve learned the hard way this year that thrillers really aren’t my thing but I’m happy to add this to my “books I can recommend” wheelhouse.

  10. says

    I love how fun and fast-paced this book was but how it still managed to leave room for such wonderful character moments. I was really touched by her relationship with her grandfather too but I can imagine it hit you even harder – I’m really sorry to hear about your grandfather. 🙁

    PS: I don’t know how you wrote this entire review without mentioning Asher 😉

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