Friday, July 17, 2015

#Review - The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (YA Thriller)

Series: The Fixer # 1
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Source: NetGalley
Format: E-Galley, 384 pages 
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller

This thriller YA is Scandal meets Veronica Mars.

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 begins a new series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, author of Raised by Wolves and The Naturals. Barnes protagonist is 16-year old Tess Kendrick who lives in Montana with her ailing Grandfather. Tess was once on the track team, had perfect attendance, but with her Grandfather's health deteriorating, her priorities changed. With Tess's grandfather getting progressively worse, her older sister Ivy shows up after missing the past 3 years and takes her away to live in Washington, DC. 

Tess soon finds herself enrolled at Hardwicke, a private school for kids who have powerful families. She wants to keep her head down, and doesn't care if she makes friends, or not. But, after taking care of a class bully and saving the vice president's daughter from embarrassment, Tess becomes the focal point for other students at the school looking for help fixing things for them. Tess ends up friends with Vivvie Bharani, the girl who showed her around school. There is also Asher, no romance between characters, who definitely is the stories entertainment. Henry is the grandson of a Murdered Supreme Court Justice who ends up working with Tess to uncover a major conspiracy. Add in Emilia Rhodes who started the whole Tess fixing things for others, and you have a very eclectic group. 

Tess's relationship with her "sister" Ivy is definitely strained. Ivy Kendrick is all the things that Olivia Pope from Scandal is. She knows where the bodies have been buried. She knows who the power players are. She knows how to get things done that may or may not cause ruffles. The only difference is, she's actually friends with FLOTUS and isn't adversaries. Tess discovers that Ivy's world is secretive, complicated, and very dangerous. 

I dare you to read this book without making any comments about Ivy. I think that I had a hard time biting my tongue over the relationship between the "sisters." I could not understand why Ivy stayed away from Tess for so long without giving her any hints or clues as to why. The fact that Ivy, who is supposedly the go to person in DC, allowed herself to be handled, just doesn't play for me. Maybe if secrets had been revealed sooner, the whole mess could have been avoided. 

So many questions left over after that ending. I do have questions regarding the relationship between Tess and Ivy. I think the author was even confused as well. I have questions regarding who has the dominate DNA. Like how do Tess and Ivy have different eyes? I realize that genetics is a complicated business. If mom gives you the dominant brown eye version of an eye color gene, odds are you'll end up with brown eyes. Same thing if dad passes the same gene. In neither case would you have higher odds for getting brown eyes.

For once, I absolutely agree with the tagline comparing this novel to Scandal and Veronica Mars. Surprised are you? I do hope that Barnes keeps pushing the envelope forward, but really want Tess and Ivy to come to some common ground and not being antagonists for yet another book. I will say this, Barnes puts together a pretty intense mystery that I dare say has a way to go before it's finished.

**I received this book for free from (Bloomsbury USA Childrens) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

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