Book Review: The Fixer (Group Review)

Posted January 5, 2017 by Pixie in book review, Kara, Lyn, Pixie / 2 Comments

Book Review: The Fixer (Group Review)The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Fixer #1
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on July 7th 2015
Genres: young adult, contemporary, mystery-thriller, Fiction
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

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.

Hey hey! We have a lovely discussion today as me (Pixie), Kara, and Lyn read The Fixer and later had a chat/some fan-girl moments maybe, and wanted to share our thoughts on this book. Please be aware that sometimes during group chats/discussions, spoilers can be present. We try our best to avoid them, but I have to set out a warning ahead of time anyway that you are reading these discussions at your own risk.


Pixie: So, I finally got you both to read this book. What’d you think?

Lyn: So, can I say that I’m not much into political thrillers? Like, I never really cared for House of Cards, and my sister can only get me to watch West Wing from time to time, so I was going into this with some reserved feelings. But, WOW. I think it helped that my interest in politics spikes recently, but overall, this book was solid, it wasn’t over-the-top politic speak, and it was just downright FUN.

Kara: Ahhh yes. I remember now. I compared this to House of Cards crossed with Veronica Mars. That’s what it really felt like to me. I was worried about whether I would enjoy this because I’m not much into politics either, but it was not like that at all. This was sooo fun and suspenseful!

Pixie: Those were my initial concerns, too. Thinking it would be too political or something. I’ve never been much into House of Cards or West Wing myself, but I do like thrillers and action, and like you both said, it was just fun.

Lyn: I really loved how refreshing the book was when it came to the whole YA approach. There were a lot of male characters that were not love interests. Like, I really thought Bodie was going to be the Main Love Interest, but when he wasn’t I was very shocked, and when Tess made male and female friends, I was blown away. It didn’t have the typical YA “formula”. It felt more realistic. It promoted that girls can have close male friends, not fall in love with every guy, and be okay with the girls. What Tess is doing for the female population without shaming them is wonderful. I freaking ADORE Tess. She is the hero that YA fiction needs.

And with that out of the way, if she and Henry do not hook up, I’m going to burn down a random US city, OMG.

Kara: I’m just really into thrillers these days. It doesn’t matter so much what the theme is, but I love books that keep me engaged with a fast-moving plot. That’s why this worked for me, I guess. THe characters were rich and well developed, and I just really cared what happened to them. Props to whoever the editor was because they did a fantastic job with the pacing here.

And yes, I was really into the romance too, but I like that it wasn’t rushed. It felt more realistic. There were more important things going on than smooching. Like solving crimes and people dying, and wondering if the president or first lady was a cold-blooded killer.

Pixie: I liked Tess from the first page with the whole teacher situation when the student kept getting picked on, and she smarted off. I just kept thinking “I’m going to like this girl.” Haha. And Lyn basically summed it all up there on my thoughts as far as her characterization. For me, it could have worked with or without romance but I do adore Henry and I agree. I just really liked the plot, characters, and it’s been in the top of my list since reading as a stand-out for its realistic approach.

Kara: You know what else I thought was cool too? How much this refreshed my memory about the American political system. I took a political science course way back when and this really helped refresh my memory. I really think it might help teens that are reading it too. You can learn while reading something exciting and I always really appreciate that. Sorry, I just had to get that in there while it was on my mind. 😉

Lyn: Yes – it was a good approach to hooking people into politics without making it seem so dry or boring or over-the-top. I love the idea of the school and why it is different. And the book makes for a good argument for Hardwicke. These are going to be the kids that are expected to take over in the future, so they’re going to get a different education.

Pixie: I agree. The school idea did seem intriguing. And very true, Kara!

Pixie: I don’t want to say much else because it’s very easy to get into spoilers as well. Lol.

Lyn: Agreed! Lots of things happening in this book. I gave this a 4 – it was great, but sometimes I felt that it dragged along a bit too long, on the mystery. But this was one of my favorite reads of 2016, and I’m on the sequel now.

Kara: Yeah, I bought the sequel too. I’ll be reading it as soon as I get through some other reads I have planned. But for this one, I gave it a 4.5. It was almost perfect for me but I wanted a little bit more of an emotional connection to the story.

Pixie: I gave it a 4, and will read the sequel as soon as I get it! 🙂 This was actually a re-read for me, but I was happy to do so and I’m glad the both of you enjoyed it so much!



2 responses to “Book Review: The Fixer (Group Review)

  1. I don’t usually read politically themed books but I love Jennifer Lynn Barnes books and The Fixer was so freaking good! I was also surprised about the romance/lack of romance but really enjoyed that it wasn’t the focus at all because it made the story a lot more believable and just a ton more enjoyable since it didn’t feel at all cliched. I just read the sequel and while I think The Fixer was a little bit better I’m still really sad that there aren’t any plans for a third book :/ Great review!

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