Review: The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn BarnesThe Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Fixer #1
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on July 7, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
AmazonThe Book Depository

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.

Never ever will I be able to resist comparison marketing. Why? Because for every book that claims to be like Graceling but ends up being a poorly-written, boring mess, there’s a book like The Fixer. The blurb promises Scandal meets Veronica Mars. I’ve not seen Scandal, but I suspect that side is correct and the Veronica Mars comparison is completely on point. Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ The Fixer is fast-paced, fun, and sassy as hell, sure to please all the marshmallows out there.

Barnes manages to capture all the aspects of Veronica Mars that made it so delightful while also creating her very own characters and plot lines. The Fixer has obvious intentional homages to Rob Thomas’ show, and I love the book so much for them. In one of the first scenes in Tess’ new fancy D.C. high school, she marches into the boy’s bathroom and threatens some bullies with castration in order to protect a girl from one of those douchebags sharing some scandalous photos. It’s not the only time she makes the men’s room a center of operations either, which I thought was so very Veronica, and omg I love.

gif respect veronica mars

Like Veronica, Tess is grouchy and withdrawn. Similarly, she ends up making friends sort of in spite of herself. Their reasons for being so closed off are a bit different however. Veronica drew back from her popular lifestyle following the murder of her friend and her rape. Tess isolated herself to keep the secret of her grandfather’s dementia, because she feared losing her guardian.

As I said, this book is not all Veronica Mars. The sass is there, and the mystery/thrillerness, but it stands apart as well. For one thing, the D.C. setting was a lot of fun, capturing the political shit of the U.S. There was some of that in VM, but the president’s a character in The Fixer. In case you don’t like politics in your books, don’t worry, because I don’t either. The Fixer doesn’t really get into parties or any of that; the focus is on the dirty dealing behind the scenes and the lengths that people will go to in order to manipulate the government.

gif my over the moon face veronica mars

The most powerful theme in The Fixer is that of family. Taken to D.C. to live with her much older sister, Tess isn’t happy. She resents her sister for leaving her behind three years before and then not calling. Tess’ devotion to her Gramps is touching, and the evolution of her relationship with her sister is heartbreaking. View Spoiler »

The secondary cast is a delight, and I really want to see more of them in the next book. For one thing, it’s awesome that Tess has two female friends, and there’s no sense of competition or girl hating Vivvie is sweet and trusting, and out to help others. What she goes through is incredibly intense, and I want to see how she bears with that. Emilia only stops by occasionally but she’s a tech whiz who I love. Her twin Asher is a potential love interest, and he’s a Sturmhond type full of jokes and swagger. So YES. But then also there’s his best friend, Henry, who is very tightly controlled and initially doesn’t get along with Tess at all. Either one could be such a good ship and omg I am excited about the potential.

gif you're going soft veronica mars

Needless to say, I really want book two, because there’s going to be so much more awesome ahead. Probably not an OT3, but a girl can dream. I’ll be ordering myself a copy of this in the future, I do believe.

Favorite Quote:

“You say go away, I hear wreak havoc by my side.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif veronica mars happy

11 responses to “Review: The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes”

  1. P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex says:

    I was no the fence about this one based on the synopsis, but you won me over. I love Veronica Mars and Tess sounds pretty awesome. I also love that family is so important in the story, and basically, I need to get my hands on this one!
    P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex recently posted…Ruin and Rising Was Not What I Wanted (Spoilers!)My Profile

  2. Now I definitely have to read this! I was already hooked by Scandal meets Veronica Mars -because I love both. But those marketing sentences almost never end up doing the book justice. Or the books it was compared to. But after reading your review, I’m so excited to pick this one up!
    Jolien @ The Fictional Reader recently posted…Get Me These Books. Now! (A Very Late TTT)My Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Marketing is so rarely accurate in those comparisons. I saw one when working on Cover Snark this week that pretty much dooms the book to be a disappointment. Genre-wise they’re probably right, but there’s no way the book can possibly measure up. This one, however, fits right in. 🙂

  3. I have this on my TBR and now I REALLY want to read it. I have promised myself not to start a new series until I finish a few among many that I have going. It’s a hard promise to keep. Thanks for your great review.
    Suzi Q, The Book Dame recently posted…Vulnerability Meets Heroism: Walled by Anne TibbetsMy Profile

  4. Lyn Kaye says:

    I kept passing over this one because it sounded to derivative, but now I am really excited for this novel! The comparison marketing actually chases me away from some books. I’m not a fan at all of saying “THIS IS THE NEXT HUNGER GAMES!!1!!!one!!!”
    I already read Yhe Hunger Games. I loved it, but I want something new.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Garden Gazette: June Wrap UpMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Ha, I mean, I think the next VMars is accurate, but she’s also not a hundred percent VMars. It’s more of a readalike with cute homages imo.

  5. I’m reading this right now, and pretty much loving it! 🙂
    Lisa @ Lost in Literature recently posted…Let’s Chat: Song of Summer by Laura Lee AndersonMy Profile

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