Book: The Fixer (Fixer Series)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Summary: 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.
“There are a lot of ways to castrate a bull,” I said, my words deliberate and slow. “You can band the balls off so they shrivel up and die. Or you can take a knife and slide it just so.” I demonstrated with my free hand. “I grew up on a ranch. I know a lot about castrating bulls.”
Have I said how much I love Tess Kendrick? Because, I love her. Like seriously seriously love her. Champion of the underdog, sarcastic, and strong-willed, she’s become my top favorite heroine. (Sorry, Nancy!) She’s witty, resourceful, and I love her relationship with her friends and the way she really cares about people.
Asher Rhodes is the most impish, mischievous, and amazing comedial (is that even a word?) character ever! Let’s start with his name. It’s so sweet, simple, describes the kind of destruction that is left in his wake, and I have no words to describe how much of a fun delight he is! (I’m gushing right?)
“Tallyho, friends of Asher!” Asher had impeccable timing. He waltzed into the room and hopped up on the computer table, his legs dangling down, like he didn’t have a care in the world.
Like the tension in the room wasn’t thick enough that you could have cut it with a knife.
Henry Marquette is quiet and I like the way he is always so formal. He has a way of sounding absolutely pleasant while issuing threats (Actually, pretty much everyone in this book issues commands/threats in a nice syrupy voice, minus Tess of course). He’s a complex character with a lot of built up layers and guards that he never lets down. He remains mysterious throughout the book.
Vivvie Bharani is just like Asher, bubbly with a lot of happiness and contagious energy. She and Tess are partners in crime and amazing fast friends. Their trust and bond goes very very deep.
“Are you okay?” I asked her. I met her eyes. “I know that’s your line. I was just trying it out.”
The plot of the story is interesting, to say the least. Tess’s grandfather has Alzheimer’s and her fixer (a.k.a problem go awayer) sister, Ivy Kendrick, whisks him away to a facility in Boston while taking Tess with her to D.C. As in, Washington D.C. As in the heart of the political system and largest egos in the country. Soon, she’s involved in a huge political scheme that could get her killed.
Everyone at Tess’s new school, Hardwicke Upper School, and in Tess’s words:
“The Upper School- because heaven forbid they call it a high school –looked like nothing so much as a granola bar turned on its side.”
believes that since her sister is the famed fixer of Washington’s elite, she must have the ability as well. When she saves the Vice President’s (yeah, only the children of the elite go to Hardwicke) daughter from a scandal and mortifying situation, everyone takes this as a sign of her fixer abilities. She slowly starts to solve one problem or the other for her classmates. Everything becomes more personal though, when Henry’s grandfather dies, and Vivvie is certain that her father had something to do with it.
Tess has problems with her older sister Ivy. The two haven’t spoken since Tess was thirteen and Ivy left for D.C. She is furious that Ivy is suddenly inserting herself back into her life, taking away the grandfather she loves and cares for, and trying to be the older sister that she never was. Their bond, however, grows with the story.
The whole political aspect was okay in my opinion and I strongly loved the fact that there was ZERO romance in this book. Absolutely ZERO. Thank you so much Jennifer for making an amazing story without the usual dose of love triangle/insta love/love interest.
There is SO much more for me to gush over, but I don’t want to spoil this story for you because it is so great. And the TWIST, guys, THE TWIST IN BOTH THIS BOOK AND THE NEXT (YES, THERE IS MORE OF THIS AMAZINGNESS)!!!!!!!!!! This book and its sequel have to be on your TBR. (I won’t push, but I really hope it gets on your TBR.)
And to motivate you, here’s one of my favorite quotes from the second book:
“Tess, has anyone ever told you that you’re an absolute vision when you’re plotting something?” Asher Rhodes shot a lazy grin in my direction.
I ignored Asher and kept my gaze fixed on the street in front of the Roosevelt Hotel. A man named Charles Bancroft had a reservation at the Roosevelt’s five-star restaurant for lunch – pricey, considering Mr. Bancroft had recently convinced a judge that his child support and alimony payments should be kept to a minimum.
“Asking for a friend,” Asher clarified. Then he nudged his best friend. “Henry, my good man, tell Tess she’s pretty as a picture when she’s preparing to unleash her wrath on the delightfully unsuspecting father of one of our classmates.”
“Kendrick?” Henry Marquette said.
“Yes?” I replied without taking my eyes away from the street.
“You are utterly terrifying when you are plotting something.”
I definitely recommend this book for anybody who likes political/mystery books.