The Fixer (The Fixer #1) – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Fixer (The Fixer #1) – Jennifer Lynn BarnesTitle: The Fixer (The Fixer #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publishing Info: July 7, 2015 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 5, 2015

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.


I was in a bit of a reading slump and needed a good “me” book to pull me out and renew my faith in reading (just kidding. I could never totally lose my faith in books!) when a perfectly timed tweet from Andi bumped up THE FIXER on my TBR! As soon as I had heard about it from Bloomsbury, I knew I was interested so I dove right in! Thankfully, THE FIXER was just what I needed and really lived up to its name — fixing my reading slump!

The back cover of my ARC pitched the book as HEIST SOCIETY meets 24 and that I can totally agree with. Normally I’m afraid of the “this meets that” comparisons for books because I don’t usually feel that the comparisons are accurate but this one was totally spot on! I definitely got some HEIST SOCIETY feels from the characters as well as tone, plus the dash of intrigue and political society throughout the book. I think the 24 vibe definitely came into play towards the end and all together, these elements worked really well! The book was fun with dynamic and entertaining characters right from the beginning and it closed with some excellent action and intrigue!

The book was really just a blast from start to finish. I just loved the characters and how much the enhanced the overall story. Tess was kind of a fireball and I loved her sarcasm combined with her won’t-take-no-for-an-answer attitude (just like Ivy)! The supporting characters were also tons of fun. They provided a range of personalities and feelings for the book so it was just a really fun range of emotions that I got to experience.

I really loved the pacing throughout the book. There was an excellent blend of high stakes action, investigative work, personal moments, and theorizing. I thought everything came together really well. I zipped through the first fifty pages of the book and the rest was a breeze too! I didn’t find my interest waning and I really always felt engaged! Jennifer Lynn Barnes really put together a solid novel and I was so pleased with how much I enjoyed it! I actually wasn’t sure if this was a series when I finished (it is) and I really liked how the book closed one chapter but still really left it open to continue later on down the road!

THE FIXER was a really fun read for me and even though it was almost 400 pages, it didn’t feel like a long book at all! I really got lost in the pages and everything just seemed to fit together. The characters brightened the whole book and really made it come to life! I can’t wait to read more of this series.


“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

the fixer gr updates


Tess // Character Obsessions: Her grandfather, taking action, solving problems.
I kind of love that Tess’s personality essentially pushes her to become a “Fixer” even though she has no intention of being one. She’s very strong-willed and doesn’t like to see injustice so she naturally sort of falls into that role. I also love how fiercely protective she is of her friends and family. Sometimes I feel like that protection is over-emotional but I really loved Tess and the combination of her take-charge attitude and intense connection to the ones she loves.


Kept Me Hooked On: Political thrillers. I think political thrillers are hard to find in YA (naturally, because most political scandals surround adults) but I really loved how this was done! I don’t actually feel the draw to pick up adult political thrillers but I loved the way this was handled in YA!
Left Me Wanting More: Secondary characters. There were a lot of great secondary characters — friends, friends of Ivy, relatives, politicians — and I wouldn’t say that I didn’t get enough of them but I’m definitely interested in finding out more! I’m really glad that this is a series because I found myself wondering about more backstories and I can’t wait to learn more!

Addiction Rating
Read it!

THE FIXER was both fun and thrilling. I loved the personalities within the book and the plot really constantly kept moving forward! Excited for more of the series — and more from Jennifer Lynn Barnes!



(Click the cover to see my review!)


Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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18 thoughts on “The Fixer (The Fixer #1) – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

  1. Emma @ Miss Print

    Hmmmm. I saw other reviews compare this book to Scandal, which is not a favorite of mine. But now your review is comparing it to Heist Society which is one of my all-time favorite books so I might have to re-evaluate my decision to skip this one. Thanks for the review!

    1. Brittany Post author

      It was definitely a lot of fun! The book was engaging and so were the characters! 🙂

  2. Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books

    I am glad you enjoyed this one. Personally, it was just meh for me. I had issues with the believability of high school students investigating and solving political scandals. And I couldn’t really connect with Ivy. Good review though.

    1. Brittany Post author

      I can see that! I think that’s the hard thing about YA mystery/thrillers — sometimes it’s hard to get them into a believable situation where they would actually be in a position of power/control. Bummer it didn’t work for you 🙁

  3. Alexa S.

    I seriously need to check out The Fixer, huh? It sounds like such a fun read, and I’m all for reading something different in YA. I’ve never read anything like this before, and it sounds like it will be VERY entertaining. I’m so glad it broke you out of your reading slump!

    1. Brittany Post author

      It was very fun! It sort of had a Robin Benway feel to me except less spy, more political thriller 🙂

  4. Kate @ Mom's Radius

    So glad you loved this book and that it got you out of your reading slump. I tore through it last weekend. So good! I agree – great characters, perfectly paced plot, good wrap up and set up for book 2. Barnes is a master. I love reading about her psychology of fiction even though it makes me real slightly manipulated. Haha.

    Have you read The Naturals series that she writes? They’re amazing!

    1. Brittany Post author

      I haven’t read The Naturals yet! But it’s been on my wishlist for a long time. Now I’m even more excited to read it!

  5. Erica @ Novel Ink

    Christy loved this book and I knew that I should pick this one up and now hearing your review I definitely will be. I was nervous a bit because it’s not really my go-to genre, but it just sounds really interesting!

    1. Brittany Post author

      Oh yay, I hope you enjoy it! It’s hard picking up things that aren’t your forte but I hope it turns out to be a good read for you!

  6. Asma

    I read the first few pages of this and while it was good, I wasn’t all that interested and I already had a humongous stack of books begging to be read, but I might pick it up again after your review 😀 Thanks for sharing!

    1. Brittany Post author

      If you get back to it, I hope you enjoy it! I think it took me a little bit to get into but I really enjoyed it overall! 🙂

  7. Andi

    I saved your reading career! I think I need a cape. 😉

    So happy you loved this one. It really was a fun book. I need to write my review for it soon.

  8. Alysia

    I recently reviewed this one as well!! I LOVED it so much, especially the characters, and the focus on family rather than romance. It makes me want more political thrillers in YA but I don’t know if they could top this one, haha. It reminded me of Scandal! Nice review!

    1. Brittany Post author

      YES! I really enjoyed the family focus. I love a good romance but I loved that it was subtle and left that for book two, if it goes there. It was a nice change of pace!

  9. Wendy @ Book Scents

    I also really enjoyed this one! I whipped through it too! The pacing was great and I just couldn’t put it down! I can’t wait for the sequel because I’m dying to know the rest of what happens!

    1. Brittany Post author

      Yay!! I’m so glad you loved it too. I really thought the pacing was great as well! I’m so excited for the sequel!

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