DNF Review: The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Thursday, July 30, 2015
Title: The Fixer
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Genre: contemporary, thriller
Series: The Fixer #1
Pages: 384
Source: publishers via NetGalley
Rating: 2/5

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.

I should have followed my instincts on this one. I should have remembered every time I try to watch Scandal, I get bored within minutes and change the channel. I should have remembered that I never watched Veronica Mars and thus have no built-in nostalgia for it.  I should have read the bookish comparisons (Heist Society) and realized that it was for another series I DNF'd early on. Basically, the charms of this book were just wasted on me. So yes, I am one of the very few black sheep for this novel and it's entirely because I upended the black paint all over myself.

I picked this up because of the hype and word-of-mouth building in the last few weeks. And while it didn't particularly work for me, I can see why it does for others. For the right kind of reader, The Fixer would be a slam dunk novel. I just was not caring at all about the mystery OR the characters. I'm primarily a character-reader though I can be more plot-driven in special cases. That was not the case here. The chemistry between characters is natural and banter-y but I just observed from a distance, and never invested. Maybe it was the lack of a romance? I'm not sure but the emotional connection was never there.

As this review so clearly states above, I did not finish The Fixer. It was just too long of a page commitment for a book I was so very mehhh about so early on. I made it 210ish pages in, set it down, and started reading a series about dragons. I didn't feel the need or even an interest to see it through and that's how I know that this series is not for me. I do enjoy Jennifer Lynn Barn's writing style (both here and in Every Other Day) and plan to explore her other series. Tess and Vivvie and Co will live to fight the good fight as this expands into a series, I just won't be around to read about it.

1 comment:

  1. I could have written this exact review. While I'm not "glad" you disliked this, I'm happy I'm not the only black sheep. I was wholly detached from the characters and that's what made it hard to keep reading. Also, we don't know any of the political players, so it's like, why should I care who killed who? There was just no urgency or connection driving it forward, and 400 pages is LONG for a contemporary anyway. Meh meh.


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