“My sister was a mover, a shaker, a problem solver – and right now, the problem she’d set her sights on solving was me.”
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.
They say “teen drama” like it’s some tween romance love triangle. What they mean is “people get murdered and teens try to find out who did it.” So, you know. “Teen drama.” I loved this book, though. The plot was terrific, the characters were all so dynamic and unique, and you never felt like you needed to skim to get through a boring or unimportant section. Kudos to JLB for that- I’m a big skim-reader.
When I got to the last third of the book, my expression through the entire thing was simply this:
Seriously. The whole last third of the book. It was awesome. Plot twists like you wouldn’t BELIEVE.
PLOT: Strong, strong, STRONG! I loved the development. Even though it was a lot of information, it never felt like an info dump when you were getting details. I did find it to be a little bit slow toward the beginning, but never so much that I wanted to put it down or skim the information. Somehow, you know everything you’re reading is important. And it is- all the little strings tie up in a knot when you get to the end, and you’re just excited that you finally get to find out what all the dynamics are about. Except then you don’t, and you’re left dying for book two. I can’t really say any more without giving it away- yeah, it’s all spoilers- so I’ll just conclude this section by simply stating that IT WAS AMAZING AND YOU NEED TO READ IT NOW.
CHARACTERS: Okay, I pretty much loved all of them. I wish Asher had been a little bit more developed, and I wish we had more time to get to know Henry and what his whole deal was, but overall, they were all unique, relatable, and entertaining. They acted like normal humans and normal teens, and I really appreciated that- sometimes authors will try to make their characters do things that aren’t really something a normal, well-adjusted person would do and pass it off as creative license or ‘that’s just they way they are.’ But it’s hard to relate to those characters, and I usually don’t keep reading books with characters I can’t connect to.
On a side note, I almost found myself wanting to know more about the adults in this novel more than I cared about the main storyline at times. The three most mentioned- Ivy, Adam, and Bodie- have a great dynamic, even if it is a little confusing at times. I never thought that I would care about the side, adult characters so much, but they’re all so mysterious and intriguing, and I just can’t help but want to know what’s going to happen with them in the future.
WHAT TO WATCH: Nothing. This book was clean as a whistle- there wasn’t a romance at all, there was no bad language, no violence of note (people die, but it’s not like they stumble across dead bodies or see the graphic results of the deaths). It’s a thriller that does its job without any of the messy teen relationship drama to clog up the plot, and it’s a book I would recommend to anyone in the YA genre.
I don’t want to say any more about this book. Anything else I could say would be to give away an important aspect that you would enjoy much more finding out about on your own. I can’t imagine the feelings you’ll have when you read it- I only know what I felt, and it was so worth every second I spent reading instead of doing anything productive with my time. I give it 4.5 stars only because there were times when I was really confused, and maybe that was just me, but I still highly recommend this book for any reader- it’s a contemporary that will hook a fantasy lover as easily as it does a modern-day reader.
Questions? Comments? Books you’d like me to review? Post a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out!