Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes


Jun 25

Review * The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Reviews 5 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via 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 Childrens on July 7, 2015
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
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.

What I Thought…

• When I first heard about The Fixer someone had said (sorry I can’t remember who!) it was a Veronica Mars meets Scandal story and I knew immediately that I wanted to read it as I love both of those. Also, I love a good political thriller.

• While all the political thrillers I’ve read in the past have been adult the young adult version worked really well for me. There were times were I’m not sure a teenager could make that happen in the real world, but I feel that way in lots of books (young adult and adult alike) so it didn’t didn’t bother me here.

• There is a secret that I did not see coming at all. I won’t spoil it for you, but it was quite the surprise. It works though, and makes sense in the scheme of things.

• There wasn’t a character in The Fixer I didn’t like. The main character Tess was strong, a little bit vulnerable and wanted to do the right thing, always. Her sister Ivy is pretty badass in the political world (she’s the Olivia). Adam and Brodie, Ivy’s associates, and Vivvie, Henry and Asher, Tess’s new friends, blended into the story perfectly. They all complemented each other so well.

• The political mystery of the story had quite a few twists in it, a few I saw coming, but most I did not. It was pretty fast paced and definitely kept me on my toes!

• There is no romance in The Fixer, which was both nice and kind of sucked. If you know me I like to have just a smidge of romance in the books I read, but this one was so good I can’t really complain about it. Plus there might be some hope for future books.

Overall if you love political thrillers and young adult books The Fixer is for you!

Kimberly


Nov 27

Review * Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Reviews 3 ★★★

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

Review * Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn BarnesKiller Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Naturals #2
Published by Disney Hyperion on November 4, 2013
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 386
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
Seventeen-year-old Cassie Hobbes has a gift for profiling people. Her talent has landed her a spot in an elite FBI program for teens with innate crime-solving abilities, and into some harrowing situations. After barely escaping a confrontation with an unbalanced killer obsessed with her mother’s murder, Cassie hopes she and the rest of the team can stick to solving cold cases from a distance.

But when victims of a brutal new serial killer start turning up, the Naturals are pulled into an active case that strikes too close to home: the killer is a perfect copycat of Dean’s incarcerated father—a man he’d do anything to forget. Forced deeper into a murderer’s psyche than ever before, will the Naturals be able to outsmart the enigmatic killer’s brutal mind games before this copycat twists them into his web for good?

With her trademark wit, brilliant plotting, and twists that no one will see coming, Jennifer Lynn Barnes will keep readers on the edge of their seats (and looking over their shoulders) as they race through the pages of this thrilling novel.

What I Thought…

• Similar to the first book, The Naturals, Killer Instinct runs through like a episode of Criminal Minds. I really enjoyed the mystery and all it’s twists and turns. This particular case reminded me a bit of an old NCIS episode, which is one of my favorites, so I loved the twists.

• Even though Cassie is the narrator, Killer Instinct focuses a lot on Dean. The case intertwines with Dean’s father, who is a serial killer. We learn so much more about Dean in this book, and I wish he had been the narrator, I would have loved to have been up in his head instead.

• The fact that Killer Instinct focuses on Dean I wonder if the other books in the series will focus on the other Naturals as well.

• I love the Naturals group as a whole. They are all so different, but not at the same time and I think that even though they don’t always get along they are a great group and work well together to find the killer. High school kids catching serial killers is fairly unbelievable, but if you can suspend belief than you will enjoy the mystery in Killer Instinct.

• I don’t particularly care for the love triangle, even though it’s more of a legit triangle than say, Twilight. Cassie does make a choice at the end of the book, and I’m ok with it, but I wish she hadn’t made a choice. I feel like the group would work better if there were no romantic entanglements, but that’s just how I feel.

Overall Killer Instinct is a quite the thriller and fans of Criminal Minds will enjoy this!

Kimberly


Dec 26

Review * The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Reviews 4 ★★★★★

Review * The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn BarnesThe Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Narrated by Amber Faith
Published by Disney Hyperion on November 5, 2013
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Time: 7 Hours 28 Minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

What I Thought…

  • I was sucked into The Naturals from the very beginning. The Naturals is similar to a teenage version of Criminal Minds with a dash of the Scooby Doo gang thrown in.
  • The Naturals is a program founded by the FBI to work with teenagers who have certain “abilities” to help solve cold cases and eventually (I’m assuming) solve real cases when they are older and go through the FBI training. All five of the teenagers have special abilities such as being able to read people or being a human lie detector that appeal to the FBI.
  • Cassie was a strong main character, and used her strength to her advantage. Cassie also did not turn into a damsel in distress when things went bad, she remained strong. Cassie was very easy to connect with, she had lots of feelings and emotions, both good and bad, and it was easy to see where she was coming from and you couldn’t help but want good things for her.
  • I loved the whole group of teenagers. They were all different, yet shared enough qualities with others in the group that them working together wasn’t impossible. The boys, Dean and Michael, were total opposites and mostly likeable, though sometimes Michael annoyed me. The other girls, Lia and Sloane, were also quite different. Lia is the least likeable of the bunch, but she’s not all that bad. Sloane is  the outsider of the group but my favorite.
  • There was kind of a love triangle in The Naturals, but not really. Dean and Michael are both interested in Cassie, and there are times where she is interested in one or both of them, but the romance was so far in the background in The Naturals that it barely made a blip on my radar. Though if I must be honest, I do have a preference between the boys.
  • The Naturals weaves you in and out of a current case that the FBI agents are working on and a cold case that connects with Cassie’s past. Even though the teenagers aren’t supposed to be working on a current case you know there is no way they could stay away!
  • The mystery kept me on my toes and had just the right amount of creepy. Cassie and the other Naturals are working on connecting the current case with the cold case of Cassie’s mom’s murder. The mystery has a very criminal minds feel to it, which of course I loved. I listened to the audio and there were quite a few times that I got the chills. There are several “you” chapters (the voice of the killer) and the narrator did them in this low kind of whispery voice that was very creepy.
  • The Naturals is very fast paced and action packed. I had no clue who the killer was, but the reasons behind the killer made sense (in that killer kind of way of course) with the story and the characters.

If you enjoy Criminal Minds, or any other crime shows, and love YA this is the book for you!

Kimberly