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.
Tess's grandfather is ill with Alzheimer's. He raised Tess after her parents died and her sister left her with him, so when Ivy puts Gramps in an assisted living facility and uproots her to Washington, Tess blames her for everything. With 17 years between Tess and her sister, they are worlds apart in terms of feeling like a family, even without the brooding and the secrets.
So new school, new territory and new problems, but Tess finds herself trying to live up to her sister's mysterious reputation as the best fixer in DC. And it wouldn't be a great story if Tess didn't end up caught up in her sister's drama!
Very much like the TV show Scandal if it were set in a high school, Tess is dragged into a power play like no other when her friend discovers a secret worth killing for. It took a little while to get all the names straight in my head, political dramas can be so blinking complicated, but really got into it. The delicate balance of power, the lengths some will go to in order to gain it, the magnitude of the secrets that people keep, all of it was incredibly gripping and Tess was an amazing heroine to be dealing with it all. She also had a suberb supporting cast, from her first friend Vivie, the one with the secret, to Henry who had a part to play as it was his grandfather's death that had started this whole thing. Then there's Asher. Just... Asher. The brilliantly insane comic relief that he is, but also a sharp mind and as on the political pulse as the rest of them.
I am quickly learning I will read anything by Barnes, she is that good! A sharp, funny and witty story that combines the big drama of the White House with the family troubles of sisterly love. An amazing story and a great start to what I believe is a series - definitely something to keep an eye out for!
Published 7th July 2015 by Bloomsbury.