by Barnes, Jennifer Lynn

When her grandfather develops dementia, sixteen-year-old Tess, who has been keeping his Montana ranch going, is whisked away to Washington, D.C., by a sister she barely knows and thrown into a world of politics, power, wealth, love triangles, and family secrets.

Jennifer Lynn Barnes has written several acclaimed young adult novels, including the Raised by Wolves and the Naturals series. She has advanced degrees in psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive science. She received her PhD from Yale University and is now a professor in psychology.

Tess is good at keeping secrets. After all, she has hidden her grandfather's deteriorating mental condition for some time, running his farm mostly by herself while still attending school. When her older sister, Ivy, finds out what's going on, she steps in, taking Tess with her to Washington, D.C., and placing their grandfather in a treatment facility. Ivy is a "fixer" who helps people in trouble, particularly people in high governmental positions-and soon the students at Tess' new high school are convinced that she, too, can fix situations. When the chief justice of the Supreme Court dies of an apparent heart attack, Tess' and Ivy's paths cross in a story of espionage, betrayal, and intrigue. Plenty of plot twists mean that readers will keep turning pages, guessing about the players behind a series of mysterious deaths. Tess and Ivy don't know who to trust and soon must question the motives of everyone involved. Fans of Ally Carter's All Fall Down (2015) will appreciate the insider look at politics, along with the mystery the sisters must solve. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

A girl from a ranch in Montana must quickly adjust to life in Washington, D.C., when her older sister puts their ailing grandfather into a facility. Sixteen-year-old Tess loves her life on the ranch and thinks she has successfully hidden, so far, her custodial grandfather's deterioration into dementia. Her sister, Ivy, however, isn't fooled and abruptly moves Tess to D.C., enrolling her in the exclusive Hardwicke School. Ivy is a high-power political consultant, with the president and first lady her major clients and a well-earned reputation for making the impossible happen, for covering up scandals, and for manipulating the press. When Tess inadvertently becomes embroiled in a major scandal, she can't leave things to Ivy because the events disrupt the lives of her new friends at school. When murder enters the picture, she tries to unravel the mystery of whodunit. Even though Ivy warns her to stay out of it, Tess and her new friends just can't stop themselves from conducting their own investigations, no matter how risky they become. Barnes paints a convincing behind-the-scenes picture of national politics, and the social scene in the Hardwicke School mirrors the power-play atmosphere. The plot struggles between politics and suspense, finally settling for the latter as the action picks up, but readers will find plenty to enjoy with the interesting characters, especially Tess, Ivy, and an underused ne'er-do-well, Asher. Intriguing despite its unevenness. (Thriller. 12-18) Copyright Kirkus 2015 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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