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The Fix

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One conversation is all it takes to break a world wide open.

Seventeen-year-old Macy Lyons has been through something no one should ever have to experience. And she’s dealt with it entirely alone.

On the outside, she’s got it pretty good. Her family’s well-off, she’s dating the cute boy next door, she has plenty of friends, and although she long ago wrote her mother off as a superficial gym rat, she’s thankful to have allies in her loving, laid-back dad and her younger brother.

But a conversation with a boy at a party one night shakes Macy out of the carefully maintained complacency that has defined her life so far. The boy is Sebastian Ruiz, a recovering addict who recognizes that Macy is hardened by dark secrets. And as Macy falls for Sebastian, she realizes that, while revealing her secret could ruin her seemingly perfect family, keeping silent might just destroy her.

The Fix follows two good-hearted teenagers coming to terms with the cards they were dealt. It’s also about the fixes we rely on to cope with our most shameful secrets and the hope and fear that comes with meeting someone who challenges us to come clean.

325 pages, Hardcover

First published September 1, 2015

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About the author

Natasha Sinel

4 books44 followers
Natasha Sinel is a writer of young adult fiction. She graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in English and from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business with an M.B.A. Before beginning her career as an author, she was director of business development at Showtime Networks. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., she now lives in Northern Westchester, New York with her husband and three sons.

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5 stars
207 (25%)
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299 (36%)
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251 (30%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 99 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,723 reviews1,278 followers
September 7, 2015
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Sky Pony Press and Edelweiss.)

“He’s just a friend.”
“I don’t believe you.”

This was an interesting story about a girl with something bad hiding in her past.

Macy was a bit of a difficult character to really understand, and I found her behaviour a bit unusual. Sleeping around, sleeping with boys who are on a break from their girlfriend, thinking about kissing another boy when you have a boyfriend; these were all things that were all a bit off for me.

The storyline in this was about Macy and the way she fell in love with Sebastian whilst she had a boyfriend. There was a bit of cheating, emotional at first admittedly, but cheating all the same. There was also the question of why Macy behaved the way she did, and what had happened to her as a child to cause her to act that way, but this was put on a bit of a back-burner for 90% of the book, leaving you wondering what the heck happened?!

The ending to this was good, and I was glad that we finally found out what had happened, and why it had affected Macy the way it had.

7 out of 10
Profile Image for Kim at Divergent Gryffindor.
470 reviews132 followers
August 6, 2015
The Fix is an in-between book for me. I felt like the parts that I liked and didn't like were equal, thus I'm giving it 3 stars. It's very hard for me to describe or write a review for this book, so I'm going to do a list review instead.

What I liked:
• The issues tackled - abuse, drugs, mental ilness
• Rebecca - the ever-supportive friend
• The MC's relationship with Gavin, her little brother
• Darren and his observance

What I didn't like:
• The cheating, even though the main character doesn't own up to it.
• How things ended - her relationships with her parents and Chris were left out/hanging.
• The story was slow at times.

It's really hard to review this book. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either. I may or may not recommend this book, since I think that this isn't for everyone. If you think that the synopsis is something that intrigues you, then definitely try this out.
Profile Image for La La.
991 reviews126 followers
November 25, 2015
4.5 Stars on my blog. I accidentally requested this title on Edelweiss thinking it was The Fixer, and I am extremely happy I did! This book dealt with several sensitive issues that affect many young adults, and did it in a realistic way. And in answer to several of the bad reviews I saw here on Goodreads, this book IS NOT ABOUT CHEATING! THERE WAS NO CHEATING IN THIS STORY, and if you think there was, you didn't read the entire book. I liked it because it had examples of several "types" of families with different dynamics. The scenes dealing with the issues were not overly-dramatized for shock effect, like I have seen in many of the current issue related YA Contemporaries. I would not recommend this for readers under 15 years of age. Up until nearly the last section of the book I was thinking, wow, finally a book that deals with teenage sexual matters in a non-explicit way, so 13 and 14 year olds can read it, but then there was one scene that was pretty explicit in its description, and that younger audience thought went out the window for me. The reason this is being downgraded to a 4.5 on my blog is that the MC and her best friend used the terms "whore" and "slut" in a casual conversational way several times during the story. The derogatory terms were not being used as a "growth" platforms, so that was a big no no for me, and it is pretty much frowned upon in YA Contemporary now. I was approved for this review book via Edelweiss in return for an honest review. I will be doing a mildly spoilery review on my blog and will add the link when it is posted.
Profile Image for Abbie.
1,976 reviews582 followers
August 4, 2015
(I received a copy from Edelweiss, In exchange for an honest review.)

Macy and Sebastian were both okay characters, and I felt sorry for them at points, but I didn't love them.

There wasn't anything awfully wrong with this book, it just felt way too slow for me, which made the story drag. It felt longer than what is was because of it, and when I got to the end I was quite relieved.

Overall, Not awful, but not very enjoyable for me.
Profile Image for Charlotte Huang.
Author 2 books269 followers
August 1, 2015
Loved this emotional story about honesty and connection. Macy is a complicated, sometimes prickly, yet inherently likeable character with a chip on her shoulder and problems to confront. She has much to sort out with family, friends and love and I rooted for her to succeed and find happiness on each of those levels. This is great recommendation for lovers of darker contemporary YA.
Profile Image for Kate Ormand.
Author 8 books278 followers
July 18, 2016
With an honest but gentle approach into Macy's world, THE FIX is emotional at times, heart-warming and witty at others, and very well written with a strong voice. I was captivated by the novel.
Profile Image for B. Celeste.
Author 32 books2,674 followers
August 13, 2021
I'm all about books that deal with raw, real topics. So when I saw another author rec it, it took reading the first page of the sample to one-click it so fast. There is a major trigger warning with this book because it deals with sensitive topics, but if you're okay with that, pick this up!
Profile Image for Jill MacKenzie.
Author 3 books53 followers
July 28, 2015
I was lucky enough to get to read the ARC of this book…and I LOVED it!

And I have to say, while I didn't know exactly where Ms. Sinel was taking us from the initial pages of THE FIX, I'm so glad I went there with her anyway. Macy's journey was one I'll never forget--I cried with her, screamed at her parents with her, and longed for the one person who just might understand the pain she'd been through, all with her. But it wasn't just Macy I fell in love with through every page turned. All of the characters in this book were beautifully drawn and real and important to me, long after I finished reading it. A definite must for anyone who loves heartfelt stories told with ease and grace.
Profile Image for Ellen-Arwen Tristram.
Author 1 book62 followers
June 14, 2022
I went into this completely blind - it was on the Audible library catalogue for free and I fancied something quick and light.

Well, it's certainly quick - but it isn't light. This book packs a real emotional punch that I didn't expect. We first of all meet Macy, who seems like your average teenager, but an encounter with Sebastian makes her remember things from her past. It's pretty frustrating that we don't really get to know about her past until the end - it made me keep listening, but it also made me judge her in ways I wouldn't necessarily have done if I'd had all the information. (Not that I should be judging anyone!)

It's hard to review this without giving things away, but I'll highlight some things I did and didn't like.
Good: dealing with sensitive issues in a realistic way; the fact that not all adults were 'evil' - she has a good relationship with Darren who she works for; Macy's relationship with her brother and all the different family dynamics really; and (I know I've said the opposite as well - this is why it's hard to review!) the fact that Macy was a bit unknowable. Things that I didn't like as much: the ending felt like we were left hanging with Chris and her parents; using words like 'slut' and 'whore' casually multiple times...

Anyway, this was a good read; the heavy subject matter was dealt with well (even though I thought it was going to be a sort of 'meet cute' book. It's really interesting how someone else's issues can allow you to know yourself better.

Trigger warnings if you want
Profile Image for Shannon Rogers.
Author 1 book25 followers
September 10, 2015
This book took me a little by surprise. First of all, I liked the main character, Macy, very much, despite the fact that she appeared to be a tad difficult with her mother. But much later in the story, you find out why. I'm getting ahead of myself though.

I thought this was going to be a somewhat serious but cute book, but as soon as I met Sebastian, I realized this wasn't going to be quite what I was expecting. As the story progressed though, I was great with that, because it ended up being so much more, and having so much more depth than what I thought it would have. Sebastian was a great character, one with real flaws, real fears, real problems, and watching him struggle through those things made me like him so much as a character.

Sebastian's issues served two purposes for me as I read this book. First, it allowed me to get to know Macy really well. No, I meant to say that. His issues are what cause Macy's true spirit to emerge, Second, it brought things out of her that the reader had no idea were there. It uncovered an event you never suspected she'd been through. Watching her work through these things was heartbreaking, because she had to be convinced of what I, the reader, already knew.

The story itself was wonderfully written, and the sensitive issues portrayed in the story were handled so well. I thought the author did an amazing job juggling these things and treating them with the sensitivity they deserved. It was a skillful bit of writing that Macy's character came across so well, despite the fact that she does things without knowing why she does them because she has yet to admit, even to herself, what would cause her to act the way she does.

Again, amazing writing, a truly sensitive, poignant story, with a sweet but serious romance. Great book.
Profile Image for Inah (Fueled By Chapters).
478 reviews115 followers
September 8, 2015
The Fix was a dark story. It's very enlightening and interesting. It's about Macy Lyons, a smart and interesting girl, who felt a deep connection with Sebastian Ruiz.

It was nice to see each character's story unfold. Each of them having difficulties and trying to face them with each other's support. The characters were really dynamic and solid. I could feel every emotion from the pages. Also, the book featured diverse characters.

I guess what has drawn me into spending the whole day finishing this book was the fact that it dealt with mental illnesses and sexual abuse. Like I said earlier, it was dark but very enlightening.

This isn't my first time reading YA novels with such topics but it always makes me feel good reading books like this one especially if the characters turn out to be stronger than ever. It's really great to see diverse topics in YA novels because I know they need to be explored and make people raise their awareness when it comes to issues like these.
Profile Image for Carol Riggs.
Author 13 books278 followers
September 26, 2015
I don’t usually read contemporary novels that deal with difficult issues like this, because it’s too much like real life. But gritty, honest books like this need to be written, and books like this need to be read. It reveals the way oppressive secrets can cause guilt, detachment, sexual dysfunction, self-loathing, and escapism as a distorted way to cope (often involving sex, drugs, or alcohol). I hope this story will give both teens and adults the courage they need to confront truths in their pasts and be set on the road toward healing. I found the ending of the novel satisfying, how the plot threads were dealt with (particularly involving the characters Scott and Macy's mother).
Profile Image for Penni Jones.
Author 4 books18 followers
August 25, 2015
The teen years are a difficult time, but even more so when dealing with trauma that has been pushed aside and ignored for way too long. Through Macy's story, Sinel reminds us that everyone is dealing with something (though not always to such a serious degree), and the only way we can get through difficult times is to depend on each other. Healing is possible. I can't wait to see what this debut author does next.
Profile Image for Ann Jacobus.
Author 4 books135 followers
September 5, 2015
THE FIX by Natasha Sinel is a gutsy and honest story of 17 year-old Macy who must come to terms with secrets about her past, her present, and her future with a young recovering addict who has secrets of his own. Compelling, heartbreaking--in the best way possible, and ultimately triumphant, it's an un-put-down-able read!
Profile Image for Amanda.
231 reviews
July 8, 2015
Couldn't put this one down. It's a bit to get to the core of Macy's past, but when she finally opens up its heartbreaking and empowering all at once.
Profile Image for Laura's Book Addiction.
2,687 reviews459 followers
April 2, 2018
"So long ago, I'd stuffed my dusty memories and feelings into a neat lockbox in my gut, coated it with numbing anaesthesia, added a touch of self-deceit, and thrown away the key. The result was denial...and emptiness."

If your looking for a book full of heartbreak, hope and meeting the right person at the right time, then it's The Fix. I devoured this story in one sitting.
Profile Image for Madison Paige.
8 reviews
February 9, 2022
Plain writing style and sometimes cliche, but dealt with childhood sexual assault with an assertive and complex realness. A book survivors can find themselves in.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Nakesha Brown.
324 reviews13 followers
May 11, 2022
I read (audiobook) it and finished it and immediately forgot what happened. Like literally, I didn’t get to review it day of and now I can’t tell you a single thing about it, nothing. So that can’t be a good sign.

It kept my interest long enough to finish it so I gave it two stars.
Profile Image for Tihare.
132 reviews1 follower
May 10, 2022
Broken people can help heal broken people.

I personally loved this book, the whole theme behind it, how when we are traumatized at such a young age we do not see the error in the things we did or were done unto us.

But we can all be fixed in the end.
Profile Image for Kaelyn.
85 reviews2 followers
August 21, 2016
I really wanted to like this book, but I didn’t. I’ll start with the positives.

The language at some points was pretty good. “Sebastian’s absence next to me was wrong; it felt more like a presence in itself.” And Sebastian himself, though he’s not seen very much, is really likeable. He’s funny, yet struggling to find where he belongs. He’s very down-to-earth, though he loves astronomy, and I wish I’d seen him more in the book overall, since he’s pretty much the cause of the inciting incident. I loved that there was a list of resources for help with sexual abuse, depression, and substance abuse. It’s one small, yet powerful way authors help readers.

Unfortunately, there are more negatives than positives in The Fix.

There are multiple scenes that are completely unnecessary to the story. There’s one where an animal pukes in the bushes outside Macy’s friend Rebecca’s house. They sort of banter about who will clean it up, and the scene ends with Rebecca threatening social blackmail if Macy didn’t clean the bushes. The action feels so, so forced. Besides various unnecessary scenes, Macy goes off on thought-tangents all the time, especially in the middle of weighty moments; it feels like her mind is wandering to shove pointless information at the reader, even though she should be focusing on the situation at hand.

Then there’s Macy herself. None of her actions make sense in the least. She takes a job at a country club she’s hated her entire life for no apparent reason than the “plot.” Macy’s interactions with her brother and mother are very stereotypical; she’s always teasing her brother about having a girlfriend and fighting with her mother over the smallest things or for no reason. Even her relationship with Chris, her long-time boyfriend, comes across as fake and baseless. I couldn’t figure out why they were together at all.

Stereotypes abound in Macy’s head. “I couldn’t even imagine a fourteen-year-old boy, or a boy of any age for that matter, turning down a chance for a sure-thing hookup.” The expectation for Gavin, Macy’s brother, to get together with his friend-who-is-a-girl is constant. Macy describes the girl as the plain, smart type, who she likes because the girl is a little sassy and notes how skinny the girl is.

The most issues, however, are with the plot. By page 110, nothing has happened except for Macy getting “dreadlocks” and picking a few fights with her mother. (I use quotes because her hair is not meant to healthily form dreadlocks.) While The Fix is marketed as dealing with issues like sexual abuse, depression, and substance abuse, these issues are largely ignored, even though they directly affect Macy. When the book reaches the part where Macy’s “secret” is revealed, it feels more like a lesson on the aftermath of sexual abuse than a book about a girl who was abused.

The romance aspect was painful to read. It’s used as a plot device/way to stir up drama between Macy and her boyfriend. Macy’s attraction to Sebastian is a perfect example of instalove. They have one conversation at a party (he’s high and she’s been drinking) and suddenly, Macy’s going around hanging out with Sebastian and shoving Chris to the side. And yet, Macy and Sebastian don’t have anything in terms of a relationship, aside from a childhood encounter when he was new to the neighborhood. Sebastian’s just a pawn in a terrible game of Plot. There’s a dialogue infodump about him but he doesn’t get much more development beyond that.

Overall, The Fix was a very disappointing read for me. I considered DNFing, but stuck it out to see if it would pick up in the end; it only felt like a rushed, sloppy ending to a slow and uneventful beginning.
Profile Image for Jolien.
702 reviews147 followers
December 30, 2016
Review first published on my blog The Fictional Reader

First of all, can I say I want that dress or skirt the person on the cover is wearing? That’s so beautiful… I requested this book when I was in a contemporary YA mood, and it seemed like an interesting read. And it definitely was very interesting. I just didn’t love it as much as I wanted to. 

So this is the story of Macy and Sebastian, who both are battling certain memories or aspects from their pasts. Sebastian is a drug addict, and Macy… well, I don’t want to tell you yet. The point is that they meet at a party. They talk, but get interrupted and leave. The next day, Sebastian gets checked into a hospital by his mother and Macy starts to visit him. 

I’ll start with what I liked. I liked that this book talked about addiction, depression, abuse, therapy and hospitals for teenagers. It’s important to discuss these things. I’m glad they showed therapy in a positive light, how it helped Sebastian. That’s something that should be mentioned in a positive light more -therapy still seems to be a sensitive topic to many. So I loved that part.

I also think the family dynamics in this book are complex and interesting especially in Macy’s case. She has a father who’s away more than he’s home, a mother she feels is too superficial, a younger brother she adores and a cousin who lived with them for years when his parents passed away. I loved how this book showed different aspects of a family’s relationships. Macy had a great relationship with her younger brother, and I think she was an incredible sister to him. She loved her father, even though he wasn’t there often. And her relationship with her mother… well, it was strained. I thought it was incredibly interesting to see why these relationships were the way they were, what events and emotions led to them. 

I also think Sebastian’s past was interesting, though very tragic. However, while I’m writing this review I feel like his life was far less developed than Macy’s was. But I think he was an interesting guy. I liked how he “pushed” Macy to talk to someone, at the very least. To confront her feelings. To understand that it’s not okay, and to say so to someone. 

Like I said, I enjoyed the issues this story addressed. I think they’re important. But if I separate that from the actual story, I can’t say I love both aspects as much. The story itself wasn’t very captivating to me. I saw most of it coming, aside from one twist at the end. It was all quite predictable, and included some tropes I’m really not a fan of. For example, the trope in which you meet someone who understands you immediately after one sentence, like no one else has. I understand you can feel an understanding and connection after talking to someone, but in this overblown way? Also, I hate cheating. There is no excuse whatsoever for it. Never.

Overall, I think the issues addressed were important but I didn’t love the actual story as much. It was a story I enjoyed, and so I gave it a 3-star rating. It was nice, but it didn’t blow me away. 
Profile Image for Eden Grey.
295 reviews65 followers
February 8, 2016
At the same time devastating and hopeful, THE FIX tells the story of sometimes bad-girl Macy Lyons and her journey of self-discovery and awakening, friendship and honesty.

Macy meets the mysterious Sebastian at a party, and the next day he disappears. When Macy finds out Sebastian has been checked into the Behavioral Health center at the local hospital, she decides to visit - and neither teen's life will ever be the same. An undeniable connection forms between them, one that neither teen can ignore despite the whirlwind of change happening to each of them. They help each other face their fears, their faults, and the deep truths that no one ever wants to share, and in the end, they find a fix - together.

With authentic writing and a solid plot, THE FIX is a strong debut novel from a great new voice in YA. The characters are complex and likable, and their stories will keep you turning the pages and wanting to know more. Keep a box of tissues handy, as this is definitely a tearjerker - in the worst and best kinds of ways.

The verdict: A strong contemporary debut about truth, love, and finding your own fixes when life gets rough.
Profile Image for Read InAGarden.
943 reviews12 followers
June 10, 2015
Macy is content with her life - as much as she can be with a mother she strongly dislikes. But setting that aside, she has a good boyfriend, a best friend, a fun younger brother and she's successfully navigating the waters of high school. All's going well until one night at a party she sees Sebastian and he sees something in her that no one else has. When he asks her what's wrong, she doesn't have an answer but it makes her stop and think. And then snippets of memories start. When Sebastian is hospitalized in a mental facility, Macy feels a connection and starts visiting him. The more she visits the more she feels a kinship with his pain. But she wonders where the kinship comes from. As the memories get clearer she knows she must face secrets from her past in order to have a clear future. An excellent book - I read it in one day- and will eagerly look for more books by this author. The only draw back is the way her parents dealt with - didn't deal with Macy's secrets. To me they seemed very ineffectual and weak.
Profile Image for Kelly Akemann.
837 reviews5 followers
September 23, 2015
I have a hard time when it comes to someone who cheats - whether it is honest to goodness physical cheating or mental or emotional. I have always believed cheating is cheating and it is bad so it turns me off of books. Ask my husband - I rant about it all the time. But that aside, I really liked this book. It brought together that compounded by her past and what happens when kids grow up and explore who they really are. I felt Macy was hard to understand but felt it was because she honestly had a hard time understanding herself. And when she met Sebastian, she started to realize that who she was and what her life was were perhaps not what she always knew them to be. I would give this one a 4-1/2 star rating as I overall really did like the message it sends and what it dealt with.

(I received this book in advance in exchange for a fair and honest review)
Profile Image for Teresa.
Author 8 books72 followers
May 3, 2016
While The Fix is the kind of issues book I don’t usually read (I like speculative fiction to escape the real world), this book was so well-written and gripping that I couldn’t put it down. Macy, the main character, has heart-breaking spunk and resilience and is so vivid that when I had to put the book away at the end, it was like losing a friend. As well as being a gripping read, this book provides empathy, and possibly solutions, to those who have suffered sexual abuse or drug abuse. I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Sonya Mukherjee.
Author 1 book113 followers
September 1, 2015
I was lucky enough to get a chance to read an advance copy of this book. I found it gripping, emotionally complex, and important, too. Not only did I go on an emotional journey with the central characters, but I came away feeling like I could imagine a whole range of experiences in a way that was new to me. I'm so glad I got a chance to read this.
Profile Image for Tejas Janet.
234 reviews33 followers
November 6, 2015
Not a bad book but not one that I really loved either. Maybe just a matter of personal taste. It had some really good moments, and i thought it had some credible psychological insights. A bit on the fluffy side despite the darker themes addressed. However, within the genre of young adult literature, I think it's worth recommending. For me personally, I can give a solid 3 to 3.5 stars.
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