J. Albert Mann
Fix is an incredibly powerful book. The reader is immediately drawn into Eve’s world as she heals from major spinal surgery to correct the extreme scoliosis that has impacted her life.
The double meaning of the title plays with the fixing of Eve’s spine and her need for her pain medication much like the plot plays with the reader, who is sometimes unsure if scenes are actually happening or if Eve is replaying what she wishes might be happening (or what did happen). In beautiful prose and verse, one thing is clear: Eve is not just healing from surgery. What happened between Eve and Lidia?
The grips of chronic illness, pain medication dependency, and being a teenager is an immense amount of pressure to handle without a support system in place. The emotional journey that Eve navigates throughout the book makes her underlying sadness clear; she feels alone and in pain, physically and emotionally. As Eve turns into herself, ironically during the time that her spine is the straightest it’s ever been, she both resents and craves the attention that her mother, her mother’s partner Mary Fay, and her neighbor Thomas give her.
I was truly captivated while reading and wanted more as soon as I closed the back cover. Substance dependency is insidious, warping an individual’s perception. Grief is much the same, as is pain. All of these weave together to create a plot that is all-consuming and entices the reader to continue on, invested in Eve and her compelling journey.
This book was sent to me by the author, and is out now! It’s published by Little, Brown and Company. All opinions are my own!
J. Albert Mann is a disability activist, an award-winning poet and the author of seven published novels for children. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and is the Partner Liaison for the WNDB Internship Grant Committee. Her next work, FIX — the story of a friendship between two teens with physical difference whose relationship is stretched to the breaking point by their own ableism — publishes in May of 2021 with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.