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New Release Review! THE FIXER UPPER by Lauren Forsythe

The Fixer Upper cover

In this funny and sharp romantic comedy, a woman with a knack for turning her boyfriends’ lives around starts a professional service to help wrangle men, only to be unexpectedly matched with an old flame.

Ever since she can remember, Aly has been fixing everything around her: her parents’ marriage, her colleagues’ work problems, and her friends’ love lives. After a chance meeting with an ex who has gone from a living in his parents’ basement to a married project manager in three years, she realizes she’s been fixing her boyfriends, too…

So, Aly decides to put her talents to good use and, alongside two work friends, sets up The Fixer Upper, an exclusive, underground service for women who are tired of unpaid emotional labor. Using little tricks and tips, Aly and her friends get the men to do the work themselves – to get out of the job they hate, sign up for that growth seminar, to do more parenting. Before long, a high-profile Instagram star hires them to fix-up her app developer boyfriend. There’s just one catch – he’s also Aly’s childhood best friend and first love. As Aly tackles her biggest “fixer upper” yet, she’ll have to come to terms with their complicated history and figure out how much to change someone she’d always thought was perfect as he is…

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A really fun read–I thoroughly enjoyed Aly’s story! The contrast between the “fixing” that she is constantly doing with everyone else’s lives–those of her (ex)boyfriends, her family, her coworkers (and eventually, her clients)–and the mess that she comes to believe her own life is during the course of the book is vast. It’s becoming increasingly clear that her career is going nowhere, and as for romantic relationships? Yeah, there’s nothing happening there either. Figuring out what other people need to do to make their lives better? Aly’s on top of it. Getting the promotion that’s been her personal goal for going on five years or the personal life she’s been dreaming of for even longer? Not happening.

At first her coworkers and friends’ idea of starting the Fixer Upper sounds like a crazy idea to Aly–and readers just might agree with her on that. But after she reluctantly agrees to help a coworker to nudge a proposal out of her boyfriend and it seems to work out really well, Aly–and the readers–start to get hooked on her success. It’s a little harmless manipulation, after all. What could go wrong?

We all know the answer to that, right? Pretty much everything! 😉

When an influencer makes her an offer she can’t refuse–especially when the payment for a job well done means she can finally get her mom out of a devestaing situation–things start to unravel for Aly, and quickly. She finds herself withholding information from her partners and from her client, and the boyfriend that needs fixing? It’s her childhood BFF and onetime crush. And though they start out as antagonists, the more time Aly spends with Dylan the less she feels he needs fixing. But she’s made a commitment, and people (and her mother’s future happiness!)are depending on her…

Though readers can probably see the train wreck that Aly is barreling toward for most of the book from miles away, Ms Forsythe does a decent job of showing why Aly feels like she has no choice but continuing on the path she’s carved for herself. When the crash comes, it’s predictably devestating. Just when all appears to be lost, though, we’re treated with a series of solutions that might not all be 100% realistic but are 110% satisfying. Aly’s grand gesture? So much fun. And the last two lines of the book? Had me in tears, closing the book with a happy sigh.

I can’t wait to read more from this author!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

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