There’s no better word for this story than addictive. Fix by J. Albert Mann tells the story of Eve, a girl who’s had her body, quite literally, ripped apart and then stapled shut again. She’s suffered with sever scoliosis all her life, her spine slowly curving, until one day she decides to have the surgery that will correct her spine and allow her to stand up tall. Months later, as she struggles with physical and emotional pain, she can’t help but wonder if she made the wrong decision. The only thing that allows her some peace of mind is her Roxy, an opioid drug originally prescribed to manage her pain. Her growing reliance on Roxy leads to more pain and suffering as she struggles with mind over matter.
Fixed is a story about addiction, broken friendship, regret, and hope. Told in a mixture of verse and prose, Mann paints a chilling picture of the physical and mental torment Eve experiences after surgery. From start to finish I couldn’t put it down. Mann holds a perfect balance of dark, depressing subjects with light, supportive characters. Throughout the book you follow Eve’s rollercoaster, feeing the grief and loss over her best friend, but also the joy and excitement over the boy next door. Mann uses descriptive, strategic language to connect reader to character.
The only complaint I have about this book is the seemingly sudden ending. Unlike most novels, Mann doesn’t tie up any ends, only faintly implying that Eve is willing to fight her drug addiction. We’re left forever wondering what happened to Eve and her fractured relationships, hoping she found a way to fix them, and herself.
All around I’d recommend Fix to anyone looking for a good, quick read. While the subject matter can be a little dark, Mann does a great job of switching gears before anything too heavy. The writing is great, and the storyline intriguing, I highly recommend.