In The Fix, Natasha Sinel sets out to confront this line of thinking.
Sinel’s debut novel follows Macy Lyons, a girl who seems to have it all. Her family’s not hurting for money, her boyfriend is the cute boy next door, she has a lot of friends, and though her relationship with her mom might be a little complicated, she’s got a loving father and younger brother.
But then she meets Sebastian Ruiz, a recovering addict, at a party, and the puzzle pieces of Macy’s life don’t fit so neatly together anymore. There are pieces of her that she’s kept hidden beneath the surface but her challenge is no longer to keep them hidden; her challenge is to confront the cards she’s been dealt.
“It’s important to remember that we are living, breathing beings who have interior lives filled with love, hate, joy, and despair—and these are things we can’t ‘see,’” said Sinel. “I saw this quote on Pinterest, and it really stuck with me: ‘We could be standing next to someone who is completely broken and we wouldn’t even know it.’”
Many readers will likely see themselves in Macy and Sebastian – more than people may realize. While teenagers may think themselves invincible and adults may think they’re still kids, the issues they face are real and in the case of Macy and Sebastian, have very real consequences and impacts on their lives. But while Macy and Sebastian have issues of their own, Sinel doesn’t see this as an ‘issue book.’
“I had a story to tell about a girl named Macy who is in pain underneath her tough exterior, and she goes on a personal journey to discover herself, love, healing, family. It so happens that tending to the pain from her childhood is what pushes her through her journey. I write stories about characters, relationships, events. There are issues in The Fix, but it is not about the issues. It’s a subtle but real difference.”
And Sinel could not be more right. While The Fix deals with serious issues, it is not about these issues. It’s about a girl who decides to change her life and confront the pain from her past while navigating being a teenager in high school.
“I remember high school well. Things matter. They’re big. Feelings are authentic. Everything is hopeless and hopeful all at once. Teenagers are beginning their journey toward independence, figuring out who they are, what’s important to them, how they feel and think about themselves. And they’re learning that adults are actually just people—some who let you down and some who stand by your side. I think that moment when you realize adults don’t have all the answers is scary as hell because it’s also the moment when you discover that you’re responsible for your own happiness.”