Nothing is as it seems... The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Review) #TheInheritanceGames #yalit #PlatformYABookClub @jenlynnbarnes @TheNovl @LittleBrownYR

The Inheritance Games
YA Contemporary Mystery, Thriller
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 384 Pages
September 29, 2020 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


A Cinderella story with deadly stakes and thrilling twists, perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying and Knives Out.

Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why--or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man's touch--and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes.

Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he's determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather's last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.

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My Review

THE INHERITANCE GAMES is a story that is shadowed in mystery from the very beginning as a teenage girl and four boys try to follow the clues as to why she was left their grandfather's vast fortune. A likable protagonist and an intriguing plot will keep readers turning the pages. Definitely recommended to fans of KNIVES OUT and similar mysteries involving rich families with plenty of skeletons in their closets.

I really loved Avery. She's likable and relatable from the start and just really easy to connect with. Her sister, Libby, the four Hawthorne boys, and the rest of the characters are all a bit messed up, honestly. Not that being that way makes them unlikable, but I definitely didn't know who to trust and who I even wanted to like or not like. Libby made me outright mad most of the time. Avery also made me mad here and there. I felt like she easily succumbed to some things when I didn't think she should have. And this house and family... definitely a crazy, twists mess of money, secrets, hidden rooms and compartments, and a trail of breadcrumbs to follow. These four boys were raised to compete, play games, solve puzzles, and be challenged from a young age. It was really interesting seeing their dynamics and roles unfold. I had my personal favorite, but Avery definitely had a mind of her own.

There were a few things thrown in for shock value or political plugs, but otherwise this was entertaining. I'm not really the revenge/dark and twisted, secretive sort, but this definitely held my interest. I enjoyed the constant mystery and undertone of danger.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This is an entertaining read, full of mystery and danger (not all of it life-threatening). It definitely felt a bit nostalgic, like a classical Agatha Christie novel. I'm definitely curious what will enfold in book two, and if it will be just as mysterious as this one.

Content: Some mild swearing, fake expletives, crude references and innuendo.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Jennifer Lynn Barnes has written more than a dozen acclaimed young adult novels, including Little White Lies, Deadly Little Scandals, The Lovely and the Lost, and The Naturals series: The Naturals, Killer Instinct, All In, Bad Blood and the e-novella, Twelve. Jen is also a Fulbright Scholar with advanced degrees in psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive science. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 2012 and is currently a professor of psychology and professional writing at the University of Oklahoma. You can find her online at or follow her on Twitter @jenlynnbarnes.

Do you like mysteries like this with plenty of twists? Will you be reading this one? Did you hear that it will be coming to TV?

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