The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Inheritance Games

The Inheritance Games
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Young Adult/Contemporary/Mystery

376 Pages

Book #1 The Inheritance Games

Published by Little Brown Books (1st September 2020)

Purchase from | Amazon AU | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Booktopia | Fishpond AU* | Book Depository | Dymocks | QBD |

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My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Avery Grambs’ life is not a fairy tale. Her mother has passed away, and she’s living out of her car because her sister’s abusive boyfriend is just too much. Her plan is simple, survive high school, get a scholarship and get out, make a better life for herself. Until he appears. In her principal’s office. She’s been named in billionaire Tobias Hawthorne’s will. The only problem is, Avery has no idea who Tobias Hawthorne is, or why he would be leaving her anything after his death. In order to receive her inheritance, Avery must move to Hawthorne manor, a house where in every room is a puzzle, riddle or code. She must live there for a year, alongside his family who believe she’s stolen what is rightfully theirs. The family is dangerous, none moreso than the four grandsons who should have been inheriting it all. Now the race is on, to solve the last puzzle the old man every created. Why did he leave Avery Grambs his fortune?

I was super excited to read this one. I picked it up in Kmart one day, it sounded intriguing and different from most other young adult stories that I had read. I’ve been seeing it all over bookstagram for ages now too, so that inspired me to pick it up as my next paperback read.

The story itself was definitely individual, it was so different to any other books that I have read. The mystery was intriguing and the characters interesting, but for some reason, this book just didn’t grab me the way I hoped that it would. I’m not sure if it’s because I held such high expectations after seeing all the rave reviews about it, or whether it just didn’t work for me. I just can’t work out WHY it didn’t really work for me. Don’t get me wrong, the book is well written, the mystery is so intriguing and I couldn’t imagine even beginning to come up with something as twisted and full of…well…mystery, as what this is. I just didn’t feel engaged.

The characters were a colourful bunch. I especially liked Nash and Jameson the most. Nash doesn’t want anything to do with his family really, and he never cared about the old man’s money, he’s the one who cares, he looks after everyone and brings in people who need help, he gives them a job then flits off into the sunset. Jameson has so many feelings, he’s heartbroken yet hides it behind a joking façade, and drink. Avery was definitely the star, this girl who doesn’t have the greatest life, but she’s trying to make the best of what she has. She plays chess with a homeless man in the park, and when she wins he has to let her buy him breakfast, or lunch. She’s trying her hardest to make her life better. And I’ll admit, I really loved her sister too, the goth ray of sunshine that bakes when she feels bad. This was a definite colourful cast full of such individual characters with strong personalities, I could be sitting here for hours typing about them all, so I just wanted to go over my favourites lest I waffle on for too long. Oh! I almost forgot. Tobias Hawthorne, for a character that wasn’t even in the story, who was just spoken about in past tense due to being dead, his presence really showed on every page, it’s a masters stroke to be able to make an idea of a character actually feel like one of the biggest.

This story, as said numerous times above, was one filled with so much intrigue. Why did the old man leave his fortune to a girl he seemingly never met or knew? Why did he disinherit his entire family? I absolutely loved the puzzles, they are an overarching part of the story and each revelation brings more questions with it. I will say here, this story doesn’t so much tie anything up at the end. We do find out a possible why of it all, and then there’s another bombshell dropped, and sitting here writing this review, I’m actually wondering whether I’ve just maybe worked something out about the coming story line in book two, which I bought as soon as I saw it because, even though this book didn’t grab me by the throat and force me to sit up long into the night devouring it’s pages seeking the answers I so desperately needed, I am interested enough to need a conclusion.

All in all, I feel like that speaks for itself. While this book didn’t drag me in, I’m still looking forward to reading book two so I can get some answers. It had deep characters and an even deeper, twistier story line. If you like young adult mysteries that are incredibly individual, give this one a go. I will warn you though, you’ll probably need book two as well.

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