Hi everyone! I’m excited to be apart of this blog tour hosted by The Write Reads! This is such an amazing group to be a part of and Dave puts together some amazing tours! Today is my stop for The Inheritance Games blog tour, and I highly recommend checking out the other bloggers who are participating in this tour, they are all amazing!
The Inheritance Games
by Jennifer Lynne Barnes
Series: The Inheritance Games #1
Release date: September 1st 2020
Genre: Mystery, Young Adult
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.
This is the first time I’ve read anything by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and as far as YA mysteries go, it was pretty good! We follow Avery, who is the kind of girl who does the bare minimum to get by after her mom dies. One day, a boy shows up at her school telling her that billionaire philanthropist Tobias Hawthorne has named her in his will. What follows is a scavenger hunt style mystery to find out why she’s been given his entire fortune. Avery also has to deal with the rest of the Hawthorne family, some of whom think she is a con-woman, some who think she’s just an innocent bystander to Tobias Hawthorne’s games and manipulations.
I really liked Avery as a character. It seems like even though she came from nothing, she won’t let fame and fortune change her as a person since one of the first things she thinks of after being named in the will is her homeless friend and her sister, not herself. Her reaction to finding out that she is now a billionaire seemed believable, although I wouldn’t know since I’ve never been named in a billionaires will (if any billionaires out there would like to, let me know!)
I’m not sure how I feel about the four grandsons, Nash, Grayson, Jameson and Xander though. They really feel like they were forced into the mysterious and aloof rich guy trope, and it was just a little much for me. Nash is the oldest and doesn’t want anything to do with the money and is a sucker for helping lost causes, and that’s pretty much the extent of his character that we see. Grayson is basically a teen with an obsession with Armani suits and has gray eyes and is Very Serious, while Jameson is usually drunk and thinks Avery is his grandfather’s last puzzle to solve. Xander is the youngest brother, and is a scone loving, robot building, weird kind of guy. Outside of those descriptions, I had a tough time finding what their personalities were because they were pretty bland. They also fall into the “teenage genius” trope, where they’re good at everything and have patents and trophies for everything.
Characters aside, I did enjoy the setting and the plot. The majority of this takes place at Hawthorne House, and it’s this crazy big mansion with secret passages, hidden rooms, and puzzles. Avery needs to explore this house and follow the clues left behind to find out why she was left this inheritance, and I liked the way the clues played out and how she needed the help of the brothers to get it solved. There were certain aspects of the plot that I think could’ve been left out, like the school scenes because they didn’t really impact the plotline other than to introduce some characters who easily could’ve come into the story another way.
The puzzles were very clever, and were something that you could easily follow along with. The stakes were very low though, even with the threats made to Avery we knew that she would be fine because of the way the will was written to prevent anything from happening to her. For me, the ending was kind of anti-climactic but that’s probably because I’m used to high stakes, character deaths, and cliffhanger endings with the other books I read.
Overall, I think this was a fun and fast paced mystery, and I think it would be perfect for people who are new to the mystery genre. I think people who loved Truly Devious would really enjoy this book!