Book review – The Inheritance Games Book #1 Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Inheritance Games Synopsis Release Date Cover

The Inheritance Games Book Cover
The Inheritance Games
Book #1
Jennifer Lynn Barnes

★ Synopsis ★

A Cinderella story with deadly stakes and thrilling twists.

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.

Book 1 The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

★ Review ★

Major spoilers

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a Young Adult Mystery novel. It screams Knives Out from the very first page to the very last. I read this as part of a Goodreads group reading challenge, but I doubt I’ll be reading the sequel.

No shade. The book was good – just not for me.

If I was fifteen or twenty years younger, with rose-coloured glasses on, still believing in fairytales I probably would have loved this book. Alas, I have been jaded & damaged by the world, and this type of Cinderella fairytale no longer captures my heart. Nonetheless, Barnes wrote an amazing story for young adults.

Sixteen-year-old Avery doesn’t have an easy life. Do they ever? Avery lives with her half-sister Libby, both of them struggling to make ends meet. I wish there had been more interactions between Libby & Avery. I liked Libby, the girl was going through some serious shit. There was so much potential for her storyline. However, other than Avery needing a legal guardian, there was next to no reason for Libby. The two sisters barely interacted, and her storyline just kind of floundered around for convenience.

Billionaire Tobias Hawthorne has left his fortune to Avery.

All Avery must do, spend a year in Hawthorne House with the Hawthorne family. Avery has no idea who Tobias Hawthorne is, or why he left her billions of dollars. & the Hawthorne family has no idea why their patriarch left their fortune to Avery. As it turns out, Avery is just a piece of a puzzle. A puzzle left for Hawthrone’s grandsons.

It’s all fun and games until we discover Tobias Hawthorne is a real dick.

The Hawthorne’s are something else man. Skye and Zara are the daughters of Tobias Hawthrone. Their brother Toby died twenty years ago. Zara is essentially harmless, her father’s will is iron-clad after all. Skye Hawthorne on the other hand is the ultimate weirdo mother. She wanders around the mansion half-naked and drunk, insisting her children call her Skye. Skye’s four sons, by four different baby daddies, have basically been raised by their grandfather.

Hopefully they all go to therapy regularly.

Avery teams up with grandson Jameson to work through the mystery of why Avery? There is nothing inherently special about her. Unfortunately, even in the end, there wasn’t any real reason why Tobias chose her. Luck and happenstance, at least for now. Avery pieces together the history of Hawthorne House, working through the various clues old man Hawthorne left his grandsons. All while having someone trying to kill her.

You can’t inherit billions of dollars without some feathers getting ruffled.

Overall this was a good story. The writing was well done, and the storyline was okay. Sometimes I read young adult novels & well, I wouldn’t give them to a young adult. Barnes tale, on the other hand, has just about everything I’d think a young person would want without making parents uncomfortable.

I would have liked to read this when I was in my mid teens.

Avery finds herself falling for not one, but two of the Hawthorne grandsons. The romance aspect of the story was stubble and not in your face. There was no sex or making out in secret tunnels. Just a girl spending time with a boy and falling for him. Even the murder plot is tame. Although, I maintain that the murder plot could have been much better if Barnes had built up Avery and Libby’s relationship more.

The Hawthorne Legacy Book 2 The Inheritance Games Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Book 2 ★ The Hawthorne Legacy

September 16, 2021

The Hawthorne Legacy 
The Inheritance Games Book 2
Book Cover & Synopsis

The Inheritance Games ended with a bombshell, and now heiress Avery Grambs has to pick up the pieces and find the man who might hold the answers to all of her questions – including why Tobias Hawthorne left his entire fortune to Avery, a virtual stranger, rather than to his own daughters or grandsons.

Thanks to a DNA test, Avery knows that she’s not a Hawthorne by blood, but clues pile up hinting at a deeper connection to the family than she had ever imagined. As the mystery grows and the plot thickens, Grayson and Jameson, the enigmatic and magnetic Hawthorne grandsons, continue to pull Avery in different directions. And there are threats lurking around every corner, as adversaries emerge who will stop at nothing to see Avery out of the picture – by any means necessary.

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