The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published: September 1, 2020
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.
I have a feeling that this book will be the book that kind of closes the door to YA for me. I haven’t really read YA in a while, and although it’s the genre that brought me back to reading after a very long hiatus all those years ago, I think unfortunately, I’ve outgrown the genre.
The Inheritance Games is an okay try at a whodunit style book. It was sold kind of as a YA Knives out. Which…I don’t feel like it lived up to that hype. It fell flat in almost all aspects for me. The puzzles and the reveals felt very plain compared to what could have been (especially that last “cliffhanger”). And I wish there was a bit more action. I really don’t know what else to write except for this just really didn’t do it for me. The characters weren’t all that interesting, they were even somewhat annoying at times (looking at you Greyson you moody little butt face).
I really just wanted more from this. I wanted to be holding my breath when things were starting to get suspenseful. I wanted to really love a character. I wanted to be immersed in the mystery and try and tie all the clues and strings together but, none of that seemed to happen. And I’m wondering, is it because this was a YA Mystery? I got so much satisfaction out of Arsenic and Adobo earlier this year, which is an adult mystery. So, maybe I’ve just outgrown the YA genre (which is why I started my review with that assumption). I know this book is very much a love it or hate it book, and I really wanted to love it. But, unfortunately I didn’t.
If you loved this book, please let me know why. Maybe I’ll try and re-read it again sometime if there’s enough love for it. I know it has a sequel which intrigues me, but I couldn’t enjoy this enough to bring myself to read the next one…yet.