The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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 conwoman, 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.

Name: The Inheritance Games
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Type: Book 1 in Series
Genre: Mystery, Fiction
Publish Date: 1st Sep, 2020

Trigger Warnings: Abusive Relations, Death, Gun Violence, Manipulation.

I was very intrigued by the story and the cover (I mean, just look at it). A poor girl suddenly becomes the heiress of the world’s biggest fortune, despite having no relation or connection with the billionaire? I was like, sure why not!

We follow Avery, a high-schooler, struggling with her studies, money and life. A strong girl, she tries to make others happy as much as she can. Despite living with her sister and her abusive boyfriend, she didn’t complain and made an effort to survive her reality.

But as the story progresses, the headstrong Avery vanishes and a teenager lost in a dreamy land is left. She was living in a fantasy world, thinking all the Hawthorne boys are into her and we don’t get to see the head-strong Avery focused on herself (maybe around the end we do)🙄

I didn’t understand the unnecessary romance that was forced into the story. In my opinion, this book would have been much better without the love triangle or the romance in general because then Avery’s focus would have been truly on what was happening to her and why!

Every character had some role to play in the game, there was no significant connection between any of them. And after their role is over, they just existed behind the scenes. I couldn’t connect with any of them, not even Avery because she was all over the place with her thoughts and actions.

Also, everyone was dealing with past trauma in the Hawthorne House but nobody addressed it, why though?😯

The writing was okayish and I had no problem with the plot as such. The puzzles and games were not exciting and there was not a single thrilling moment in the book. There were many twists and turns which were unpredictable but I was not amazed. The end was disappointing and I just accepted whatever this book wanted me to.

Overall, It was an okay-ish mystery with an intriguing plot, and many twists and turns which were unpredictable but it failed to be exciting. It took me around 2 weeks to finish this because I was so not into it. You’ll enjoy the puzzles and games as Avery finds the truth, but it won’t be thrilling at all. It’s the first book in the series, but I don’t think I’ll pick up the others for a little while now.

Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed young adult novels. Jen wrote her first published novel when she was nineteen-years-old and sold her first five books while still in college. In additional to writing YA novels, Jen has also written original pilot scripts for television networks like USA and MTV, and she is one of the world’s leading experts on the psychology of fandom and the cognitive science of fiction and the imagination more broadly.

Thank you for reading, Ruminative Fam!

© Ruminative Philomath (2022) by Deeksha Bhardwaj. All rights reserved.

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