Sunday, October 8, 2023

REVIEW: The Inheritance Games (book) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Inheritance Games is a YA mystery/thriller. I checked my copy out from the library.


Avery Grambs is a smart teen who's determined to build a better life for herself. That means getting out of high school, winning a scholarship, entering a good actuarial science program, and hopefully starting a well-paying career. And then billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and changes all of Avery's plans in an instant when his will reveals that he left her nearly his entire fortune. The only catch is that she must live in his mansion with the family members who were just disinherited.

Avery has no idea why a billionaire with no connection to her would have left her his fortune, and most of Tobias' surviving family members are understandably less than friendly. However, there are indications that Tobias left answers behind, hidden behind a series of riddles, codes, and secret passages. Unfortunately, the ones best suited to solving the puzzles Tobias left behind are his grandsons, who are definitely keeping secrets from her and have no real reason to help her.

I started this expecting an intelligent main character with Knives Out-style rich family drama and a side of twisty puzzle-solving. Instead, I got a heroine whose brains and ability to focus were constantly hijacked by the hotness of the Hawthorne brothers, and a potential love triangle between her and Jameson and Grayson Hawthorne (brothers who really need some time away from each other, because this is not the first time they've both been interested in the same girl).

Avery was supposedly a smart girl who'd previously gotten used to using her brains to maximize her very limited resources. Then Tobias Hawthorne essentially put her in the position of having unlimited resources, and instead of turning all those brains to the puzzles he left behind, she kept getting distracted by hot guys she had zero reason to trust. It was tiresome, and it left me with thoroughly unimpressed with Avery.

I'm just intrigued enough by the puzzles to continue reading this series, but I sincerely hope Avery will be less easily distracted in the later books.

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