Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Fiction
Series: The Inheritance Games #1
Disclaimer – This book was read in the ARC* form. There may be some differences in this version than from what appears in other copies of this book.
Publication: October 2020
Full of suspense and a new clue at every turn, I was on the edge of my seat as this young girl, Avery, attempted to unravel the mystery surrounding the newest development of her life. What would you do as a seventeen year old girl who suddenly inherited billions from a man she did not know? Well, Avery decides to uncover the reason why and took me along for the fascinating journey. With highs being answers and lows being threats on her life, together we figured out so many mysteries while still being left with many more. An entertaining YA mystery even with the uncomfortable and unnecessary YA romance included.
In-Depth Review (contains spoilers)
This story had me drawn in from the very start. Avery immediately was a beloved character for me with her quick wit and her no-kid attitude. I wanted nothing more than to watch as she gathered every single necessary clue and pieced together the answers to the presented mysteries. And that's mysteries plural, not mystery singular, because, as you discover, there is so much going on in the Hawthorne than Avery initially believes.
The Hawthorne grandsons, Nash, Grayson, Jameson, and Xander, on the other hand, I did not enjoy at the start. Some of them I did not even enjoy at the end. I understand what Barnes had been going for with her characters. She wanted several damaged boys, some of whom became fascinated by Avery. But what she ended up with instead was several damaged boys who became severely obsessed with Avery. I could tell that the reader was supposed to be rooting for a certain boy for Avery to choose, but I kept wishing for her to not want any of them. With attempt at the awkward longing often portrayed by YA characters when pursuing a romance, instead we got a creepy and uncomfortable attempt at possessing Avery. The boys were too messed up by their grandfather, Tobias's, teaching and harsh lessons along with the long-lasting damage inflicted by Emily. All of these boys needed some serious therapy because I highly suspected that at least on them were making the attempt to kill Avery. Which is not very likable at all.
I did not find the whole situation with Emily necessary. Yes, she damaged the boys, but they were already damaged to begin with. I don't think they needed something else to further put distrust in one another. As I mentioned previously, it just forced them to have this unhealthy obsession when it came to Avery which concerned me above all else. I think there would have been a better story if Avery had come into their lives as a light and a friend rather than a savior from their dark thoughts. Besides, Emily was a terrible person and I wish she had died sooner. It bothered me how hung over they still were of her and how they believed that their grandfather would go to so much effort to punish them. I think the man had much better things to entertain himself with than torture his grandsons indefinitely.
It was interesting how Avery adapted to being an heiress. It was quite believable when Avery struggled within her friendship with Max. Teenagers are typically self-centered and it makes sense that she would have been more concerned with her predicament than trying to actively be a good friend. And her relationship with Libby is beautiful. Having someone who cares for you with no dependency on blood relation is a blessing and they do not squander it. Libby is also just an amazing soul and deserves so much more out of life. If Nash hurts her I may very well have to hurt him in return.
The best parts of any mystery, are the secrets, and every one in this story has plenty of them. Yes, some were revealed during this book, but there are many more that were not. This is why I am pumped for the next book in the series. The cliffhanger reveal involving Harry (a.k.a. Toby/Tobias Hawthorne II) was one of the best I've read in a while. And it left me wanting more to uncover all the mysteries surrounding the Hawthorne family, and now, Avery herself.
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*ARC, or Advance Reading Copy, is a pre-published, nearly complete version of a new book that is given out before the official release date. The aim is to gain reviews that can coincide with the launching and to get booksellers interested in selling the book. It is normal for there to be changes from the ARC to the actual published copy since this form is an uncorrected proof.