Thursday, September 3, 2020

Review: The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Inheritance Games by [Jennifer Lynn Barnes]
*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Release DateSeptember 1, 2020

Pages: 322
Source: Audiobook

The Story:

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.
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She came from nothing. They have everything. Let the games begin.


When I was a kid, my mom constantly invented games. 


I don't own many audiobooks nor listen to them but I had a credit on Audible, saw THE INHERITANCE GAMES, and went for it. 
To be honest, I didn't love THE INHERITANCE GAMES but the premise was intriguing and kept my interest
A billion-dollar fortune to die for.
The pacing of THE INHERITANCE GAMES was perfect for the unfolding of the plot. In the same vein of a Cinderella story with deadly stakes and thrilling twists, perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying and Knives Out. There was suspense, tension, with a touch of action and romance. There were puzzles, clues, riddles, secret passageways, and hidden compartments. And so many questions! Why Avery? What will she do with the multi-billion-dollar fortune? Will her weak-willed older sister betray her? 

As for the protagonist, I had a lot of issues with the Avery Grambs. Avery and her sister were both people-pleasers, and have no gumption. And I did not expect that of Avery. Before she met the Hawthornes, she was brilliant, independent, and kind. After she arrived at Hawthorne Estate, Avery had no gumption — and constantly sought the approval of the entitled. They were always being mean and using her but she was constantly apologizing to them, accommodating them. Hawthornes and allowed them to bully her. Why does Avery care about what the Hawthorne's think of her so much, even after she finds out her would-be murderer is likely one of them? Get a goddamn grip! Furthermore, there was no character arc -- not one that I noticed anyway.

"I’m done Jamison with you with whatever this is."

When I tell you I heard that line and threw a fit! Like, girl, as if he cares about you, about anything but solving the riddle and keeping his family fortune. Jamison is a Hawthorne and I don't like him or any of the Hawthorne brothers --except maybe the baby Hawthorne, Xander. 

More on the romance front, I didn't enjoy it. The romance felt completely one-sided on Avery's part. Yes, the tension was there but I just wasn't sold -- not to mention, she was obsessed with two of the Hawthorne brothers just as soon as she set foot on the estate. On that noteTHE INHERITANCE GAMES had a love triangle, and I thoroughly dislike them unless there is a HIGHLY unique circumstance. That was not the case in THE INHERITANCE GAMES.

All in all, while THE INHERITANCE GAMES isn't perfect, I still enjoyed it.


Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed young adult novels. She has advanced degrees in psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive science, including graduate degrees from Cambridge University, where she was a Fulbright Scholar, and Yale University, where she received her Ph.D. in 2012. 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. Jen is an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma, where she holds a dual appointment in Psychology and Professional Writing.

***Check out Jennifer Lynn Barnes' website for more information about her and THE INHERITANCE GAMESHERE

Happy Reading!


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