The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – A Review

Hi! Happy Monday. I hope you’re doing great. I am back with another tour stop and another review. This one is for The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (as you can tell from the title). I’m excited for this one.

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Publication date: September 1st 2020
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Genre: Mystery

She came from nothing.

Avery has a plan: keep her head down, work hard for a better future.

Then an eccentric billionaire dies, leaving her almost his entire fortune. And no one, least of all Avery, knows why.

They had everything.

Now she must move into the mansion she’s inherited.

It’s filled with secrets and codes, and the old man’s surviving relatives –

a family hell-bent on discovering why Avery got ‘their’ money.

Now there’s only one rule: winner takes all.

Soon she is caught in a deadly game that everyone in this strange family is playing.

But just how far will they go to keep their fortune?

The premise of The Inheritance Games sounded pretty interesting, but having put in a lot of faith into YA mysteries in the past, I was quite cautious setting my expectations, not to be disappointed. What I feared would be a dissatisfying read turned into a pleasant surprise – I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

The Inheritance Games follows Avery – a girl from a poor family who, after her mother’s death, is being raised by her older half-sister. She works hard, both in school and outside of it, to earn a better future. Until one day she’s summoned into the headmaster’s office and told she’s been named as an heir of a eccentric billionaire who she didn’t know. But to take ownership of the money and assets she needs to move into the Hawthorne House where all of the billionaire’s family still lives, and stay there for a year. Needless to say, the remaining family is not happy about that, and Avery gets roped into a scavenger hunt/game to win.

It took me a good few chapters to get into the story. I found the beginning, which set up the story and introduced the reader to the characters, slightly boring and mediocre. I will admit, Avery is not a character I particularly liked or found interesting. And while she is the main character, she really played a backdrop for the story’s actual main characters – the Hawthorne grandsons.
I liked all 4 of them. I understand that they’re the cliche YA male protagonists, misunderstood, spoiled, weird, sarcastic, pretentious etc., but what can I say? I saw right through from the very first page and yet I still fell for their charm! If I were to rate them best to worst, I’d pick Xander, Jameson, Grayson and Nash.
Like I said, though, Avery was not my favourite. The female cast did not impress me whatsoever, with Avery’s sister not having much personality, either, and Thea and Rebecca being mostly plot devices. The only interesting female character the story had was Emily, and she was dead, so that really paints a picture for you.

If I didn’t like the main character or any other females and the start was boring and mediocre, why did I enjoy the book, then, you ask? Well… the plot, once it started moving, was very addicting. I wanted to solve the mystery myself. I wanted to know why Avery was chosen as an heir. I wanted to see more of the Hawthornes. After the introductory chapters the pacing improved immensely and the book got better. I don’t necessarily need to like the main character to enjoy the story, as long as I don’t hate every single one of the characters.

I didn’t realise the book was a first in a series, and so the lack of ALL answers and a cliffhanger ending really surprised me. I did still enjoy it, I think as far as YA mysteries go, it was well done, but I am just not big on cliffhangers. Overall, though, I thought the story was well written and paced, and a real page turner once everything was set in place. I am curious where it will go in the next book and will definitely be picking it up!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you for reading! I will chat to you soon.

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