Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s Inheritance Games is binge-worthy

Inheritance Games Jennifer Lynn BarnesTHE INHERITANCE GAMES, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Sept. 1, 2020, Hardcover, $17.99 (young adult)

One of the most exciting YA novels of 2020 is Jennifer Lynn BarnesThe Inheritance Games.

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 con-woman, 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. —Synopsis provided by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

There’s not much bad you can say about The Inheritance Games. It’s full of suspense, intrigue, mystery and a little romance. This binge-worthy novel has been compared to everything from Knives Out and One of Us to Gossip Girl and Romeo and Juliet. And those comparisons aren’t wrong. But it’s the subtle nods to Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca that really drew me in.

Avery is the protagonist you want to root for. She’s smart, strong and lives by her own rules — even when constricted by someone else’s. The mystery unfolds through her eyes, adding to the suspension. As a reader, you don’t have any more clues than she does, and that really strengthens the overall story.

The Inheritance Games reads — for the most part — like a standalone novel. Luckily for us, though, it’s not. A sequel is slated for a fall 2021 release. Hopefully it will be just like its predecessor — a fast-paced read you won’t want to put down!


© 2020, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise noted, all books — digital and physical — have been provided for free by publishers in exchange for honest and unbiased reviews. All thoughts and opinions are those of the reviewer.


About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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