Book review: The Inheritance Games

Annabella Rapp, Staff writer

The Inheritance Games is a well-loved book released in September 2020, written by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. The duology -soon to be a trilogy- is highly accredited as a top choice for teens, according to the Young Adult Library Services Association. It has won many awards for fiction, as well as many awards for the teen audience. It is a New York Times bestseller and has received many positive reviews from various sites and organizations.

In this novel, reminiscent of “Knives Out,” “Gossip Girl” and “Revenge,” Avery Kylie Grambs is the main character, and the heiress to the greatest fortune in the state of Texas. At school one day, Avery is called to the office and receives some shocking news: she is required to attend a will-reading of a man she’s never even heard of before. After flying to Texas, she is told she receives the majority of Tobias Hawthorne’s estate and wealth. And so, the games begin. Throughout the novel, Avery must work with Tobias’ grandsons- two of  which are interested in Avery- and figure out the burning question: why Avery? The Hawthorne estate- which is the largest privately-owned residence in Texas- holds many secrets, lies, and hidden clues. After a harrowing escape, Avery and one of the brothers barely make it out alive, and the plot begins to thicken even more.  Which brother will Avery truly fall for? Will the brothers double-cross her? And the most important of them all: why Avery? 

Avery is an amazing character, and the brothers add depth to the story, truly making the plot. They lead to clues, to secrets and riddles and lies and stolen smiles, the beginning of what may be Avery’s first love. The characters may be anything but perfect, but that is the Hawthorne legacy, after all. Avery is the perfect main character, with her funny inner monologue and quick wit. She is headstrong, and dedicated to the cause, able to focus for hours on a task. She never tires, and she’s occasionally reckless, but driven nonetheless, with a desire for answers.

A few things I didn’t like were definitely the way it was all too exaggerated, as well as the way Avery had zero answers.  I think the author could’ve given Avery a small win through this book, especially since she was thrown into this new world. 

While this book is a definite recommendation, it seemed as though the author, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, was reaching a bit with the wealth and web of lies surrounding Tobias Hawthorne. I’d recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery read and to let their brain run wild with theories. It has the same undertones of Knives Out, with the odd layout of the house, the expansive wealth, and the fact the inheritance goes to a person the family would never suspect would receive it, as well as suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of characters. I devoured this book within thirty-six hours, and was instantly addicted.