Inherit midnight by Kate Kae Myers
Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781619639362
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Myers brings to life a wonderful lesson in the importance of family history. Describing a set of challenges created to find the most worthy heir to the VanDemere fortune, Avery's grandmother shows her cunning as her challenges about family history not only show her who is the most worthy, but act to draw the family together through a gruelling set of challenges which reveal more and more about her heir's characteristics.
After escaping from St. Frederick's, a prison-like boarding school, Avery becomes an unwilling participant in her grandmother's heritage and inheritance game. Being an only child and the result of a family scandal, all Avery ever wanted was to escape the VanDemere's constant degradation of her. With the help of Riley Tate, the lawyer's son who came to fetch her, Avery discovers that to avoid returning to the school she must participate in the competition. Mr. Tate gives her the added motivation she needs by revealing that her mother, the Croatian nanny, is alive and well. In order to get the letters that her mother had been sending, Avery must win the competition and retain Mr. Tate's law firm. With Riley as chaperone Avery travels across three continents to complete seven challenges. Together they explore diamond mines and re-enact family history to prove she has all the treasured traits associated with the VanDemere name. Avery has both advantages and disadvantages in the competition; she lives in the family mansion, but she is the most despised of all her cousins. With each determined to inherit the fortune and knock her out if they can, the game is, for Avery, also a test of survival.
I would highly recommend for lovers of the adventure-quest tale, twelve and up. More than anything this is about a struggle against the odds, will Avery come out on top, proving herself better than her uncles and cousins? Or will she fail on the very first test and be sent back to the horrors of St. Frederick's? The novel is well written and completely engrossing from start to finish.