The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

cover image

The Inheritance Games, book 1. Penguin, 2020. ISBN: 9780241476178.
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Wow! This is one for fans of twisty plots and games that keep the reader guessing right until the end. Avery is a girl who is struggling to keep her head above water, hoping for a better future. She lives with her half-sister, Libby, works as a waitress and has one good friend, Max. Then out of the blue, gorgeous Grayson Hawthorne turns up at her school, saying that she has been named in his billionaire grandfather's will. Avery has inherited most of his wealth and the family is not happy about this. She finds herself playing a deadly game with the four grandsons, Grayson, Jameson, Nash and Zander as they race to work out the clues that Tobias Hawthorne has left in his final letters to them.
Avery has no idea why she has been left with a fortune. A strong-willed character, she finds herself the owner of an amazing mansion and a huge amount of money. With her sister Libby, she must fit into a lifestyle that is completely different to what she has been used to while maintaining her own values and beliefs. Then there is that mystery to solve. Why was she left a fortune by an unknown benefactor? Who can she trust from the Hawthorne family as the four brothers try to solve the game their grandfather left them? Who is trying to kill her? And which brother is she most attracted to?
The pace is fast, and the book was one that I had trouble putting down. It is gripping and the characters are so well drawn that it is easy to feel familiar with them. A sub-plot of domestic violence was also well depicted and fitted in with the main story.
The first in a series, the conclusion was satisfying, but left open hints to where the next book might go, enough to keep readers eagerly waiting for it. Readers who enjoyed this might like One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus and We were liars by E. Lockhart
Pat Pledger