Let's Talk: The Inheritance Games Series

Hello, all!

It's no secret I'm a fan of a compelling and fun mystery. I'd heard a lot of hype surrounding The Inheritance Games series by Jennifer Lyn Barnes, so I decided to check it out. It quickly became one of my favorite YA mystery series! I'd heard it compared to the movie Knives Out, and aside from the eccentric wealthy family, I didn't see too many other similarities, but if you enjoy that sort of vibe, I'd recommend checking these out. I can't wait for the third book which comes out later in the year!

Pub Date: 9-1-20
YA - Mystery

The Inheritance Games: The only plans Avery Grambs has for the future are to pass high school, and get a scholarship to a good college that will take her away from her hometown. Ever since her mom passed away, Avery has had to struggle-- constantly working and occasionally sleeping in her car when her half-sister's sleazy boyfriend is living in their apartment. Then out of nowhere, Avery's life is completely turned on its head when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves his estate to her. Avery's certain there must be some mistake since she's never even heard of Hawthorne before, but to her shock and confusion, it's all legal. The only catch to her inheritance? She has to live a full year at Hawthorne House, Tobias's sprawling Texas estate, full of secret passages and puzzles. Occupying the mansion with her are the four Hawthorne grandsons and their family who were just dispossessed. Two of the grandsons believe Avery to be the last riddle their grandfather left them to crack, and when someone seems to want to take Avery off the playing board for good, she'll have no choice but to play the Hawthorne's games.

I enjoyed this way more than I was anticipating. It was captivating and engaging right from the beginning. The idea of a seemingly random stranger inheriting a family's fortune was wild and led to some interesting conflicts between characters. There was so much about this that I liked, from the characters to the plot itself. I found it fun following along with Avery as she tried to ferret out the clues to Tobias' will, and how she fit into it all. I also liked the Hawthorne grandsons, even though I still don't know if I trust any of them, and thought Xander added a nice amount of humor to this. Barnes did a great job creating an intriguing mystery that kept you guessing the whole time by puzzling out riddles and hidden clues. I only had two problems with this: Firstly, there are hints of a love triangle brewing between Avery and two of the Hawthorne brothers, and that's not a trope I particularly love (and which I thought felt unnecessary given the brother's past); Secondly, I still don't fully understand why Avery was chosen to inherit everything, so I'm hoping the lingering questions I have will be addressed in the second book. Aside from that, I thought this was a solid start to the series.

Rating: 4/5

Pub Date: 9-7-21
YA - Mystery

The Hawthorne Legacy: After inheriting a billionaire's fortune, Avery Grambs found her whole world turned upside down. She went from sleeping in her car to living in a sprawling Texas estate. Tobias Hawthorne was a complicated man who loved riddles and puzzles, and the biggest one he left his family was Avery. With the help of two of the four Hawthorne grandsons, Avery has been trying to piece together why a stranger would have left her anything. Thanks to a DNA test, Avery knows she isn't a secret Hawthorne, but her investigation leads her to discover she may have a deeper connection to the family than she realized. Avery may be the only person who knows the whereabouts of Toby Hawthorne, the Hawthorne son who was thought to have died years prior, and that information could get her killed.

Sometimes I'm wary of going into second books because I worry they may suffer from "second book syndrome." I always think it won't live up to the first book, and I'll be disappointed, but that wasn't the case here. It was as good, if not better than the first. Once again, Barnes sucks you into this crazy investigation and this family who is more likely to shoot you than hug you. I loved getting to learn more about Avery and her background, and finally getting to see how she ties into the Hawthorne family. You think her connection to Toby will play out in a certain way, but then Barnes flips the script. One of my favorite things about mysteries is not being able to guess what's going to happen, and Barnes does a great job at throwing so many plot twists at you that you can never be too sure what's going to occur. Even though there were so many aspects I loved about this, I still had the same nitpicky issues as the first. I'm not a fan of the angsty love triangle between Avery, Grayson, and Jameson, and there are times when the plot and character's reaction to things doesn't seem plausible. We did get some answers in this, but I feel like there's still a lot that we don't know, but I'm excited to see where it goes from here.

Rating: 4.5/5

Have you read this series yet? Lemme know what you thought!


  1. Ahh I'm so glad to see that you enjoyed The Hawthorne Legacy even more than The Inheritance Games! I have the second book toward the top of my TBR so I'm ready when The Final Gambit comes out!


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