The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes Book Review

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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 conwoman, 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.

Sensitive Content

Here is the potentially sensitive content I observed while reading this book:

  • Blood
  • Car Accident
  • Death of a loved one
  • Grief
  • Injury
  • Life-threatening Disease
  • Profanity


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There are possible **SPOILERS** beyond this point!

Overall Rating

5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I loved The Inheritance Games! I did not know what I was getting into. But this story was completely different from anything I could have imagined! I really enjoyed trying to figure out what was going to happen next and all the little tidbits of information we gathered to put things together. I also loved how short the chapters were. There are several storylines in this tale: a love triangle, why did Avery get this inheritance, Avery’s personal life with her sister and friend, and a semi-murder mystery.

Avery is so smart! Gosh, I loved her powers of deduction and how quick she was about it! She’s trying to manage so many things at such a young age, I don’t know how she was not more overwhelmed. Girl, you deserved a nap. Especially dealing with the Hawthornes!

The added mystery of Emily blew my mind. I loved how we uncovered about her life. I could not pinpoint why I was so sad for this girl we never met. Still can’t but I’m so sad for her to have lost her life so soon.

Those Hawthorne grandsons—I loved all four of them! I knew there was gonna be a love triangle but I still didn’t know how this would play out. Xander is hilarious. Nash is actually so sweet. Greyson surprised me under all that formality. Jameson just stole my heart. Team Jameson.

Also, whatever is happening with Libby and Nash!! Love it and I want more!

I would definitely recommend this book to you if you like mind games and puzzles. I’m looking forward to reading book 2!

Genre & Tropes


Romantic Mystery

Favorite Quotes

“Everything’s a game, Avery Grambs. The only thing we get to decide in this life is if we play to win.”

“We aren’t normal. This place isn’t normal, and you’re not a player, kid. You’re the glass ballerina—or the knife.”

“Sometimes things that appear very different on the surface are actually exactly the same at their core.”

“Traps upon traps. And riddles upon riddles.”

“As awful as it sounds, money is power, and power is magnetic.”

“If there’s one thing the Hawthorne family isn’t, it’s fine. They were a twisted, broken mess before you got here, and they’ll be a twisted, broken mess once you’re gone.”

“Getting involved with Jameson would just be throwing gasoline on the fire.”
“And what a lovely fire it would be,”

“Jameson Winchester Hawthorne is hungry. He’s been looking for something. He’s been looking for it since the day he was born.”

“It’s not just clothing. It’s a message. You’re not deciding what to wear. You’re deciding what story you want your image to tell. Are you the ingenue, young and sweet? Do you dress to this world of wealth and wonders like you were born to it, or do you want to walk the line: the same but different, young but full of steel?”

“I wasn’t delusional. I wasn’t dreaming.
I was an heiress.”

“Right.” … “No feminism at the dinner table.”

“Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

“You don’t like me much, that’s okay. I’m a hypercompetitive, bisexual perfectionist who likes to win and looks like this. I’m no stranger to being hated.”

“Her name was Emily,” he repeated. “And she wasn’t just a girl.”

“The morality of an action depends, ultimately and only, on its outcomes.”


Check out The Inheritance Games on Amazon here.

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