BOOK REVIEW: The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

True story: Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ The Inheritance Games was one of my most eagerly-anticipated fall 2020 releases, but I found it to be such. a. letdown. Womp womp.

Even before her mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Avery Grambs’ life was full of hardship. Poverty, near-homelessness, not enough food…these were just a smattering of the things she endured in the midst of navigating adolescence. But she persevered with the help of her big sis Libby {same absentee father, different mothers}, and her own determination and street smarts - not to mention her five-year plan: survive high school, score a scholarship, graduate summa cum laude, and land a cushy job. Her plans go out the window thanks to Tobias Hawthorne.

Tobias Hawthorne, the billionaire. Tobias Hawthorne, recently deceased. Tobias Hawthorne, who has bequeathed Avery his entire fortune {can we take a moment to talk. about. luck. Like omg why can’t this happen to me?!}. That’s right, overlooking his four {brawny, brainy, and beautiful} grandsons {Nash, Xander, Grayson, and Jameson}, along with his own {albeit off-kilter} daughters, Tobias has literally handed his entire fortune over to a…stranger. Yep, that’s the real clincher of the story…Avery has never met Tobias Hawthorne. So the fact that she was named so heavily in his will? ’Tis a mystery to you, me, and every other character within the pages of The Inheritance Games.

To claim her inheritance? Avery must reside within the hallowed halls of Hawthorne House for precisely one year - alongside the rest of the Hawthorne family. Seems easy enough; but when you’ve been pegged as a con-woman and potential puzzle that needs to be solved {and are the target of a family with wealth and power at their disposal}, all bets are off.

In a world of Kardashians, Hilton’s, and Trump’s, where riches and ostentatiousness are the norm, The Inheritance Games goes too far on the believability scale. From the moment we are introduced to Hawthorne House we hear about the bowling alley and the solarium and various wings; but as The Inheritance Games continues, Barnes adds more and more onto this house to the point where it feels ridiculous and sounds more like a small country than an estate. I get that this is fiction, but this was a big peeve of mine. But I digress…

I went into this book expecting mystery and suspense and possibly magic; but, aside from a disengaging puzzle and assortment of rabbit holes that try {and fail} to lead you astray, this felt more romance-y to me than anything else. Additionally, there were similarities between this and, believe it or not, The Princess Diaries. The makeover scene felt very Mia Thermopolis morphing into Princess Mia of Genovia, with lawyer Alina Ortega playing the role of Grandmere, and bodyguard {security detail} Oren being highly reminiscent of Lars. Then there were the Hawthorne boys whose beauty and ethereal presence triggers memories of Twilight’s Cullens.

NGL, I wanted to love this one; but I felt disconnected from virtually every. single. character. - barring Xander, Oren, and the brief glimpse of Harry. Yes, the premise had promise, but the execution was lackluster. Sadly, this was my first book from Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and will likely be my last.

Star Rating: **1/2



ellie said...

Great review! Too bad it took a nosedive like this. Sounds like epics roots. The cover looks similar to other books I have seen recently from Juvenile to YA.

Caitlin'nMegan said...

Sounds like a story that many would love, yet maybe this set-up is a lot like those series that have been selling in YA for so long now. Loved your review!

Better Left Unsaid said...

Do you think there will be more to this series? Thank you for your honest review! Loved it!

Why Girls Are Weird said...

Oh no. This sounds so good, I'm so disappointed!

Briana said...

So sorry to hear it was a let down!


R's Rue said...

Sorry it disappointed.

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