Book Review: The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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

Jennifer Lynn Barnes, The Inheritance Games

Title: The Inheritance Games
Series: The Inheritance Games (Book 1)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult, Adventure, Contemporary Fiction
Length: 10 hrs, 45 mins (Audiobook)
Published: September 1st, 2020

My Rating: ★★★★
Read: 9/3/2022 – 9/5/2022


Five teens and a multimillion-dollar inheritance… what could possibly go wrong?

Avery’s biggest hope for her future is to finish high school and be awarded scholarships so she can attend college. All of that changes when she’s contacted about the estate of Tobias Hawthorn — a man she’s never met and who has left her the majority of his estate over his children and four grandsons. This far from solves her problems. She quickly discovers that the Hawthorn family is far from ordinary. They play to win, and her life could be in danger.

This was a fun, sometimes quirky mystery that’s different from any other I’ve read to date. There were a lot of characters to keep tabs on, though, and I kept mixing up two of the grandsons. The pacing was great and I loved the short chapters. It kept the story in motion. Unfortunately, I found the conclusion underwhelming, especially where the plot began to drag toward the end. Still, the book was a lot of fun and I’m hooked enough that I want to continue the series. 

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • The riddles. I liked being part of the game.
  • The underdog trope.
  • Constant motion of the story.

What I didn’t like:

  • The love triangle. It felt forced.
  • Underwhelming conclusion.


One of the better YA mysteries I’ve read. I might have liked it more if I were younger, but it was still very enjoyable. This is the Book Santas & Lovers group read for September.

Where to buy the book:

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