I AM CONFUSED.
And I don’t mean confused by the plot or the mystery. I am confused in my own opinions regarding this book. One moment i loved it so much i was fangirling and screaming so hard, and the next, i was screaming again. But this time because i was irritated? At some point I thought this was going to be my new favorite book but the next second i thought it wasn’t THAT amazing. Ugh. I KNOW I DON’T MAKE SENSE RIGHT NOW. NO NEED TO RUB IT IN, okay?
Did the ending disappoint me? Yes, you could say that.
Was I really emotionally attached to Avery? YES, I MOST DEFINITELY WAS
But did I still hate the romance and kept screaming at her every two pages? Yes. Yes, I did.
Did I constantly keep wishing Avery wouldn’t keep handing her heart out to those two Hawthornes? SERIOUSLY? THIS IS A QUESTION? OBVIOUSLY, WHAT ELSE WOULD I DO?!
But was I still hooked from word number one to word the last? Yes.
And did I enjoy the roller coaster disguised in the form of this book? Yes, very much.
BUT I really enjoyed the entire freaking experience and in the end, I guess that’s what matters?
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Age Category: Young Adult
Page count: 384 pages
Published: September 1st 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating: 4/5 stars
A Cinderella story with deadly stakes and thrilling twists.
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 con-woman, 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.
“They were a twisted, broken mess before you got here, and they’ll be a twisted, broken mess once you’re gone.”
I admit, the idea of a poor girl rising to become a billionaire, one of the richest teenagers in the world, due to an inheritance that had been left to her by a complete stranger, did sound quite intriguing when I first heard about it. It still took me a LOOOONG, LOOOOOONG time to get down to reading it. But the moment I started, I swear, I COULD NOT STOP.
I was hooked from the very beginning and binge read the entire thing. I kept turning the pages because I NEEDED to know what happened next. I didn’t look at the page count, didn’t worry about FINISHING the book. I was so immersed, I literally forgot about the rest of the world. I haven’t been so invested in a book since SO LONG, I CAN’T EVEN REMEMBER! Every time I picked it up, the rest of the world drowned out and this book was all I cared about. It’s been YEARS since a book did that. Since I was so invested in it that it made me forget EVERYTHING except its glorious existence. And I LOVE this book entirely for that.
I loved Avery’s character. And I don’t often love characters from Mystery books. My brain working through not trusting possible suspects and preventing tears because of possible deaths, you know? She was smart (except when it came to those two BROTHERS! I don’t know where her brain cells disappeared to then. Seriously) confident, and basically I love protagonists who can solve riddles like they were born for the task just… Everyone loves what they don’t have, right? Or in this case, what they can’t do themselves? Yes, I am terrible at riddle solving that’s why I’m in awe of people who can do that like it’s as simple as tearing paper
And then there’s the Hawthorne brothers – mysterious, I don’t know what, and I cannot make sense of the way their brains function. The more I saw of these brothers, the more confused I got. And by the end I was terribly confused. Jameson reminds me so strongly of Cardan? And I don’t know what I think of Cardan, so I don’t know what to think of Jameson either??? But I loved the first scene we saw of him SO MUCH!! I love people who talk in riddles so much!!! But he started talking normal and not-in-riddles by the end of the book, and I was disappointed in him.
Rebecca most easily was my favorite character in the book. I felt so sorry for her, and just loved her so much! And Thea too. I loved Thea’s personality and I would really have loved to see her more developed (she reminds me so strongly of Zoya from the Grishaverse?!) and that line she said, chilled me to my bones, I tell you. I would have included it here, but ~spoilers~ and I’m not rude like google.
And there’s Libby too, and she’s just a sweet little cinnamon role that we need to protect or maybe not because she is more than capable of doing that herself, and I love her, she’s so amazing and strong and she deserves SO MUCH BETTER!
Now for the things I DID NOT LIKE. The entire Emily plotline was… confusing. And… When everything was revealed, it just wasn’t worth the amount of suspense that had been created around it. I wanted an amazing end story after all the PAITENT waiting I’d done, but I didn’t get that.
Apart from that, everything was going just FINE much better than fine, in fact until that terrible romance kicked in. That destroyed EVERYTHING. I don’t usually hate romance in books, especially in mystery mystery + romance is my favorite combination but it was terrible in this book. Especially since it combined BOTH insta-love AND a love triangle. Like, enough already, okay?!
The plot twists weren’t that amazing or “surprising”, the way I had hoped. Some of the revelations did come as a secret, but I had guessed the last plot twist aka ~the cliffhanger~ of the book quite early on.
And then there was the ending. JUST TOO MUCH STRESS. PLEASE STOP BEATING ABOUT THE BUSH AND GIVE ME ANSWERS, PEOPLE! But, obviously, that could just be my inability to handle any kind of suspense whatsoever. But i was disappointed, okay? That wasn’t the ending I had hoped for and nor was it the ending I had wanted or would have liked. The twists weren’t jaw dropping genius, and I was a bit disappointed.
But I was still really invested in the story. I was still at the edge of my seat, taking in each word like it was food to my hungry soul. And I was addicted, absolutely and totally immersed. You could not have pulled me out if you had tried! I’ve really been enjoying mysteries lately, and after this, I DESPERATELY NEED MORE MYSTERIES so give me recommendations, okay?
Have you read The Inheritance Games?? THOUGHTS WANTED!! Favorite mystery books?? A book that hooked you from the very first line and would not let you put it down??