The Inheritance Game

by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

“Why would your grandfather leave anything to me?” I asked.

“That’s the question of the hour, isn’t it?” He stepped out from behind the desk, and suddenly I knew exactly what direction the train was coming from.


“I’ve taken the liberty of making travel arrangements on your behalf.”

This wasn’t an invitation. It was a summons.

Ratings & Reviews

Book Grade: A

The Inheritance Games is addictive and original. I could not put this book down because I had to know the connection between Avery and Tobias. The added puzzles and games that the entire Hawthorne clan of brothers plays, too, was fascinating, and I kept trying to stay one step ahead.

I so appreciated Avery as a protagonist. She was refreshingly real – worried about college applications, scholarships, and grades – but she is also witty, intelligent, and vulnerable. It was thrilling watching her try to solve the various puzzles that Tobias Hawthorne had left after his death while trying her best not to fall for one of the Hawthorne boys.

The Inheritance Games is addictive and leaves you with lots of questions (suggesting that there will be another book to follow it). For anyone who likes puzzles, Cinderella stories, and clever protagonists, this is the book to read right now for a bit of a well-deserved distraction.

Movie Rating: PG

The Inheritance Games does a great job of being approachable to a wide audience. There is no memorable swearing, and while there is mention of death, it is not gory or glorified. There is a fairly mild kissing scene, and there is reference to a pair of Avery’s female classmates who are secretly dating, but neither is drawn out or detailed, making this, by and large, a book that has little that is truly controversial.

Would I Buy This for My Library: Yes

I am literally so excited to have this on the library shelves. I feel that this will be a hit with students and I can’t wait to see where else this series will take us. This book covers all sorts of topics – mystery, romance, coming of age, solving problems, family relationships – you name it, this book has it seamlessly woven in, ensuring that a wide variety of readers will be drawn to the story line and the glorious cover!


Avery Grambs is smart, determined, and independent. She is definitely not wealthy, though. Avery lives with her half-sister, Libby (a not ideal, but necessary situation after her mom died), and the two of them constantly struggle to make ends meet. Thus, it is a total surprise when Avery is greeted at school one day by a total stranger who says that she must come to hear his grandfather’s will be read as Avery is referenced in it.

Avery is more than a little suspicious as she has never heard of or met the mysterious billionaire, Tobias Hawthorne, but at Libby’s insistence, the two jet off for the reading of the will. Even though she is prepared for the unexpected, she never imagines that she her life will be turned upside down in an instant. Hawthorne has left most of his estate to Avery on one condition – she must live in his mansion (with his relatives in tow) – for a year or she must forfeit the entire inheritance.

While that might be enough mystery for some, Avery (aided by the Hawthorne grandsons) is determined to solve the mystery of why she was selected and what the mysterious clues that Tobias left mean. Quickly, however, she realizes that thanks to her inheritance, she can’t fly under the radar and be as independent as she once was; in fact, her life might even be in danger.

With witty writing, fast-paced action, and a wholly unique plot, The Inheritance Games will leave you guessing what is next and flying through the book!

Book Talk Questions:

  1. Who is the one person that Avery allows herself to spend money on? Who does this person end up being?
  2. What is surprising about the will reading/the inheritance situation?
  3. Describe the one time that Avery and Tobias met. Why might that have stood out in Tobias’ mind?
  4. How do the Hawthorne’s react to Avery? Which of them can she trust and which must she avoid?
  5. Who died at the Hawthorne mansion and how did they die? How might this be connected to Avery?
  6. What questions still remain based on the way that the book ends?

A Perfect Read for Fans Of…

  • The Cousins by Karen M. McManus
  • Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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