RELEASE DATE: September 1st 2020
AUTHOR: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
GENRE: Young-Adult, Contemporary, Thriller.
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
A Cinderella story with deadly stakes and thrilling twists, perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying and Knives Out.
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.
This was my first book by Jennifer Lynn Barnes and I absolutely enjoyed it. It’s a perfect YA cotemporary read with right amount of mystery, and thrills. I really loved the concept especially the riddles, and puzzles. Even though some of the twists were predictable, it never failed to hold my interest. The characters were enjoyable and loved the way the author weaved the story with the Cinderella vibe.
The story follows seventeen year old high school teenager Avery Grambs. After her mother’s death, she lives with her step sister Libby. She plans to have a better life by earning a scholarship but her life takes a surprising turn when she gets a huge inheritance from the billionaire Tobias Hawthorne. She never met him in her life and she doesn’t understand why he placed her name in his last will but the Hawthorne family doesn’t believe her words especially the heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne, one of the four grandsons of Tobias Hawthorne. He believes that Avery is a con-woman and a gold digger. He threatens her that he would reveal her true intentions and will take her down. On the other hand, his brother Jameson believes that Avery is the last puzzle that his grandfather had left for them to solve. To benefit from the will, Avery must live in their mansion for a year, otherwise the money will go to the charity. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, Avery must survive the danger around herself and play the game to find the answers.
I liked Avery’s character! She’s smart, selfless, and caring! She’s living a pretty tough life after her mother’s death. She has no one but her elder step sister Libby who’s sweet and innocent. Her boyfriend is quite shitty though. She loves him but he’s a total d-bag who often abuses her. I enjoyed the sibling bond between Avery and Libby. Grayson has a hard edged personality. He was pretty rude to Avery at the beginning and warns her about not to get involved with her brothers. Jameson has a charming and irresistible personality, but he’s pretty obsessed with solving his late grandfather’s puzzle. I really liked Nash. I’m sad that he didn’t get much page time in the book. He is the eldest grandson in the group who’s not interested in the inheritance but he likes saving damsels in distress. It looks like something is going on between Libby and Luca and I totally ship them. And last but not the least, we have the youngest grandson Alexander. He was pretty fun and adorable.
The plot was engaging filled with mystery and secrets. There’s lots of puzzles, codes, and riddles. They kept me hooked to the plot till the end. While some twists were easy to predict, some were hard to guess. The pacing was good. I expected the triangle in this book because there’s four charming grandsons and it’s bound to happen. Avery gets conflicted between two brothers and it’s a drama that some might not like it, but It didn’t hinder my enjoyment. The author’s writing was easy to understand. The setting was good. I really liked the idea of huge old mansion with lots of secret passageways and hidden compartments.
Overall, I immensely enjoyed reading this book! I’m glad there’s a sequel it because I really thought it was a stand-alone read. The book concludes with a surprising twist and I can’t wait to read the next book.
I would definitely recommend this book if you’re into YA contemporary mysteries/thrillers.
So, What do you think of this book? Have you read it yet? Do you Plan to read it?
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