The Hawthorne Legacy

Little, Brown. (Inheritance Games: Bk. 2). Sept. 2021. 400p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780759557635. POP.
Gr 7 Up–Best-selling puzzle mystery The Inheritance Games has a sequel, and the stakes are higher than ever. Avery Grambs isn’t a Hawthorne. DNA proved that, but she does have the entire Hawthorne fortune as long as she can survive in Hawthorne House for one year. The first novel ended with a cliffhanger, and readers learned that the late billionaire didn’t build just one Inheritance Game but two for Avery and his grandchildren to work through. If she wants any answers about her mother and why she of all people got this fortune, Avery will need the help of all four Hawthorne boys. As the puzzles and power plays begin to pile up, the protagonist learns a Hawthorne trade secret: “There are no rules that matter more than winning.” With past and present intersecting, Barnes’s deepened characterizations paint a complex and emotional web of loyalties. Avery’s strong narrative voice and quick thinking bring layers to the story, carrying readers through riddles, as well as adeptly confronting grief, betrayal, and love. Avery’s love triangle with the two swoony Hawthorne boys becomes more compelling as the characters grow into themselves. There is diversity in the secondary cast in race and orientation, with an on-page f/f romance.
VERDICT Not to be missed, Barnes’s duology manages to flawlessly tie up all unanswered questions and will find readers in every library.

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