As a fan of mysteries and young adult literature, when those two things combine, I’m one happy blogger. I’ve written reviews for several YA mysteries, so when this one came along I was really excited to read it. Here’s the synopsis:
She came from nothing.
Avery has a plan: keep her head down, work hard for a better future. Then an eccentric billionaire dies, and leaves her almost his entire fortune. And no one, least of all Avery, knows why.
They had everything.
Now she must move into the mansion she’s inherited: Hawthorne House. It’s filled with secrets and codes, and the old man’s surviving relatives – a family hellbent on discovering how Avery got ‘their’ money.
Now there’s only one rule: winner takes all.
Soon Avery is caught in a deadly game that everyone in this strange family is playing. But just how far will they go to keep their fortune?
Avery is a character that immediately drives empathy, and her circumstances prior to the Hawthorne inheritance make you all the more pleased for her – but also utterly bemused. It’s wonderful, following along with her, trying to riddle out the meaning not just of the fortune, but of the letter she was left. No spoilers from me – you need to read that yourself!
The Hawthorne brothers all drive emotions of their own, especially in Avery, and you find a gut reaction to each of them appearing in the pages. It’s amazing how different related people can be in the real world, and the author translates that perfectly well to the pages of the novel. Although they’ve been brought up together and raised with similar things as a foundation, they couldn’t be more different.
Underlying the whole storyline is a base of puzzles and riddles, and it’s fantastic. Normally I pride of myself on being able to unravel at least part of any puzzle set in a book but I couldn’t untwist many of these, and I LOVE it when I get outwitted by a book. There were many parts that couldn’t be predicted without having other input and that just made it even better; for a story to be written so comprehensively and thoroughly is one of the best things about a good mystery.
One of the reasons I love young adult literature is the intensity is dialed back just that bit to prevent it from being overwhelming, and this book is one of the many examples of how a book can be young adult and still be incredible. There’s sometimes stigma in the book world about how young adult literature is ‘lesser’, but books like this just go to show that you can read young adult and still be immersed so heavily in a world you don’t want to put a book down.
As an aside, if any eccentric billionaires would like to leave me a fortune in exchange for solving some puzzles, I’m game.
Thank you to the wonderful Dave at TheWriteReads for organising another successful tour, to Penguin for my copy of the book, and to the author for such a superb tale to get lost in – I can’t wait for more.