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.
I was intrigued with this book. I seem to be intrigued by all thrillers, despite my complicated relationship with most of them. So, it’s not really a surprise that this book caught my attention. A girl surprising inherits billions of dollars from a man she has never met. But, there’s puzzles around every corner and four boys, all with their own motives. Plus, I have recently seen so much buzz around this book online that I was even more eager to see what it was all about. Trigger warnings: alcohol, grief, emotional and physical abuse
Overall, I get the hype for this book. I can see where and why everybody loves it. Though, I just did not connect to it that way. Yes, it was enjoyable read. Yes, I liked reading it. But did I fall head over heels in love? Not really.
This book being compared to Knives Out is incredibly deserved. I couldn’t help thinking of that movie while I was reading it! In a good way!
The concept of this book is definitely interesting. And that interest carried me throughout the entire book. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I wanted to know how the riddles would unravel. I wanted to know what secrets were hiding and where they were placed. The plot is expertly concocted and it shows with how easy it is to be pulled through the book.
The characters were certainly intriguing. I’m not 100% sold on my feelings toward them quite yet. There was a bit too much drama between two of the boys and Avery, and there seems to be a whole lot of wishy washy feelings going around with all four of the boys as well. It feels like it could play out extremely well, and have an incredible emotional impact. But, I also feel like it could play out in a really cheap way and just fall flat. Nevertheless, I liked the darkness that seemed to be on the edge of the characters and the secrets that have wrapped tightly up and hidden away in the dark.
I also really liked Avery! I loved how normal she felt. A normal girl being thrust into a world that is so far from normal. Her viewpoint, in the midst of this lavish world of houses with bowling alleys in them, was exactly how I wanted to see this world.
The writing was something that really, really gave this book an edge. It was extremely light and flowy. It made it easy to fly through this book and it really highlighted what this book had going for it.
Really, my overall feelings for this book can be summed up in “skeptical, but intrigued”. I will be holding off final judgments until I read the second, and I believe final, book. And I plan on reading it! Which means this book was good enough for me to want more! It had good twists, memorable characters, and amazing writing. I do think the sequel has a lot riding on it, but I’m willing to check it out to see how this story ends. So, overall, this book was pretty good!