Avery's life isn't exactly going to plan and is already sleeping in her car, so, when a mysterious man appears to tell her she has been named in his grandfather's will she thinks it must be a joke, surely? Travelling to a grand mansion Avery realises it is no joke, and her inheritance opens family wounds long thought healed...
When books come to my house they usually end up on the evergrowing pile of "to-be-read" books in my bedroom but I had been so excited to read this it jumped straight to the top and I read it immediately. After hearing about this novel I thought of the film 'Knives Out' and it was essentially a different version of that on a YA level, equally enjoyable but different in ways that make it unique. The background and intricate details on the house certainly interested me most (who doesn't like secret passages?!) Barnes must have done some serious research and creative planning to ensure that came across well. However, after thoroughly enjoying 'Knives Out' I was immediately trying to connect dots that weren't there, praying for Jameson to not be the Chris Evans of this book.
(On a side note, 'Knives Out' is a wonderful film that I 100% recommend watching and at the time of reading it is available on Amazon Prime!)
Throughout the novel, we meet characters who have a serious problem with Avery, I, however, loved her. She was the perfect "girl against the world" character without being overly resistant and on her guard, which I often think pushes them against the reader as well as the world. Her development was something I rooted for as a reader because although she sometimes made the wrong choice (in my opinion) she always brought herself back round to clear and concise plans that I appreciate in a YA novel. Relationships in mystery novels always provide a level of relief but the connections between Avery and the Hawthorne brothers always had an air of concern about it that kept me engaged in the mystery.
Getting really excited about books nearly always leads to disappointment and although 80% of this book blew me away, the ending left me flat. The selling point of this was that we needed to figure out Avery's connection to Tobias Hawthorne (spoilers ahead) to see why he would have left her everything. I was trying to guess how she fits into this family drama and when the revelation came through I was left sitting in a dumbfounded disappointment confused as to why this was the chosen conclusion. I really wanted the connection to be smart, clever and outstanding like the image we had been sold of Tobias but it felt just rushed and unremarkable.
With that being said I will pick up the sequel as it was left specifically to prolong the mystery of the Hawthorne family but I will not be in such a rush to read it as I was with this one.