Review: The Hawthorne Legacy

Today, I want to delve into the endlessly intriguing The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I fell in love with The Inheritance Games when I read it last year and just had to snap up the sequel!

Thank you so much to Phoebe Williams at Penguin Random House Children’s for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


The Inheritance Games ended with a bombshell, and now heiress Avery Grambs has to pick up the pieces and find the man who might hold the answers to all of her questions – including why Tobias Hawthorne left his entire fortune to Avery, a virtual stranger, rather than to his own daughters or grandsons.

As the mystery grows and the plot thickens, Grayson and Jameson, the enigmatic and magnetic Hawthorne grandsons, continue to pull Avery in different directions. And there are threats lurking around every corner, as adversaries emerge who will stop at nothing to see Avery out of the picture – by any means necessary. 


Publication Date: 9th September

TW: death, kidnapping, fire, arson, drugging, drug use and addiction

Goodreads | Waterstones


My Thoughts:

The Hawthorne Legacy is an elegant puzzle box of a book. Barnes has deftly layered a complex and intriguing plot with well-developed characters and glimmers of romance. 

This is a smart, fast-paced mystery that is incredibly easy to lose an afternoon to. I always think that a good mystery should feel like being lead around a maze, with twists and turns but also a plot that keeps shifting and playing with your expectations. Through this story, Barnes craftily builds on the groundwork laid in The Inheritance Games and develops her maze to become evermore labyrinthine. Her tangled web only grows deeper and more interconnected, with shocking revelations and little hints of how it may all end. Barnes has crafted layer after layer of intricate riddles for the reader and characters to solve, often with deeply emotional and personal themes threaded through. Every time you think you have the answer nailed down, you don’t. This makes it such a bingeable read, with the kind of intensity and fast pace that keeps you hooked. I found myself flying through the pages. 

I really love the focus on family, both found and related, that drives most of this book. The central mystery solely relies on family and the emotional complexity driving most of the relationships. There are some dark and deeply buried secrets that drive the main relationships and provide a fascinating backdrop to the events of the first book. As we find out more and more about these characters, I can only fall more in love with them. They all feel so vividly drawn and lovable, but also so humanely flawed. Also, I really enjoyed the hints of romance but particularly how Barnes keeps them secondary to the plot. Avery is no damsel in distress and her romantic entanglements are definitely secondary to her fierce intelligence and loyalty to her friends and family. She’s a smart and driven character who is starting to realise her newly found power and privilege, but also the dangers that come along with it. 

The Hawthorne Legacy constantly keeps you on your toes and creates an extremely compelling atmosphere and plot that you cannot tear yourself away from. It’s the type of book you just want to devour and will leave you immediately calling for the sequel.

5 thoughts on “Review: The Hawthorne Legacy

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