The Inheritance Games Book Summary; Part 1

Image via Goodreads

Image via Goodreads

Alise Morency

The first book in The Inheritance Games series, acclaimed by The New York Times Bestseller young adult fantasy trilogy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. The Inheritance Games is a book full of puzzles, plot twists, emotion, and tension with an interesting take on games. The Inheritance Games has plot twists from the very beginning and will keep you guessing throughout the book.

Avery’s mom always created games when she was younger. The longest game they played was, “I have a secret,” and one of her mom’s secrets landed her in the hospital, and before Avery knew it, she was gone. A gravelly voice brought Avery back to the present. Every morning she plays chess with Harry in the park. She has no idea how he’d come to be homeless, but she did know that he was a formidable opponent. “You are a horrible person,” Harry said. Every time Avery beats him, he has to let her buy him breakfast.  She only gloated a little, “It’s good to be queen.”

Avery barely made it on time to school. She had a habit of cutting things close, especially with grades. But she is being practical, trading a 98 for a 92 on an assignment for an extra shift was worth it. Halfway through a paper, she gets called into the principal’s office. Principal Altman tells her that she was the only one who got a perfect score on her physics test. He tells her the tests are designed so no one can get a perfect score. She realizes that he thinks she cheated on the test. He says her teacher had the test answers backed up to the cloud. She tells him that she did not cheat, she studied and if she took the test again, she would get the same score. He asked what she would think if he told her that her teacher had already prepared a new exam. All new questions but the same difficulty. She tells him that she’ll take it and he says she can come in tomorrow to take it but she says, “I want to take the new exam right here, in your office, right now.”

Libby asks if Avery had a rough day. Libby is Avery’s sister and is seven years older and way too empathetic for her own good. Avery tells her that she’s fine and she made enough tips to help pay rent. Libby tells her that she’ll throw the cash at her, but Avery says she’ll dodge it. Libby says fine but she has to take the muffin she made her. Avery looked past her to see she made muffins and cupcakes. Libby is a guilt baker and an apology baker. Avery asks if he is moving back in. Libby tells her it’s going to be different this time and she made her favorite cupcakes. Drake, who has a habit of punching walls and extolling his own virtues for not punching Libby, walks in. “Hey, jailbait,” Drake says to Avery. Libby tells him to be nice, but he says that they need to learn how to take a joke. Avery tells Libby that this is not healthy. Drake had never wanted Libby to take Avery in and he has never stopped punishing Libby for it. Avery and Libby are half-sisters, they share the same absent father but had different moms.  Avery tells Libby that if Drake stays there she is not. Libby tells her that she is doing the best she can, but Avery couldn’t wait around for the day Drake stopped punching walls. She says if they need her, she’ll be living in her car.

Avery parked her car around the corner where no one could see her. She then texted her best friend Max saying, “You know who is back.” Avery was going to do her homework but didn’t feel like it. Instead, she grabbed a stack of postcards that her mom had left her. The postcards were dozens of places they were going to visit together. Her phone beeped and she saw it was a text message from Max. “That mother-faxer… are you okay?” The text message read. Avery texts her that she is fine and tells Max to unleash her fury about Max. Since Max moved away, most of their communication was written and Max refused to write curse words because her parents would see them. So she got creative. Max called her and asked if she was okay. Avery let out a long breath and said, “You know me, Maxine. I always land on my feet.”

Avery had to shower after gym class and showed up to English with her hair wet. The classroom door opened and the office aide said Avery is wanted in the office. She thought that someone had graded her test, but when she gets to the office she sees Libby. She asks Libby if Dad is fine and someone who isn’t Libby or the principal says he is. A guy who is not that much older than Avery says, “‘As of yesterday,’ he continued, his low, rich voice measured and precise, ‘Ricky Grambs was alive, well, and safely passed out in a motel room in Michigan, an hour outside Detroit.” Avery tried not to stare at him but failed, he has light hair and pale eyes. The man in the suit asked the principal to leave and before he could object, he said they had an agreement. Avery asked how he knew who her father was and he said to assume that he knows everything. Avery muttered, “A guy who thinks he knows everything. That’s new.” He responds with, “A girl with a razor-sharp tongue.” She asks what he wants. He says he wants to deliver a message. His grandfather’s attorneys have been sending certified mail to their apartment for weeks. Libby said that it was her fault that Avery didn’t get the mail because she thought they were a scam. The man said let me start again, his name was Grayson Hawthorne, and he was there on behalf of a law firm representing his grandfather’s estate. He says his grandfather passed away earlier in the month and his name was Tobias Hawthorne. He then asks Avery if the name means anything to her. Avery asks if it should because she had never heard that name before. He says his grandfather was a very wealthy man and Avery was named in his will. He tells them on his behalf, he has made travel tickets for them to go to Texas to attend the will reading. He leaves Libby and Avery alone. Avery tells Libby to start from the beginning. Libby says she doesn’t know why she was put in his will. She suggests that maybe he knew her mom. Avery says they can’t just leave but Libby says she has the next two days off. Eventually, Avery agrees to go to the will reading.

On the plane, Libby and Avery take a picture together. Then Libby asks Avery not to post the picture on social media. Avery immediately knows Libby didn’t tell her boyfriend where they were going. To fill the time, Avery does some research on Tobias Hawthorne while texting Max. When they land, A woman introduces herself as Alisa Ortega and says she will take them to the will reading. She also said she is Avery’s liaison to the Hawthorne family firm. While the three of them walk towards the car, Avery asks Alisa if she knows what is in the will, she says no but they will find out soon enough. Alisa informs them that they will have their pick of bedrooms at the Hawthorne house. Libby asks Alisa if she knew Tobias Hawthorne. Alisa says her father has been Tobias’s attorney since she was born and she spent a lot of time at the Hathorne house. Alisa asks Avery if she is the world-saving type and if she ever had her life ruined by a Hawthorne. Avery says no and Alisa only says lucky you. 

Hawthorne house looked more like a castle than a house. There were a dozen cars in the driveway and Alisa says that it looks like Nash made it home. Avery asked who Nash was and Alisa said he is the oldest grandson out of four. Avery thought how she already meant Grayson and Alisa gave her a knowing look and said, “Take it from someone who’s both been there and done that-never lose your heart to a Hawthorne.” Avery told her not to worry because she keeps her heart under lock and key. They walked into the foyer and were met by Grayson. He asked if there were problems with the flight and Alisa said to Grayson that he is nineteen and would it kill him to act like it. He said it might and flashed a smile. He then asks Avery and Libby if he could take their coats. Libby handed him her coat and he walked under one of the stone arches and pushed something on the wall in and a door appeared separating itself from the rest of the wall. Grayson said it was a coat closet. He went to close the door but a distant sound stopped him. There was a shuffling sound from behind the coats and a boy about Avery’s age walked out. He was tall with dark curly hair and light brown eyes and skin. He asked Grayson if he was late, but Grayson suggested he get a watch. But he asked if Jameson was there, and when Grayson said no, he exclaimed that he wasn’t late then. He then said how rude it was that Grayson did not introduce him to their guests.  Grayson introduced Avery and Libby, then introduced Alexander, and said Xander is the baby of the family. Xander corrected Grayson and said he was the handsome one. Avery asks Xander if he spent a lot of time in closets. But Xander said it’s a secret passage and the house is full of them. 

Avery says to Grayson that Alisa said there were four grandsons. Grayson tells her that he has three brothers, the same mother but different fathers. A woman comes up to them and says they are ready in the great room. She asks where his brother is and Grayson says to specify. She starts telling Ava about Grayson when he was younger and how she wanted girls but ended up having four boys. The woman suddenly asks what Avery’s birthday is but before she can answer, Grayson says, “‘Mother’, then corrects himself. ‘Skye.’’” Avery realizes that his mother’s name is Skye and he used her name to get her to stop talking. Skye tells Avery that they’ll talk later, but another woman about Skye’s age says she doubts Avery will be able to stay long. She introduces herself as Zara Hawthorne-Calligaris. Zara asks how Avery knew her father but Avery said she didn’t. Avery could feel Grayson staring at her but after a while, Zara tells her that they appreciate her presence. A man walks in and tells Zara that Mr.Ortega wants a word with her. Avery assumes the man is Zara’s husband. Skye starts talking again and when she gets to the topic of the boy’s father, Grayson tells her that he will pay to have her stop talking Sky tells him he couldn’t be more Hawthorne which is why they call him the heir apparent. Eventually, Skye tells them to make their way to the great room.

Once Libby and Avery are in the great room, she sees Xander talking to who she assumes is Nash. Then an ancient woman walked in and took Xander’s arm. Xander introduced her as Nan. The woman. The legend. Libby asked Avery if she was okay and she said she is going to step outside for a bit. As Avery made her way to the doors, Zara’s husband reached out and grabbed her arm. He tells them they are about to start. She wrenched her arm out of his grasp and tells him she’ll be back in a minute. Avery ends up in the backyard instead of the front. She hears someone say, “If yes is no and once is never, then how many sides does a triangle have?’’. She looked up to see a boy standing on the railing drunk. She tells him that he is going to fall. He says that is an interesting proposition. His hair was darker than Graysons but lighter than Xander’s, he also wasn’t wearing a shirt even though it was the middle of winter. He says that she must be Mystery Girl. She tells him that her name is Avery but he says whatever M.G., Mystery Girl. He shifts on one foot on the railing above and Avery tells him not to. But he grabs the railing and drops down beside her. He tells her that she shouldn’t be out there and she said neither, should he. He asks what it would make him if he did what he was supposed to do more often. Avery realizes that he is Jameson Hawthorne and tells him that makes him drunk and two. He gives her a confused look. She tells Jameson the answer to his riddle is two. Jameson says, “Touche, M.G”.

When Avery arrives back at the great room again, the lawyers start reading the will. To the Laughins, he left them free rent on their house in Wayback Cottage and a hundred thousand dollars apiece, for all their loyal years of work. To John Oren, the head of Tobias’s security detail, he left him his old toolbox and three hundred thousand dollars. Pearl O’Day, his mother-in-law, left all of his wife’s jewelry, a hundred thousand dollars, and a trust for medical expenses. To his daughters, he left more money to them to pay off all of their debts. To Skye, he left a compass so she will always know true north. And to Zara, he left her his wedding ring. To both of them, they get a one time inheritance of fifty thousand dollars. His four grandsons get two hundred and fifty thousand dollars apiece The remainder of the estate, including all properties, monetary assets, and worldly possessions not otherwise specified is left to Avery.

Zara and Grayson both immediately say that there must be a mistake and Avery agrees with them. Mr. Ortega, who read the will, says there is no mistake. He also mentions that the will is ironclad so no one can change it. Grayson tells Avery that she should leave but Alisa says that technically, the house now belongs to Avery. Mr. Ortega says that no one can attempt to remove Avery from the property because she now owns it.  Avery thought that someone in that room was going to kill her. Oren is now incharge of protecting Avery, he tells her that she is going  to need it. Jameson tells Avery that she is going to be the story of the century. Avery now realizes that she is a heiress.

She bolted outside and Libby followed her. Libby tells her to think about the possibilities with the money. Nash walked out the front door and told her to relax. He never wanted the money. His gaze shifted from Avery to Libby, he told Libby to take care and took off on his motorcycle. Avery tells Libby that they need to leave because the family doesn’t want them there. Oren tells Avery that wherever she goes, he is going with her. She will need security for the rest of her life and he said that he drives. Oren drives them to a hotel, but it is the fanciest hotel that Avery has ever seen. Once they arrive, Alisa is waiting for them in the lobby. Avery tells her that they can’t afford rooms there, but Alisa tells her that Avery owns the hotel now. Once Avery was in her room she read the will. Tobias put one condition for her, she must live in Hawthorne house for a year and she can only spend three days away from the house a month. Avery cannot kick anyone who is already living there out, unless it is under excruciating circumstances. If Avery fails to move into the house in three days, her portion of the estate will go to charity. 

Tobias left Avery and all of his grandsons a letter and she has yet to open it. Right when she is about to open it, a knock comes from  the door. Oreon tells Avery that Grayson is there to see him. Grayson tells her that he doesn’t know how she did this or what kind of con she is running. But he vows to find out how she did it. Avery pushed the closed door hard enough in Grayson’s face to send him out. Avery went back to the bed and opened the letter. It said, “Dearest Avery, I’m sorry. -T.T.H.”.

Avery slept late the next morning trying to figure out what Tobias was sorry for. In the kitchen, Oren and Alisa were talking quietly. Avery moved close enough for Oren to notice her. He tells her that he wants to go over security protocols because she is now a target. They tell her that she will be on the cover of every newspaper and Oren tells her to sit tight. Her sister will be back tonight on Avery’s jet.

Alisa tells Avery she can pick a car for her personal use. Avery excuses herself for a minute then comes back and asks Alisa if she can track down Harry to give him some money. Later, Avery went to meet Libby. As soon as Libby stepped off the jet, Avery noticed that Libby’s eye was bruised and swollen shut. Avery is about to argue with Libby because she knows it’s from Drake, but Libby tells her that she’s fine. Once they are back at the hotel and about to leave, Oren says that they have a problem. The paparazzi.

Alisa said that the leak came from Libby’s boyfriend. Libby corrects her and says her ex. Libby apologizes and confesses that she told Drake everything. Oren escorted Avery to a SUV while reporters tried to question her. There were even more reporters outside of the Hawthorne House. Alisa went to open the front door but it was locked. She said the Hawthornes legally had to give Avery keys, but the Hawthorne are a pain. Alisa handed Avery an envelope with keys in it. She had no idea which one went to the front door. Jameson spoke over an intercom and said that she’ll figure it out and that he has faith in her. Avery looked at the keys in her hand, all of them had the same pattern on them. She realized they were all copies of the same wrong key but one of them had to be different. Eventually, she found the one different key and unlocked the front door.

Alisa gave Avery a tour of the house. When Nash came in the front door, Alisa stiffened. Avery puts together that Alisa and Nash had to have been together at some point. Never lose your heart to a Hawthorne, Avery remembered. Alisa left and Nash went up to Libby and asked what happened to her eye. Oren interrupts and tells Libby that they should go over the security detail. Once Libby went with Oren, Avery told Nash to leave her sister alone. Nash chuckled  and said that she was protective. They heard a thud, then another. Nash told her that she might as well tagged along with him.

She followed Nash to a library in the house. Grayson and Jameson looked like they were about to kill each other. Nash asked whose a*s he had to kick first. The brothers tease him. Xander comes into the library and asks what he missed. Grayson told him that he didn’t miss anything at all and that Avery was just leaving. Xander then said as realization dawned on him, they were brawling. The three brothers gained up on Nash and took him down. Avery said she said she was going to go and Grayson told her that she shouldn;t be there at all. Jameson casually mentions to his brothers that he gave her the keys. Grayson snaps at him and says they had to give her a key, not the keys. Grayson and Jameson started arguing, but Jameson told her welcome to the house M.G. Avery told him not to call her that but he says, “I’d be willing to call you Heiress”. Nash told Xander to show Avery to her wing, to stop Jameson and Grayson from fighting. Xander told AVery that they will stop for scones along the way.

On the way to her wing, they stop in front of a portrait of Tobias Hawthorne. She tells Xander that she never met him. Xander asked if she was sure. But all Avery could think was the letter. Xander left Avery to explore her wing. She ended up In Tobias’s office. She looked through the drawers to see if there was some clue why he apologized or why she was there. There were at least a dozen patents on the walls. Libby came in and Avery noticed that the bruising was worse. Libby tells her that it doesn’t hurt. She is done with Drake and chooses Avery. But Avery wanted Libby to choose herself. Libby tells her that her mom used to hit her when she was younger. She also says that Drake did love her at some point, but Avery was right about him. Before Avery can say anything else, she tells Avery that she overheard Zara and her husband talking. They are going to run a DNA test on Avery. 

Avery lay down on her bed and heard a voice saying, “Pull the candlestick”. She heard the voice say, “ Pull the candlestick on the fireplace, Heiress. Unless you want me stuck back here?”. She immediately knew it was Jameson. She pulled the candlestick and Jameson came into view where the fireplace used to be. Jameson tells her that he is surprised that she hasn’t asked about the keys. He says it is a family tradition. She tells him that she isn’t family. Jameson asks if she believes that, but she says she doesn’t know. He tells her that Grayson is convinced that she is some kind of manipulator, his aunt thinks she is out for blood, but he thinks she is a riddle to be solved. Avery tells him that she is not a puzzle, but Jameson says that she has been trying to figure out who the grandsons are. Avery says that this is just a game to him, but Jameson says, “Everything’s a game, Avery Grambs. The only thing we get to decide in this life is if we play to win.” He reaches up to touch her face, but she jerks away. She tells him to get out. He tells her that she is special and they both want to know why she is there. Jameson says, “He left you the fortune, Avery, and he left us you”. He hands her an envelope and leaves the room.