Title: The Inheritance Games

Author: Jennifer Lyn Barnes

Publisher: Little Brown Books


Synopsis:

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 conwoman, 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. Review: This is a review for The Inheritance Games audiobook.


Plot: The first few chapters of this young adult novel really drew me into the story, but once Avery arrived at Hawthorne House, the plot stalled. I love a good puzzle and enjoy shuffling the pieces with fictional characters. Unfortunately, The Inheritance Games bored the heck out of me. One of the two “big” reveals felt rather silly. Tobias Hawthorne’s little game lacked maturity and intrigue for such a distinguished entrepreneur. I kept saying “Really? Really Tobias? That’s the reason for the game?” The final and biggest reveal was incredibly predictable and left me unsatisfied.


Characters: The Hawthorne boys never held my attention. I’m not sure if it was the narrator’s annoying southern drawl she used for Grayson, Jameson, Nash, and Alexander or their mannerisms, but in my humble opinion, they all fell flat. As for Avery, the protagonist, she hit every mark for the unremarkable teenage girl in young adult fiction who gets thrown into a new environment, struggles to fit in, gets a glow up, then attracts the attention of multiple boys. The side characters piqued my interest, but not enough to make up for the slow paced plot.


Writing: Author Jennifer Lynn Barnes created a casual mystery for young readers. Technically, I found nothing wrong with her writing. My only complaint is the story itself or the lack thereof. Her descriptions painted a simple picture of the characters and setting. Hawthorne House got the most attention, which I found entertaining, but as a fellow Texan, I struggled to identify the exact location in the Lone Star state. One minute the characters were in a vast forest, the next they’re near the ocean. The dialogue between characters flowed naturally, and only a few overused words snagged my attention.


Final Thoughts: Because my reader taste has matured, I doubt I will continue this trilogy. I need more grit and intensity from both the plot and characters. I would recommend this book to young readers who enjoy contemporary YA novels.


Triggers/Warnings: none


Plot: 3/5

Pacing: 4/5

Escapism Factor: 3/5

Emotional Connection: 2/5

Character Development: 3/5


Star Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️


Completed Read: November 2021

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Title: The Aeon Chronicles IV

Author: April Woodard

Publisher: Distant World Press


Synopsis:

Aven Crey is in hell, doomed to repeat his past mistakes. With Nehia, his demon, taunting him at every turn, he can’t escape his damnation. Not unless Claire comes to save him. But Claire is in her own torment in an underground bunker. There’s no forgiving Will for leaving Aven to die. As she plans her escape from the nano-numbed super-soldier, Aalok readies his army for the final war.

It all ends here in the last installment of The Aeon Chronicles. Find out who will be crowned victor and who will be blotted out of existence forever.

Review:

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. The Aeon Chronicles IV is the last installment in The Aeon Chronicles by April Woodard. The series conclusion leaves the reader satisfied. Author Woodard answers all burning questions and gives her characters their well-deserved endings.


I enjoyed the quick pacing, the steamy bedroom scenes, and the Alice and Wonderland references-cue Nehia. Aven will always be my favorite character, and peering into his early life only enhanced my connection to the morally grey dark haired man. His life review gave me the same spooky feels as A Christmas Carol.


I appreciated Claire’s growth in this installment, but Will’s character fell a little flat. I’ve always struggled to connect with the guardian. I wanted to love him. Unfortunately, I only ever "liked" him.


I can’t say too much without giving away spoilers, so you’ll just have to add it to your to be read pile. This is a book for those who love angels and demons, morally grey characters, speculative fiction, Christian references, and romance.


Triggers/Warnings: violence, adult content


Plot: 4/5

Pacing: 4/5

Escapism Factor: 4/5

Emotional Connection: 4/5

Character Development: 4/5


Star Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Completed Read: October 2021


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Title: The Babylon Bee Guide to Wokeness

Author: Babylon Bee

Publisher: Salem Books


Synopsis:

To show the world you’re a good person—and also to avoid getting canceled and having your life ruined by a Twitter mob—you need to get WOKE. In The Babylon Bee Guide to Wokeness, the writers of satirical sensation The Babylon Bee tell you how to choose your pronouns, blame everyone else for your problems, and show the world how virtuous you are with virtue-signaling profile pictures and stunning and brave hashtags. A tongue-in-cheek guide to the far Left’s obsession with intersectional insanity, The Babylon Bee Guide to Wokeness will help you laugh at the state of our culture so you don’t cry.


Review: I received an advanced reader copy from The Babylon Bee in exchange for an honest review.


Brilliant. Utter perfection. Finally, someone called out the nonsense that is plaguing our country, and the authors presented it in a way that left my side cramping from fits of giggles. Seriously folks, I struggled to breathe from laughing so hard. The graphics are EVERYTHING; the comedic delivery is flawless; the disturbing accuracy of ‘wokeism’ is on point.


This book is exactly what the world needs right now. Why? One word: satire. It appears the human population has forgotten how to laugh at one another without worrying about hurting someone’s feelings. Well, never fear. The Babylon Bee Guide to Wokeness fills that void beautifully.


This is not a book for the oversensitive cry babies who cancel strangers for using the wrong pronouns, for those who believe the US was founded on racism, for the self-proclaimed scientists who form their hypothesis based on the nightly news, for those who end every argument with “do better you transphobic bigot”, or for the parents who love sending their children to indoctrination hubs disguised as educational institutions. Actually, maybe it is. If this paragraph offended you, then YES, this is the book for you. Trust me, you’ll love it! It’s everything you preach on your Instagram stories bounded nicely with a gender neutral bow.


Warnings/Triggers

Truth bombs. Prepare thyself with boxes of tissues to dry your tears from fits of laughter or perhaps grab a cloth hanky crafted from the hemp grown in your neighbor's backyard since liberal tears are only dried with recycled materials.


Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Completed Read: October 2021

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