We know you’re itching to get your hands on The Final Gambit, the conclusion to Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ The Inheritance Games trilogy. While you’re waiting, we’ve decided to tide you over with some other books we know you’ll love, whether what brought you to Hawthorne House was the puzzles and riddles, the love triangle between a brilliant girl and a two handsome boys, the chance for a massive inheritance, or epic quests.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Years before Jennifer Lynn Barnes wrote The Inheritance Games, she wrote a couple can’t-put-down YA thrillers about a girl who follows in her sister’s footsteps as a fixer, someone who makes rich people’s problems go away. Tess arrives in Washington DC to stay with her older sister Ivy, who is on the payroll of the country’s most powerful politicians. Before long, Tess finds she also has a talent for making the ugly details of others go away at her elite high school…until she and her sister’s fixing end up on a collision course that will cost Tess everything.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ The Naturals is probably her other novel that has the most in common with The Inheritance Games, so if you’re looking to jump into her older titles, this is the best place to start. Cassie is a teenage sleuth extraordinaire: she can read people like they’re books. Then one day the FBI discover her and want to use her. They put Cassie in a house with a group of teens with similar skills to crack cold cases, but a new killer and Cassie’s suspicions about her new housemates means a game of survival is on.
If a thriller about who is going to inherit a mysterious man’s fortune is what you loved about The Inheritance Games, there is no better book to pick up next than The Westing Game. While it’s a middle grade mystery, it reads well for any age. Ellen Raskin’s classic will leave you guessing with goosebumps until the very end!
Ready Player One may not seem like the most obvious read once you’ve finished The Hawthorne Legacy, but allow us to convince you! Wade Watts lives in an Oklahoma wasteland in the year 2044. The world has gone to heck, and the only pleasure anyone has in life anymore is logging into the OASIS, a virtual reality where anything is possible. OASIS creator James Halliday died years ago and left an Easter egg within the simulation: whoever could solve a set of puzzles would inherit his fortune. However, winning the prize involves Halliday’s lifelong passion which has become everyone else’s favorite past-time: 80s pop culture. Wade also has fantastical foes to defeat along the way that are straight out of a video game and of course, he has a mysterious fierce competitor for the top prize. And when you’re done with the book, be sure to watch the film.
Jessica Goodman’s debut They Wish They Were Us is a juicy murder mystery set in a Long Island prep school. A scholarship kid, Jill has spent the past three years fitting into her ultra-elite and cutthroat environment and is now a member of the exclusive club “The Players” that allows them to cheat their ways through high school and into the country’s top colleges. When they were freshmen, her best friend Shaila was murdered, and her boyfriend confessed to the murder under duress then recants after he’s served his time in juvenile detention. When Jill starts looking into what really happened that night, her own secrets are suddenly at stake.
Karen M. McManus
In this entertaining killer thriller a potpourri of high schoolers have all ended up in after-school detention for things they never did. Then one of them, the guy who was posting all their schoolmates’ filthy little secrets on a gossip app, dies from a peanut allergy. Early on, it looks like the surviving group were all set up to be there, and even worse, the epi pen was stolen from the nurse’s office so the victim could not be saved. Who would do such a thing? Who indeed.
Unwind doesn’t involve any games, and there’s certainly no inheritance involved. But as a quest for survival with an array of sinister people to fend off, with some hefty ethical and moral undertones, this is a great book for anyone looking for a novel about a speculative America with equal parts gore and comedy. In Unwind, the abortion debate in America has been settled with the compromise that it’s illegal with one exception: between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, parents can choose to “unwind” their children by having their organs harvested for people who need them. Connor is one such child, deemed a “problem” by his parents, and he and a group of ragtag teens he finds on their way to the operating table try and escape to freedom.
A lost classic in the YA mystery genre, there is no novel quite like Sinbad and Me. First published in 1967, Steven and his giant bulldog Sinbad romp all over their Long Island village conducting investigations, from the sinking of a gambling ship in 1920, ciphers, and cave mysteries, while contending with the townspeople, from bullies, sketchy lawyers, eccentric geniuses, and more. There are also references to highly obscure cryptography books, as well as architecture and numismatics. A great book if you love math (or love the idea of loving math) and its perfect to give your reluctant-reader guy friends. Pssssst pro-tip: try and get your hands on an older copy of the book.
Edward Powys Mathers
So you’ve finished The Inheritance Games AND The Hawthorne Legacy…and you want even more riddles, puzzles, confusion, and mystery. Boy do we have the book for you: Cain’s Jawbone came out in 1934 and is currently undergoing a bit of a revival. You’ll soon see why: you have 100 pages out of order. Six people have been murdered. Rearrange the pages in the correct order, then identify the murderers and their victims. One online reviewer said it best: "Infuriated recipients but they won't give up.” There are 32 million combinations and only four people have solved it so far. Good luck!
The Inheritance Games wasn’t just about mysterious billionaires, riddles, and games! If you like romances that feature class divisions, there’s no better choice than Katie McGarry’s Say You’ll Remember Me. Elle is the daughter of Kentucky’s Governor who must spend time with Drix, a boy who doesn’t come from the best circumstances and is now a guinea pig in her dad’s new rehabilitation program for youthful offenders…and a great prop for the Governor’s re-election campaign.