30 Books in 30 Days, Vol. 3
This was fun! I love puzzle books. Not that I even tried to solve any of the puzzles in here; as previously related in many reviews (one just last week, I believe), I am a more passive reader and not super great at puzzles or riddles, so I just sit back and let the characters do all the work for me, presenting me with mysteries and then serving up the answers. This particular puzzle book is also a high-stakes wish-fulfillment fantasy involving young adults and also some romance, with a healthy dash of family secrets. I read the first two pages and immediately understood why this had been a runaway bestseller.
The premise here is that Avery, who is being raised by her older sister after the death of her mother, is left most of the inheritance of a billionaire in Texas who she has never met. The only requirement for keeping the inheritance is that she live in the billionaire’s mansion for one year. This, of course, causes the man’s actual family to lose their shit in various ways. But on top of all that, he was apparently mischievous and loved puzzles, and he has left a series of bread crumb clues hidden throughout the mansion for either Avery or his family to follow, perhaps to uncover the secret of why Avery was left billions of dollars by someone she’s never met, and perhaps there are other things to uncover.
The only thing keeping me from giving this five stars was the presence of the love triangle. SPOILERS I would have been annoyed at Avery falling for one of the Hawthorne brothers, let alone the potential of two of them vying for her affections. I wasn’t a huge fan of the brothers as love interests to begin with; they were way too bantery and cutesy for my taste, and not a nerd in sight END SPOILERS. The best brother was the youngest, a nerd, who is also biracial, and I enjoyed his friendship with Avery way more than the “romance” between the others. But even though all of that was not to my taste, the overall plot and pacing of the book made it very hard to put down, and I read it basically in two sittings.
I am definitely in for books two and three, but jury is still out on whether book four (which has the whiff of unnecessary cash grab) will be making an appearance on my shelves. I will be waiting for reviews and checking out the vibes. Meanwhile I already own books two and three and will be getting to them shortly.