Seventeen-year-old Avery VanDemere's ridiculously wealthy grandmother has decided to leave the family fortune to the relative who proves him or herself worthiest-by solving puzzles and riddles on a whirlwind race around the globe.
For Avery, the contest offers a chance to escape. As the black sheep of the VanDemere clan-the illegitimate daughter, sent away to boarding school-she'd love to use that prize money to run away from the family who ostracized her . . . and discover the truth about her long-lost mother.
Marshall might be Avery's uncle by blood, but there's no love lost between them. He'll do anything to win, even if it means turning on his own children.
Riley is the charming son of Grandmother VanDemere's lawyer. As the game progresses, Avery finds herself drawn to him-even though she isn't quite sure she can trust him.
Treacherous turns in the competition serve as brutal reminders that only one person can win it all. Is Avery willing to risk both her heart and her life to claim the grand prize?
4 Out Of 5 Stars
Genre: Teen, Mystery--
Avery has always been the black sheep of her family, the outcast that nobody wanted. Her mother died when she was born and her Father dumped her on her Grandmother, Avery has always tried to be perfect to receive the much desired praise from her prim and proper Grandmother. Avery is sent away to a reform school which is more prison than school. On the night she attempts to escape, someone was sent to pick her up. She is requested to complete a challenge for her inheritance along with all her devious family members. They have 8 tasks/quests to accomplish to determine who will take control of the family fortune.
This book was a teen version of the 39 Clues book series. I am not saying that in a bad way since I thought those books were really cute and incredibly ingenious. Avery has to pass tests and go on adventures around the world that relate to her family’s history and their historical importance, each test she completes brings her one step closer to learning more about herself and her heritage. This was a really fun book and I enjoyed reading it. There was teen angst, mystery, history and adventure, as well as danger and romance. Everyone was out for themselves and Avery did not know who was actually on her side or just using her.
In the midst of the family battle, Avery has to struggle with her own worth and parentage. She has spent her entire life being cast aside by her father and grandmother or told she was worthless by her uncles and cousins. She has always been the outsider desperate to belong. Avery is the perfect example of having everything money could buy around her, yet it not being enough without love and affection. Regardless of the way she was treated, Avery is still a kind person who has been so sheltered she takes wonder in every new thing. At almost 18 she should have some life experience, but she has spent most of her time locked away at boarding schools, missing out on life in general. She made me so sad at how neglected she really way emotionally, yet she gives away kindness when she expects none in return. I really liked Avery and I rooted for her to stomp out her family in the competition, while at the same time I wanted them to like and except her as is. Yes it is all so very complicated. I also liked the realism of her feelings, her inability to instantly forgive an incredible hurt, instead admitting that she needed time. That made Avery so much more human and relatable, especially to me who holds grudges forever.
The book has family drama and secrets dropped at every turn. Everyone is hiding something, be it a small tidbit about stealing to illegitimate children, and everything gets revealed at the worst possible time. There was also the start of a romance, but at times it was painful since Avery is so true to herself and yet lacked self confidence in her belief she can be loved. I liked almost everything about the story except for the identity of the villain who was threatening Avery. I thought this person was a little over the top when there were so many better choices to be the person who wanted Avery out of the picture. It kind of came out of nowhere and I didn’t buy it. A competition around the world for a family inheritance with evil family members? Sure that I can get behind, but the threatener, not realistic.
I really liked this story and look forward to more from this author. I am 99% convinced this was a stand-alone teen book since everything was wrapped up nicely with no loose ends. I would gladly read more from this author in the future because she made her plot intriguing and her characters relatable. I would recommend this to anyone who liked the 39 Clues, adventure mysteries or just a good teen read.
I received this book form the publisher in exchange for my honest review.