Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on February 10, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Romance
Avery VanDemere says she’s lived her whole life in prisons—-one is a mansion, the others are private schools—-but prisons, still. That’s why, during the last couple of years, she’s perfected the ability of learning how to escape. On the brink of finally freeing herself from a hated boarding school, she is unexpectedly returned home and thrust in the middle of a competition. Her grandmother, the family matriarch, is now determined to discover the most worthy VanDemere to be named sole inheritor. With the help of Riley Tate, the handsome son of her grandmother’s lawyer, Avery sets out to do much more than prove she should inherit the massive family wealth. She has a secret mission of her own, and that’s to discover the truth about what really happened to the mother she never knew. Along the way she must pass difficult and sometimes perilous challenges, avoid treacherous relatives, and sort out her growing feelings for Riley. She’ll have to act quickly, though; the pressure is on and with each challenge, her competitors are more desperate to win—and to them that means getting rid of Avery.
I was drawn to read Inherit Midnight as soon as I heard it’s about a rich family competing against one another in a race around the world to inherit their grandmother’s estate. How awesome does that sound?! I love movies such as National Treasure, and this story is along the same vein. I absolutely loved the fast-paced adventure in this novel, and had a very difficult time putting it down. However, there are a few things I want to discuss.
First, the romance in Inherit Midnight is extremely cringeworthy and one of the worst cases of instalove I’ve experienced. I thought it was interesting that the author admits to the instalove, but that didn’t justify it. Instead, I felt extremely uncomfortable with the dialogue between Avery and Riley, and couldn’t get over how “in love” they were after just a few weeks of knowing one another. In fact, I would have enjoyed Inherit Midnight much more if the romance was put aside. I wanted to focus on the family competition, and not on the angsty teenage love.
Moreover, there were a few small details in Inherit Midnight that annoyed me. For example, the chapter titles were unnecessary and distracting. I’m not sure why they were included at all. In addition, I was a bit unnerved by how the lawyers were written in this story. As a law student, I didn’t like the portrayal of the lawyers and their behaviors, but I’m one of the few people who would actually pick up on that. Finally, the ending of the book was really unbelievable, but I cannot say more without spoiling you.
Putting those critiques aside, I really enjoyed Inherit Midnight. I loved following Avery as she and her family were tasked with the different challenges, all while traveling around the world and learning about their family history. The action never wavered, and once the competition began I didn’t want to stop reading. I also loved the character development in this book. Avery learns a lot about her family in Inherit Midnight, both her ancestors and those she’s competing against. The competition really showed each character’s true light, and Avery learns who she can trust and who she can’t.
I also really liked how the author included some subplots in the book, but I won’t get much into those because they are spoiler-filled. I will say that I predicted a huge plot twist right from the beginning, but I was excited to find out I was right towards the end. Because this particular twist was a subplot and not the main story, it didn’t detract from the overall book when I was able to predict the outcome. I also really loved the last scene of the book. It was sweet and touching, and filled me with hope for Avery’s future.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience of Inherit Midnight. In reality, this book probably deserves a three star rating because of the instalove and cringeworthy dialogue, but because it was so action-packed and exciting, I gave it a four star rating. I highly recommend Inherit Midnight if you love The Amazing Race or the National Treasure movies, or if you are looking to break into the thriller genre. Inherit Midnight is a ton of fun!