Sunday, February 8, 2015

*Book Review* Inherit Midnight by Kate Kae Myers

Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Format: E-Book, 400 pages
Source: NetGalley/Publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller

The Competition:

Outlandishly wealthy Grandmother VanDemere has decided to leave her vast fortune to the family member who proves him or herself worthiest-by solving puzzles and riddles on a whirlwind race around the globe, from the mines of Venezuela to the castles of Scotland. There will be eight competitors, three continents . . . and a prize worth millions.

The Players:

Seventeen-year-old Avery is the black sheep of the VanDemere clan, the ostracized illegitimate daughter. Finally, she has a chance to prove herself . . . and to discover the truth about her long-lost mother.

Marshall might be Avery's uncle, but there's no love lost between the two of them. He's her main competition, and he'll do anything to win-including betray his own children.

Riley is the handsome son of Grandmother VanDemere's lawyer. As the game progresses, Avery falls hard for Riley. Suddenly, losing the game might mean losing him, too. 

As the competition takes treacherous turns, it becomes clear there can only be one victor. Who can Avery truly trust? And is winning worth her life?

Inherit Midnight is a straight forward story with some mysteries, surprises, betrayal, and romance. The story reminds me of the Amazing Race TV show, but with backstabbing family members battling for control of the VanDemere empire. The story is told in the first person narrative by 17-year old Avery VanDemere, the so called black sheep and illegitimate granddaughter of the family.

I can honestly say that the synopsis for Inherit Midnight is pretty much right on track. It's a fact that the head of the VanDemere family, Justine VanDemere, has decided to leave her entire fortune to the one family member who proves themselves worthy. Nobody is allowed to walk away from the contest without giving up on their claim to the crown and settling for less than THEY believe they are entitled to. By solving puzzles and riddles on a journey from the mines of Venezuela, to the castles of Scotland, and various states in-between, family members must understand the VanDemere legacy in order to be the last one standing.

Avery is the kind of character I can understand. She's never known her mother. Her father Preston is a loser, alcoholic, and cheater with an older son, Warren, who wants nothing to do with Avery. Avery is a bit of a rebel, but with a clue of what she's doing. She finds ways of sneaking away from the prison cell her Grandmother calls home in order to keep her away from friends, and temptations. Unfortunately, those responsible for Avery's most difficult moments, just happen to be her cousins, and uncles who she is forced to compete against.

Avery is one of a few people in this book that I actually liked, and respected for her choices and ability to make it through a maze of useless family members who can't let go of grudges and will stab their own children in the back in order to win. I get that Avery's only goal is to find a way to finally get out from under her Grandmothers restraints, and live the life with friends she wants. Avery has another reason for joining the contest: finding more about her birth mother who has been writing letters to Avery since she was born.

Inherit Midnight has the most annoying, entitled, cry baby, dysfunctional family members that you will ever read about. If you can get past that point, then you will enjoy the overall story, especially the family history, and challenges. There is no getting away from how much I loathed everyone from the Grandmother, to her uncles, to her cousins who purposefully made Avery's life a living hell. I will say that I did eventually come to respect her half brother Warren and his wife Sasia. At least Warren grew a pair and actually stood with Avery, instead of against her.

Now let's talk about the love interest. 19-year old Riley Tate interns for his father's law firm that handles the VanDemere's business. He's the main reason why Avery agrees to join the competition instead of giving up the millions the winner gets at the end. I don't know if I would necessarily call Riley and Avery's connection insta-love at first sight, but it's close. I will also say that while he can be an irritant times, I don't remember any point where he threw up his hands and gave up on Avery. Plus, anyone who can deal with Avery's family members like he did, earns my respect.

In the end, I liked what Myers did with the challenges, the family history, and the fact that Avery isn't a character who is written as a good girl gone bad. I didn't much care for the angry boy who makes Avery's life difficult, or reappears for the most idiotic reasons ever. I would have liked to see a mother and daughter reunion since they were torn apart by no action of either of them. I think Avery deserved a Happy ending after everything she's had to face from her family. I will also say that I was happy that Myers didn't try to force Avery and her father together after everything he's done in the past. Their situation was handled more realistically.

**I received this book for free from (Bloomsbury USA Childrens) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

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