A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Mystery adventure meant to entertain.
It's OK to want things. Just because you won't always get everything you want, or it might turn out differently than you expected, you shouldn't shut yourself off from wishing, longing, or even desiring. Family loyalty is important, but that doesn't mean every member has your best interests at heart. Your real family are those you love, and who love you; the people you want to protect and who have your back, too.
Positive Role Models
Avery is a positive role model for compassion, curiosity, and perseverance. She doesn't hold grudges against people who have harmed her if she understands that their motives weren't bad. She wants to understand her own past, and uses her puzzle-solving skills to learn about it and what ties she may have to the inheritance she received. And she never gives up until she finds the answer or uncovers the truth. There's less rivalry between the four Hawthorne brothers than in the first book, although they're still pretty competitive. Older sister Libby and best friend Max are loyal and supportive.
Most physical descriptions are vague, so unless you've read the first book in the series you wouldn't have much information about race or ethnicity except for a couple of last names, one Chinese and one Latinx. In the first book we learn that one of the brothers' is mixed race and a school friend is Black. There's one same-sex couple.
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Violence & Scariness
A gunshot kills someone, but there's no gore or description of the body. A bomb explodes and the narrator is knocked unconscious with an out-of-body-type description of being shocked by defibrilators. A kidnapping has a character drugged with chloroform, tied to a chair, and threatened with a gun. A bloodstained sheet meant as a warning has a heart with a knife through it on the sheet. A fire in which four people died a long time ago is one of the main events being investigated. A past death and attempted murder are mentioned. Commenters on the internet threaten or suggest violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few kisses with brief, vague descriptions, one same-sex and the rest between opposite sex characters. Teens play a strip game; one loses her top and her bra is described, one has lost everything but his pants and is about to remove them when the game's interrupted. Internet comments speculate about who someone's sleeping with.
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"Bitch," "slut," and a character who uses sound-alike words that make it clear what swear word is being substituted.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
An adult who "doesn't do well with wine" is drunk at a gala event and causes a scene. An adult offers a teen beer, which she declines. Older teens heard over the phone sound drunk after playing a drinking game. Pills, alcohol, and powder are found hidden in a missing adult's room.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Hawthorne Legacy is a mystery adventure that continues the story begun in The Inheritance Games by popular YA author Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Reading the books in order is recommended for a better understanding of the characters and the events leading up to this installment. Characters investigate attempted murder, kidnapping, arson, and mysterious deaths. Actual violence expereinced in the story include a bomb exploding; being shocked with a defibrilator; being drugged, tied to a chair, and threatened with a gun; online threats; and a bloody sheet with an animal heart with a knife through it left as a threat. Sexy stuff includes some kissing (same-sex and opposite-sex), a stripping game with no body parts described, and lots of romantic tension and dynamics. Strong language includes "bitch" and "slut." Teens are overheard on the phone sounding drunk after playing a drinking game. An adult gets drunk and causes a scene. Pills, alcohol, and powder are found in a missing adult's room.
Is It Any Good?
This second installment of a mystery series keeps the puzzles coming but adds travel to exciting new locations and adventure to keep the pages turning. The Hawthorne Legacy is full of twists and turns, and even more surprises than in the first volume. Plus a love triangle that continues to pull Avery between two swoon-worthy brothers adds to the suspense. Readers will enjoy immersing themselves in the fabulous jet-setting lifestyle as much as in the mystery and intrigue, and they can admire the way Avery keeps a level head on her shoulders through it all. Favorite characters from the first book return, and colorful, well-realized new ones are introduced, too. The ending's satisfying, but fans will be happy to know that a third installment is planned.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.