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Exclusive: Jennifer Lynn Barnes Drops Some Major Clues About ‘The Grandest Game’ in Cover Reveal

It’s been a year since Cosmopolitan (hey, that’s us!) got to make a major reveal: Jennifer Lynn Barnes was releasing not just one, but two new stories in The Inheritance Games universe. The first, The Brothers Hawthorne, was a standalone adventure that followed Grayson and Jameson on a brand new adventure along with some familiar faces. And now it’s time to go back for something even grander!

Cosmopolitan has your first official look at a new series, The Grandest Game, which will feature some new and older faces as a new kind of competition sends everyone and everything into a spiral. Here’s a little bit of what you can expect from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers:

Get caught up in the puzzles, games, danger, romance, and riches of this lush new chapter in the #1 bestselling Inheritance Games saga.

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these planners 😩 i need them all !!! #booktok #barnesandnoble

Seven tickets. An island of dreams. The chance of a lifetime.

Welcome to the Grandest Game, an annual competition run by billionaire Avery Grambs and the four infamous Hawthorne brothers, whose family fortune she inherited. Designed to give anyone a shot at fame and fortune, this year’s game requires one of seven golden tickets to enter. With millions on the line, those seven players will do whatever it takes to win.

NEW  Barnes & Noble EXCLUSIVE  Month Planner Fringe Agenda FREE  SHIPPING!
NEW Barnes & Noble EXCLUSIVE Month Planner Fringe Agenda FREE SHIPPING!

Some of the players are in it for the money. Some for power. Some for reasons all their own. Every single one of them has secrets. Amidst it all is Grayson Hawthorne, tasked with a vital role in this year’s game. But as tensions rise and the mind-bending challenges push the players to their limits—physically, mentally, and emotionally—it soon becomes clear that not everyone is playing by the rules.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Lynn Barnes delivers a brand-new series in the world of The Inheritance Games, where fan-favorite and new characters collide in a game you’ll never forget.

Barnes & Noble - We have  calendars and planners available
Barnes & Noble – We have calendars and planners available

Do you have what it takes to play?

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Just like previous books in The Inheritance Games world, fans will be able to pick up both a regular edition and a special Barnes & Noble special edition that you’ll definitely want to pick up if you’re a big fan. You can check out the original version above and the B&N edition below:

Mid-Year Planners That Will Actually Make Your Life Better
Mid-Year Planners That Will Actually Make Your Life Better

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Mark your calendars, because both editions will be available on July 30, 2024!

And while yes, that is a bit of a wait, that doesn’t mean that all our questions won’t be answered until then. In fact, we caught up with the one and only Jennifer Lynn Barnes to see if we can get you all some clues on what will happen next, and trust us, you’re going to want to read on to find out!

Cosmopolitan: You hinted to us before that two new books were coming in a new series back when you announced The Brothers Hawthorne. Why did you want to stay in the world?

As I was writing The Final Gambit, the last book in the original Inheritance Games trilogy, I spent a lot of time thinking about what my heiress protagonist would do with her billions once she officially inherited and became the richest teenager on the planet. I knew charity would play a large part in that, but I also asked myself: What’s next for Avery? What is she going to do for fun? And one of the things I came up with was the idea that she would start her own game, offering other people the same opportunity she’d had—to become immersed in an incredible, luxurious world where puzzles and riddles lurk around every corner. And thus, Avery’s yearly contest, THE GRANDEST GAME, was born. Once I wrote that into the epilogue of The Final Gambit, I knew I had to write at least one of Avery’s games myself!

Since we’re revealing the book covers today, what are some clues in them that we should look out for?

The objects on the covers of an Inheritance Games book always play an important role in the book itself. In a sense, the covers are puzzles. For The Grandest Game, we took this a step further. There’s at least one (and maybe more than one) cover element that hints at one of the first fun twists in the story—and in Avery’s game itself.

Any hints on what characters we’ll get to meet?

I can’t tell you much about the new characters without spoiling the story, but I can tell you that some of the players in the Grandest Game aren’t new characters—at least, not for readers who’ve read The Brothers Hawthorne.

Obviously, this world means a lot to you. What keeps you coming back for more? And how far in advance did you start planning it?

There was a line at the end of book two, The Hawthorne Legacy, where Jameson Hawthorne tells Avery, “This is Hawthorne House, Heiress. There will always be another mystery. Just when you think you’ve found the last hidden passage, the last tunnel, the last secret built into the walls—there will always be one more.” That line has always stuck with me, and in the years since I wrote it, it’s become a major inspiration for how I think about the series.

Writing Inheritance Games mysteries often puts me in the mindset of billionaire Tobias Hawthorne, whose grand plans and even grander puzzles always have another hidden layer. You’ll think you have the whole picture, but if you take a step back, it turns out you were only seeing part of the puzzle. So as I’ve written each of the books in the series, I have always layered in clues and hints to future puzzles. Even before I knew I was for sure going to write The Grandest Game storyline, I’d already layered in things in prior stories that I knew would matter for the larger mystery in this one.

We all are wondering what’s next for Avery and the Hawthornes. So tell us what we might expect for them?

I can’t tell you that. All I can say is that I have SO MANY SECRETS, including one secret that I think fans of Avery and the Hawthornes will REALLY love… and one that might be a bit darker.

What three words would you use to describe this book?

Puzzles. Romance. Competition.

Anything final message to the fans?

If you’ve ever wanted to be a Hawthorne, ever imagined what it would be like to play a Hawthorne game, ever imagined falling in love with Grayson Hawthorne… this book—and the whole Grandest Game series—is for you.

The Grandest Game, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, will be released on July 30, 2024. To preorder the book, click on the retailer of your choice:


Entertainment Editor

Tamara Fuentes is the current Entertainment Editor at Cosmopolitan, where she covers TV, movies, books, celebrities, and more. She can often be found in front of a screen fangirling about something new. Before joining Cosmopolitan, she was the entertainment editor over at Seventeen. She is also a member of the Television Critics Association and the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.