Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A teen girl with an extraordinary ability for reading people is recruited by the FBI to join a secret society of young profilers.


"All In" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a captivating young adult mystery novel that delves into the high-stakes world of professional poker and family secrets. The book takes readers on a thrilling journey through the life of a teenage girl who discovers her hidden talent for reading people and uncovers shocking truths about her family's past. With its compelling storyline, complex characters, and unexpected twists, "All In" is a must-read for fans of mystery and suspense.

Brief Synopsis

Plot Overview

The story unfolds in the glamorous and cutthroat world of professional poker, where high-stakes games and intense competition reign supreme. The protagonist, seventeen-year-old Ivy Westfall, possesses an extraordinary talent for reading people's body language and facial expressions, a skill she has honed through years of observing her father's poker games. When Ivy is invited to compete in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, she is thrust into a world of wealth, power, and deceit.


The majority of the story takes place in Las Vegas, a city known for its vibrant nightlife, opulent casinos, and larger-than-life personalities. The glitzy backdrop of the World Series of Poker provides an exciting and high-pressure environment for the unfolding drama.

Main Characters

Ivy WestfallThe protagonist with a remarkable talent for reading people, driven and determined
HoldenIvy's charming and enigmatic cousin, skilled in the art of poker and harboring his own secrets
DavidIvy's loyal and supportive best friend, who provides a grounded perspective amidst the chaos

Story Points Over Chapters

Chapters 1-5

Ivy receives an unexpected invitation to compete in the World Series of Poker, a prestigious event typically dominated by seasoned professionals. The prospect of showcasing her talent on such a grand stage both excites and intimidates her. As Ivy prepares for the competition, she grapples with the revelation of long-held family secrets that threaten to upend her world.

Chapters 6-10

In Las Vegas, Ivy reunites with her cousin Holden, who is deeply involved in the world of professional poker. Holden possesses an enigmatic charm and a keen understanding of the game, but he also harbors his own hidden agenda. Ivy's interactions with Holden and the other competitors at the tournament intensify as the stakes grow higher.

Chapters 11-15

As Ivy navigates the competitive world of professional poker, she uncovers shocking truths about her family's past and the complex web of lies and deceit that has shaped her life. Her growing bond with Holden becomes increasingly complicated, and she must confront the uncomfortable realities that threaten to unravel her sense of identity.

Chapters 16-20

Tensions escalate as Ivy delves deeper into the poker tournament and grapples with the high-pressure environment. She faces unexpected challenges and betrayal from unexpected sources, forcing her to rely on her instincts and resilience. The mounting suspense and personal revelations push Ivy to confront her fears and take risks she never imagined.

Main Events

  1. Ivy's invitation to compete in the World Series of Poker sets the stage for her immersion in the high-stakes world of professional poker.
  2. The reunion with her cousin Holden in Las Vegas introduces a complex dynamic and raises questions about his motives and intentions.
  3. Ivy's gradual discovery of her family's secrets and the impact of these revelations on her own sense of identity.
  4. The intense competition and strategic gameplay in the poker tournament, as Ivy faces off against seasoned professionals and navigates the complexities of the game.
  5. The culmination of the story as Ivy confronts unexpected betrayals and personal challenges, ultimately testing the limits of her resilience and determination.

Themes and Insights


  • Family Secrets: The novel explores the impact of long-held family secrets on personal identity and relationships.
  • Deception and Betrayal: The world of professional poker serves as a backdrop for themes of deceit and betrayal, highlighting the complexities of trust and manipulation.
  • Self-Discovery: Ivy's journey involves a process of self-discovery and embracing her unique abilities, as she navigates the challenges of competition and personal revelations.


The novel offers insights into the intricacies of human behavior, the art of reading people, and the high-pressure environment of professional poker. It also delves into the complexities of family dynamics and the enduring power of resilience in the face of adversity.

Reader's Takeaway

"All In" captivates readers with its blend of high-stakes drama, intricate family dynamics, and the art of reading people. The novel's compelling characters and unexpected twists keep readers on the edge of their seats, while its exploration of identity and resilience provides thought-provoking insights. Whether readers are drawn to the world of professional poker or the complexities of family secrets, "All In" offers a gripping and immersive reading experience.


In "All In," Jennifer Lynn Barnes skillfully weaves a tale of mystery, suspense, and self-discovery within the captivating backdrop of professional poker. Through the experiences of Ivy Westfall and her journey of unraveling family secrets, readers are invited into a world of high-stakes competition, complex relationships, and the enduring power of resilience. With its compelling narrative and rich character development, "All In" is a must-read for fans of young adult fiction and mystery genres.

All In FAQ

  1. What is 'All In' about?

    All In is a young adult mystery novel by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. The story follows a group of teenage girls who are part of an elite secret society at an exclusive boarding school, and they must navigate the dangerous world of wealth, privilege, and power.

  2. Who is the main character in 'All In'?

    The main character in 'All In' is a girl named Avery West, who is drawn into the secretive world of the Circle, an exclusive organization at the school. Avery is determined to uncover the truth behind her family's connection to the Circle and the dangerous games they play.

  3. Is 'All In' part of a series?

    Yes, 'All In' is the sequel to the book 'The Inheritance Games' and is the second installment in the series. It continues the story of Avery West and her involvement with the mysterious and wealthy Hawthorne family.

  4. What genre is 'All In'?

    'All In' is a young adult mystery novel with elements of suspense, intrigue, and secrets. It also delves into themes of power, privilege, and the complexities of family dynamics.

  5. Is 'All In' suitable for all age groups?

    While 'All In' is targeted at young adult readers, it may contain mature themes and content, so it is best suited for older teens and young adults.