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The Cousins

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Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they've never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they're surprised... and curious. Their parents are all clear on one point—not goin Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they've never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they're surprised... and curious. Their parents are all clear on one point—not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother's good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it's immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious—and dark—their family's past is. The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn't over—and this summer, the cousins will learn everything. From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying comes your next obsession. You'll never feel the same about family again.


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Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they've never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they're surprised... and curious. Their parents are all clear on one point—not goin Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they've never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they're surprised... and curious. Their parents are all clear on one point—not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother's good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it's immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious—and dark—their family's past is. The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn't over—and this summer, the cousins will learn everything. From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying comes your next obsession. You'll never feel the same about family again.

30 review for The Cousins

  1. 4 out of 5

    Karen McManus

    ETA: The cover is live, and it's stunning! You can read part of the first chapter on Paste Magazine: bit.ly/2xdF2It *** Since a few people have asked: this book, which will be my fourth published book and will be released in December 2020, is not part of the One of Us Is Lying series. It's a standalone YA mystery, in the same vein as Two Can Keep a Secret, with a brand-new setting and different characters :) ETA: The cover is live, and it's stunning! You can read part of the first chapter on Paste Magazine: bit.ly/2xdF2It *** Since a few people have asked: this book, which will be my fourth published book and will be released in December 2020, is not part of the One of Us Is Lying series. It's a standalone YA mystery, in the same vein as Two Can Keep a Secret, with a brand-new setting and different characters :)

  2. 5 out of 5

    ✨ A ✨

    Am I underwhelmed by the title? Yes But I'd still read anything by McManus, so there you go 💁 Am I underwhelmed by the title? Yes But I'd still read anything by McManus, so there you go 💁

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    well, Karen M. McManus has decided to write a novel on one of the most terrifying things in the world.... family | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram well, Karen M. McManus has decided to write a novel on one of the most terrifying things in the world.... family | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  4. 4 out of 5

    daph pink ♡

    And the award for the biggest disappointment ft. wtf storyline, out of the blue twists, cardboard characters and forced romance of the year goes to "Three cousins " *cough* "The cousins". I am not a big fan of author , I have only read One of us is lying which was pretty decent I think , but due to the hype this book received I decided to read it , but ohhh no , this was such a lackluster , I forced myself to complete it!! Plot thing :- The plot was simple , three cousins go to an island and t And the award for the biggest disappointment ft. wtf storyline, out of the blue twists, cardboard characters and forced romance of the year goes to "Three cousins " *cough* "The cousins". I am not a big fan of author , I have only read One of us is lying which was pretty decent I think , but due to the hype this book received I decided to read it , but ohhh no , this was such a lackluster , I forced myself to complete it!! Plot thing :- The plot was simple , three cousins go to an island and they discover something happened 24 years ago. This was "supposed" to be thrilling , like something which will glue you to your seat , and excuse me it was. But that too only because I wanted to know the end which I couldn't have guessed anyhow because the amount of out the blue twists the author threw at us , were not imaginable but rather stupid and I am sorry but it didn't made the story intersting at all. The story actually didn't picked pace till 200 pages or so , it was so slow which made it fall nowhere between a cozy laid back mystery or a glued to your seat thriller. Characters :- None of the characters were appealing at all , I wasn't rooting for anyone . I just didn't care whether they live or die. Aubrey ( only okaish and sensible character) , Milly ( buy me a drink and please give her some sense) , Jonah ( haha , which one?). What irritated me the most was that I had to remember the name of there parents and they were so damn confusing like why you have to name them with A. Twists :- I wasn't shocked with any of the twists because they were so random , unimpactful and ludicrous. Ending :- I would have given it a solid three stars if that ending would have been different . I mean com'on author could have thought of something more intelligent than that. I felt like I have read this type of ending a thousand times before and it was so rushed like people dying, fire , blah blah all accommodated in one chapter. So for a mystery lover like me , this wasn't something original at all. (view spoiler)[ I mean wow , money , rivalry , stupidity , this isn't something new , but it's the way author present it . (hide spoiler)] Bottom line :- The thought was interesting, story had a lot of potential but Characterisation was weak and the real mystery elements were missing. Plus I have a few questions if someone can answer . 1. What was the sense of Allison Pov? 2. How the fuck is that cover related to book at all?

  5. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    i just want to say that this book, for what it is, is decent. i personally dont read a lot of YA mystery/thrillers because they feel very watered down compared to adult mystery/thrillers, which kinda defeats the purpose for me, and this book is no exception. the pacing is slow, but good if you prefer a more relaxed kind of mystery. the character development is missing, but they are a little entertaining regardless. there is no tension found anywhere throughout this and it reads more like a conte i just want to say that this book, for what it is, is decent. i personally dont read a lot of YA mystery/thrillers because they feel very watered down compared to adult mystery/thrillers, which kinda defeats the purpose for me, and this book is no exception. the pacing is slow, but good if you prefer a more relaxed kind of mystery. the character development is missing, but they are a little entertaining regardless. there is no tension found anywhere throughout this and it reads more like a contemporary YA story. but i think my biggest issue was the ‘twists’ and ‘reveals’ being too farfetched. again, these arent necessarily bad things, they just arent that great either. KM is a fun author and i will still read her books, but this one just fell a little under the mark for me personally. i think fans of ‘we were liars’ will really enjoy this as it has a very similar vibe. ↠ 3.5 stars

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Twist and shout, come on come on come on baby, work it on out! I keep singing this song after reading this ultra twisty, surprising book with full of deliciously juicy mind games! My head is dizzy! This book is crazy roller coaster! First it builds up the tension and gives you the clues, then it makes a sudden u turn by giving you stomach knots and a few chapters later it throws another bomb into your lap! At the end you’re getting attacked by a few sucker punches that you didn’t see it coming! Twist and shout, come on come on come on baby, work it on out! I keep singing this song after reading this ultra twisty, surprising book with full of deliciously juicy mind games! My head is dizzy! This book is crazy roller coaster! First it builds up the tension and gives you the clues, then it makes a sudden u turn by giving you stomach knots and a few chapters later it throws another bomb into your lap! At the end you’re getting attacked by a few sucker punches that you didn’t see it coming! Finally it ends with another explosive twist! You clap! You congratulate to the author for her evil genius mind ( I can literally sense her evil laughs making fun of my dumbness even though I guessed some of the revelations before hitting the ending chapter!) This book is so much different from One of Us is lying installment. Dark family secrets, lies and more adult Ponzi schemes were included into this equation! But I loved this work of hers more than my favorite installments she has written. I love juicy, dysfunctional family relations ( Instead of watching cartoons when I was little I preferred to watch Dallas and JR Ewing’s villain laugh always brightened my life! ) Dynamics between Story family’s A lettered siblings ( Adam, Anders, Allison, Archer: if their mother could give more 4 births maybe she would start to name them with B letter! ) reminded me of a little Succession series ( they don’t have a father who advises them f*ck themselves but entire clan are a little vicious to get the inheritance money) The teenager cousins who are sent to the resort which the grandmother they never met owns, barely know each other. Let me introduce them: Milly: cool, cunning, sharp witted, posh one,Allison’s daughter. Aubrey ( here we go, we have another A lettered character) insecure, sweet, peace maker, successful swimmer.: Adam’s daughter who hates her father’s guts but we don’t know the reason at the beginning. And Jonah: good looking, a little douche, mysterious, smart, perfect pool player: Anders’ son who truly hates his father and we don’t know the reason why!! The story is told by their POVs and flashbacks from 1986 to learn the siblings’ story by getting snippets of Allison’s POV ! I loved the intriguing pace, riveting story telling and well developed characterization: I loved all of the cousins: Both of them are flawed, lost, dealing more burdens they can handle but they didn’t irritate me much like their parents! I was so close to give five stars but the final revelation made me question the entire premise because there are still plot holes and the big twist at the end was too hard to be kept hidden for nearly 3 decades ( as you consider the characters live in a small island with noisy, gossiping inhabitants so this kind of mystery cannot be kept too long! ) But instead of that it was entertaining, promising, mind spinning, quite fun reading! I love the author’s work and when my arc request has been rooted at the pending purgatory of NG , I’m so happy to buy my own copy! It’s worth every penny you spend! I’m giving my four mysterious, spooky, weird, dysfunctional, imposter stars!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elle

    Karen McManus is always my cure for a reading slump. There’s something about her YA thrillers that immediately pull me in and keep me compulsively turning pages until the end. Though a little different in tone from her previous hits like One of Us Is Lying and Two Can Keep a Secret, The Cousins is no exception to that rule. Milly, Aubrey and Jonah Story have never met their grandmother, Mildred Story, before. She mysteriously cut off contact from their parents twenty-four years ago, and hasn’t se Karen McManus is always my cure for a reading slump. There’s something about her YA thrillers that immediately pull me in and keep me compulsively turning pages until the end. Though a little different in tone from her previous hits like One of Us Is Lying and Two Can Keep a Secret, The Cousins is no exception to that rule. Milly, Aubrey and Jonah Story have never met their grandmother, Mildred Story, before. She mysteriously cut off contact from their parents twenty-four years ago, and hasn’t seen any of her children or grandchildren since. So it’s strange that all these years later she’s reached out and invited the three of them to visit her estate on Gull Cove Island now that they’re all nearly grown. Even stranger, they all accept and spend their summer living and working at one of her hotels, each seeking out something different from their elusive grandmother. As always, McManus uses a roving perspective, moving between the distinct voices of Milly, Aubrey and Jonah with ease. As the cousins get to know each other, they also begin to learn more about the history of the island they’re now living on, and by extension their grandmother. Gull Cove Island is a little-known east coast getaway that features local residents and wealthy vacationers alike. There’s layers of mystery and decades-old unanswered questions for the Story cousins to unravel, especially when they find their own parents at the center of it. I liked this book, but it felt a good deal slower than McManus’s previous works, especially in the beginning. I’m used to her books hitting the ground running and with The Cousins you have to wait for the story to come to a boil. The ending also felt a little rushed, probably because of the slower pacing in the first part. That said, I’m glad that the author is trying out something different from her last three books, and I hope she feels like she can branch out even more in the future. Karen McManus also has an upcoming book in 2021, You'll Be the Death of Me, which is sold as Ferris Bueller’s Day off meets a YA Murder mystery. It sounds amazing and EXACTLY up McManus’s alley, so I’m extremely excited to read that one! *Thanks to Delacorte Press, Random House Children’s & NetGalley for an advance copy!

  8. 4 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    I have discovered I have an deep interesting in inheriting a large and mysterious fortune, so I will continue to read books about inheritances (and disinheritances) until I, too, find the answer 😪 Also this was such a brilliant McManus book. I'm so fond of her thrillers, and while this one actually felt more lowkey on the thriller aspect, it has the TWISTS that leave your brain shrieking. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. The premise. The messy problematic rich families. The estranged cousins b I have discovered I have an deep interesting in inheriting a large and mysterious fortune, so I will continue to read books about inheritances (and disinheritances) until I, too, find the answer 😪 Also this was such a brilliant McManus book. I'm so fond of her thrillers, and while this one actually felt more lowkey on the thriller aspect, it has the TWISTS that leave your brain shrieking. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. The premise. The messy problematic rich families. The estranged cousins bonding. The mysterious resort island. The REVEALS at the end ahhh. what if a rich, reclusive grandma disinherited her kids but took a sudden interest in their grandkids... This definitely has similar vibes to The Inheritance Games but overall goes for a slightly different angle. Mildred Story disinherited her kids 25 years ago and has never seen them, made contact, or even tried to meet their kids. But then one summer she invites the 3 cousins (Milly, Jonah and Aubrey) to her resort island to "work" and get to know her. It's a really cushy job for a ton of pay, but obviously the parents are like "maybe she'll give you an inheritance?!?" so they push for the kids to go. But when the three cousins get there, their grandmother doesn't want a thing to do with them. So it's very deeply about messed up, privileged and entitled rich families and their dirty secrets. And sorry, but I kind of love it 😂 Rich people just are...on another PLANET. Of the three cousins, Milly is the most snobbish (her mum bribes her with a DIAMOND NECKLACE to go?!) but they're still better than their parents. We get flashbacks of their parents youths and oh they were brats. But it's really engaging and compelling and you feel soft for the good eggs and horrified at what the others get away with. Of course there's a little bit of murder... It's a McManus book, alright, this is what we showed up for. Except this time the cousins are unravelling what happened on the island 25 years ago to get their parents disinherited. WHAT DID THEY DO. The three cousins were messy, clashing and vibrant. Milly was forthright and a go-getter, definitely one who likes to be the centre of attention. Aubrey was a quiet pushover people pleaser and so soft. But I loved how they bonded. Milly immediately looking out for Aubrey and Aubrey enjoying having someone not stomping on her. Jonah was the cousin they all hate, snobby and geeky...although he has more secrets than you can imagine and I really liked him. (view spoiler)[I literally snorted and had to shut the book and laugh when he and Milly kissed and no one knew they weren't true cousins. The whole ball just looking at them like 😟😳😦 omggggg. (hide spoiler)] A thoroughly compelling, mysterious and fantastic read. I really had a good time with this! Dysfunctional families and cousins learning to bond and family skeletons being dug out of the shadows and muuuuurder. It's hard to put down and the bombshells drop with absolute perfection. Also the foreshadowing is SO good and glorious but you don't see it till the ah-ha moment at the end. I love it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alissa

    If this book's title doesn't start with the word "three" then what's even the point? EDIT 21/10/19: Okay so.... disappointment much?? I mean it even says in the description it's about THREE cousins so why you gotta be so lame with the title and ruin the tradition of McManus book titles??? C'mon... If this book's title doesn't start with the word "three" then what's even the point? EDIT 21/10/19: Okay so.... disappointment much?? I mean it even says in the description it's about THREE cousins so why you gotta be so lame with the title and ruin the tradition of McManus book titles??? C'mon...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    Looking for a healthy helping of twisty family drama? If your answer is "Yes, please," you'll want to pick up Karen McManus' newest YA mystery, The Cousins . Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah have never met their grandmother, the immensely wealthy Mildred Story. Ever since she disowned all four of her children more than 20 years ago, she’s rebuffed any effort their parents have made through the years to reconcile or meet her grandchildren. Even their parents—all siblings—barely speak to each other. But Looking for a healthy helping of twisty family drama? If your answer is "Yes, please," you'll want to pick up Karen McManus' newest YA mystery, The Cousins . Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah have never met their grandmother, the immensely wealthy Mildred Story. Ever since she disowned all four of her children more than 20 years ago, she’s rebuffed any effort their parents have made through the years to reconcile or meet her grandchildren. Even their parents—all siblings—barely speak to each other. But one day each of the grandchildren gets a letter from Mildred inviting them to spend the summer working at the island resort she owns in New England. While each is mildly intrigued, no one particularly wants to spend their summer working for a woman they don’t know, one who has never cared about them. Their parents, however, seize the opportunity, thinking this could be the first step to their mother welcoming them all back into the family, so the cousins have no choice. And considering that they haven’t seen each other in years either, at least misery will love company! What the cousins don’t count on is how their grandmother will interact with them, how others are trying to manipulate the situation, and just how many dark secrets the Story family wants to keep hidden. Why did their grandmother disinherit her children? Why did she send for her grandchildren after so long? The Cousins is full of family drama, twists, and secrets, and you don’t know if there's anyone you should trust. I love the way Karen McManus writes. (I particularly loved One of Us is Lying and Two Can Keep a Secret .) She hooks you right away and keeps you guessing, and while I don’t know that I loved the way everything wrapped up in this book, I still couldn’t get enough. I’m curious to see if she writes a follow-up to this one, because she set it up perfectly! Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html. Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  11. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    It is taking ALL of my willpower not to preorder this. I hate book buying bans sooooo much!!! Why do I put myself through this!? P.S. Days later I pre-ordered it. I suck at book buying bans. It is taking ALL of my willpower not to preorder this. I hate book buying bans sooooo much!!! Why do I put myself through this!? P.S. Days later I pre-ordered it. I suck at book buying bans.

  12. 4 out of 5

    stine

    the way this could've been titled "three's a crowd" and it would've made sense and kept up with the ~one.. (of us is lying)~ and ~two.. (can keep a secret)~ trend going on is such a missed opportunity but i'll take it the way this could've been titled "three's a crowd" and it would've made sense and kept up with the ~one.. (of us is lying)~ and ~two.. (can keep a secret)~ trend going on is such a missed opportunity but i'll take it

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jessica | JustReadingJess

    The Cousins is a great YA thriller like I expect from Karen M. McManus. I was invested in The Cousins from the first page. I was so curious to find out why Milly Story disowned her children. Milly, Aubrey and Jonah haven’t seen or talked to each other in years. Together they try to figure out what happened eighteen years ago. Milly and Aubrey quickly become close. I enjoyed reading about their new friendship. All of the family drama was interesting and I couldn’t wait to find out all the secrets. The Cousins is a great YA thriller like I expect from Karen M. McManus. I was invested in The Cousins from the first page. I was so curious to find out why Milly Story disowned her children. Milly, Aubrey and Jonah haven’t seen or talked to each other in years. Together they try to figure out what happened eighteen years ago. Milly and Aubrey quickly become close. I enjoyed reading about their new friendship. All of the family drama was interesting and I couldn’t wait to find out all the secrets. Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah all have difficult relationships with their parents. The grandmother was very standoffish and avoided her grandchildren which made me even more intrigued. Thank you NetGalley, Penguin Random House Children’s UK, and the Write Reads for The Cousins. Full review: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I have genuinely no idea how i managed to get an ARC of this but i'm so thrilled i did, thank you NetGalley and Penguin Random House! I read this book in one day and just couldn't put it down. This is more of a family drama than it is a thriller like her previous works, and follows three cousins who are summoned to their family island resort to spend the summer with their grandmother. The only catch being that their grandmother, who owns and runs the resort, disinherited all of her children dec I have genuinely no idea how i managed to get an ARC of this but i'm so thrilled i did, thank you NetGalley and Penguin Random House! I read this book in one day and just couldn't put it down. This is more of a family drama than it is a thriller like her previous works, and follows three cousins who are summoned to their family island resort to spend the summer with their grandmother. The only catch being that their grandmother, who owns and runs the resort, disinherited all of her children decades previously and hasn't had any contact with the cousins until now. This is my favourite of McManus' novels so far, the plot twists were incredibly well done and i found the overall plot and pacing to be great. The small beach town setting is one that I always love so i would recommend to all that love a good YA mystery.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brandice

    The Cousins is a dark, dramatic family mystery that comes to light when the Story siblings’ children, Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah, are invited to work at their grandmother’s resort, despite their parents being cutoff from her for many years. Their parents are clear — The cousins are going. The invite isn’t optional, and perhaps presents an opportunity to get back on their mother’s good side. When they arrive, cousins Milly, Aubrey and Jonah quickly realize things are off at the resort, and on the i The Cousins is a dark, dramatic family mystery that comes to light when the Story siblings’ children, Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah, are invited to work at their grandmother’s resort, despite their parents being cutoff from her for many years. Their parents are clear — The cousins are going. The invite isn’t optional, and perhaps presents an opportunity to get back on their mother’s good side. When they arrive, cousins Milly, Aubrey and Jonah quickly realize things are off at the resort, and on the island — Who is their grandmother and why did she drive their parents away? The Cousins was pretty interesting though elements of the conclusion felt a little far-fetched. While this one held my interest and I found each of the cousins to be likable, I didn’t like this book as much as One of Us Is Lying. That said, it’s clear McManus knows how to keep an audience intrigued.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

    This is my new favorite of Karen McManus's YA thrillers! It hit many sweet spots for me: beach town, family secrets, rich assholes, and a few more that are spoilers. It's kind of unfortunate for everyone else this won't be out until winter, because it's a perfect summer jam! Karen's books are always adept at multi-POV, but I really gelled with the characters in this one. I think b/c this one focuses on family trauma and the "sins of the father" being carried out on the children, there was a lot This is my new favorite of Karen McManus's YA thrillers! It hit many sweet spots for me: beach town, family secrets, rich assholes, and a few more that are spoilers. It's kind of unfortunate for everyone else this won't be out until winter, because it's a perfect summer jam! Karen's books are always adept at multi-POV, but I really gelled with the characters in this one. I think b/c this one focuses on family trauma and the "sins of the father" being carried out on the children, there was a lot to latch onto (since I enjoy that stuff). The cousins are Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah, whose parents were disowned by their mega-rich mom 24 years ago and no one knows why. After two decades of radio silence, Grandma Milicent reaches out finally to her grandchildren and invites them to work at her resort for the summer so she can get to know them. Milly (short for Millicent) is named for her estranged grandmother and is the daughter of the only Story daughter, Allison. We get third person close chapters from an 18-year-old Allison back in 1996 throughout the book as we try to piece together why they were disowned. Milly is a New York socialite with a ton of sass, who doesn't end up getting exactly what she wants from her reunion with her grandmother... Aubrey is a state swimming champion whose dad is a self-centered, one-hit-wonder novelist--the eldest Story, the family's former golden boy. Aubrey, her dad, and Aubrey's growth are, IMO, the heart of the book. She starts off the least interesting cousin (sorry Aubrey!) and grows into the book's strongest character as she comes to terms with who her dad is, and what that makes her. Jonah is the son of Anders, the charismatic and cold-hearted second son--his most recent newsmaking turn is running a financial scheme that bankrupted people. Jonah's a bit much, really, but even though he has a major chip on his shoulder, that doesn't stop him from liking his cousins rather a lot, really... but will those warm, fuzzy feelings stop him from doing what he came to the island to do? Aubrey is probably the most layered character who experiences the most growth; I definitely cheered for her at certain points. It's really her book, IMO. Milly starts out VERY strong (I longed for more of her chapters at the beginning) but that said I do wish she'd been equally as strong at the end? (meaning, wish she were more involved in the book's climax) Maybe because we also get POV chapters from her mom in the past, I found Milly the trickiest to parse as the book went on-her mom then and Milly now didn't always connect. But when Milly came out swinging I LOVED her. Jonah was his own brand of fun, though he largely exists to augment the girls', which I was a-ok with. Regardless: once I got to know all three cousins, I was equally happy to be in any of their given POVs, and I cared about what happened to them. The tension was delicious at times and I was turning pages trying to piece together why on earth the Story kids were disowned--what did they do!--and that alongside the summer vibes and characters made this just a thoroughly fun read. It has some really juicy twists and of course a swoony summer romance. Highly recommend for YA thriller fans generally, but particularly those who like beach towns, summer vibes, family secrets, etc.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    I really enjoyed this. A large part of that enjoyment came from treating it like a contemporary novel, though, and not a mystery. Concept: ★★★★ 1/2 Pacing: ★★★ Mystery/Surprises: ★★ 1/2 Enjoyment: ★★★★ So, real quick, let me just say this: if you're coming to this book for intense action, devious mysteries, or any kind of edge-of-your-seat thriller vibes, this is NOT the read for you. The Cousins is Karen M. McManus' fourth YA novel, and it has a really nice set up. Three cousins from estranged sibli I really enjoyed this. A large part of that enjoyment came from treating it like a contemporary novel, though, and not a mystery. Concept: ★★★★ 1/2 Pacing: ★★★ Mystery/Surprises: ★★ 1/2 Enjoyment: ★★★★ So, real quick, let me just say this: if you're coming to this book for intense action, devious mysteries, or any kind of edge-of-your-seat thriller vibes, this is NOT the read for you. The Cousins is Karen M. McManus' fourth YA novel, and it has a really nice set up. Three cousins from estranged siblings receive a mysterious letter from their reclusive wealthy grandmother, Mildred Story. Their parents were kicked off of the Story family's island in their teens and completely cut out of the will and the family legacy, so to hear from the matriarch at all is strange, to say the least. Mildred asks the three cousins—Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah—to come to Gulf Cove island to work on the family's resort for the summer. "To get to know you," the letter says. What makes things even stranger is that Mildred didn't know they were coming. And things aren't exactly what they seem on Gulf Cove island. What exactly happened all those years ago, and why did their grandmother cut all ties from the family? It's time for Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah to find out. My thoughts: Like I said at the beginning of this review, this is not the read for hardcore mystery/thriller fans. In a way, I wish this had been billed as more of a family drama contemporary than a mystery. Don't get me wrong, there are quite a few mysteries in the plot. And they're pretty satisfying and not overly easy to guess—I found the final reveal to actually be a surprise. But I have to say, I treated the plot like a dramatic contemporary novel. And by doing so, I liked it a lot. If you don't try to focus on the mystery it's a great story. If you do focus on the mystery, I'd imagine elements of this story could be quite frustrating. For example, this 300-ish page novel takes place over multiple weeks of the summer and the mystery itself isn't the main (or even side) focus of each chapter. There's a lot of personal relationship drama, coming-of-age realizations, and family-themed bonding content. It's all really, really well done... but not focused on the mystery? Because of that, when we do focus on the mystery it's in a WHAM BAM rush of events. Not exactly out of place, but definitely not balanced. Overall, a great and enjoyable YA read filled with atmosphere, drama, and more... but not exactly as advertised. Blog | Instagram

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sophia Triad

    I want to read everything anything by this author...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mara YA Mood Reader

    Sounds like We Were Liars with a splash of VC Andrews 😆 but I’m in!! 03/13/2020

  20. 5 out of 5

    NZLisaM

    ‘My maternal grandmother loomed large over my childhood, but as more of a fairy-tale figure than an actual person’. The Four A's – Adam, Anders, Allison, and Archer Story. Brothers and sister, once as close as can be, but now estranged for over twenty years. Because back in 1997 they did something so terrible that their mother disowned them and has refused to speak to them ever since. Until, out of the blue, their children – cousins Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah – each receive a letter from their el ‘My maternal grandmother loomed large over my childhood, but as more of a fairy-tale figure than an actual person’. The Four A's – Adam, Anders, Allison, and Archer Story. Brothers and sister, once as close as can be, but now estranged for over twenty years. Because back in 1997 they did something so terrible that their mother disowned them and has refused to speak to them ever since. Until, out of the blue, their children – cousins Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah – each receive a letter from their elusive grandmother, inviting them to Gull Cove Island for the summer, to live and work at the family resort. For the cousins it's a golden opportunity to get to know the matriarch of the Story family, as well as each other, and finally lay eyes on the childhood home their parents, aunt, and uncles grew up in. But by the end of the summer long buried secrets will be exposed, including a few of their own. Well, well, well, The Cousins just kept surprising me at every turn. At one point I thought I had figured out the big twist, but boy I couldn't have been more wrong. The direction the plot went in was so shocking and unexpected. For the most part it's not a fast-paced read, but the characters feel natural, real, and relatable, their unfolding relationships are sweet and emotional, the vivid descriptions of the island setting make you feel like you're there, and there're enough twists to keep you turning the pages. In the present, POV's alternated between the three cousins, with flashbacks to 1996 narrated by Allison. I enjoyed both timeliness immensely. If you're a fan of VC Andrew’s or Sara Shepard's, Pretty Little Liars, teen POV's, or just YA thrillers in general then The Cousins belongs on your tbr.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Note to self: When it comes to a Young Adult type of family "mystery" this one probably wasn't all that bad.  But my hopes were soooooooooooo high.  And also I really had myself convinced that this would be all super dark and potentially nasty when it came to the big reveal (and it was briefly hinted that there might be a little "Flowers in the Attic" type of lifestyle going on).  Sadly, this one ended up not being much of anything I was hoping for and the "twist" was unfortunately pretty lac Note to self: When it comes to a Young Adult type of family "mystery" this one probably wasn't all that bad.  But my hopes were soooooooooooo high.  And also I really had myself convinced that this would be all super dark and potentially nasty when it came to the big reveal (and it was briefly hinted that there might be a little "Flowers in the Attic" type of lifestyle going on).  Sadly, this one ended up not being much of anything I was hoping for and the "twist" was unfortunately pretty lackluster. Great cover, great tagline, mediocre story : (

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Tonks

    3.5 This was an alright book. Not my favourite from Karen M. Mcmanus, that would be Two Can Keep a Secret, but not my least favourite either which is One of Us is Lying (and that is just because I didn't like how a topic present in OoUiL was executed). This book follows Milly, Aubrey and Jonah Story who are all cousins, but they barely know eachother. They've never met their grandmother either, who disinherited their parents years before the were born. Strangely, each of them get a letter from th 3.5 This was an alright book. Not my favourite from Karen M. Mcmanus, that would be Two Can Keep a Secret, but not my least favourite either which is One of Us is Lying (and that is just because I didn't like how a topic present in OoUiL was executed). This book follows Milly, Aubrey and Jonah Story who are all cousins, but they barely know eachother. They've never met their grandmother either, who disinherited their parents years before the were born. Strangely, each of them get a letter from their grandmother inviting them to work on their island resort. Their parents make one things clear, not going is not an option, so off they go. But once there they realise things are more peculiar than they seem in the beginning. I liked they plot, I really cannot say that I didn't. It was really intriguing and I really wanted to know what was happening there and why so many things seemed off. When reading this author's books I always try and see if I guess the ending. I gussed the endings for Two Can Keep a Secret and One of Us is Next and I guessed the ending for this book too. At the beginning of the book, I literally said something (jokingly) abotu what's actually going on the island and that ended up being very close to what actually happened in this book. I'm astonished with my detective, Shelock powers. I liked thsi book and I will make it my mission to read as many of Karen M. Mcmanus' future books as I can. I have so much fun trying to guess the ending/plot twist/murderer/whatever in her books.

  23. 5 out of 5

    jut

    i'm staying the fuck away from family gatherings i'm staying the fuck away from family gatherings

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leah Waters

    Um, wow. This book was the definition of unputdownable--I kept saying "Just one more chapter" but I'm still reading hours later. It's that good. (But why must her books end on mini cliffhangers? Now I really want a sequel.) Um, wow. This book was the definition of unputdownable--I kept saying "Just one more chapter" but I'm still reading hours later. It's that good. (But why must her books end on mini cliffhangers? Now I really want a sequel.)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Fun YA mystery! Family secrets, a mysterious letter, and tragic deaths... McManus has created a well thought out novel that really delivers. The multiple POV’s helped in explaining the motivations of each character. Small twists were well placed and kept me questioning where the story was going. The ending was a complete surprise and not anything close to what I had expected. Solid 4 stars.

  26. 5 out of 5

    CC the Great is Not Okay

    This is such an awful title. I hope they change it before it gets published. 🤢🤢

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Reads Ravenously

    2.5 stars I’m starting to feel like Karen M McManus is a two hit wonder. I loved her first two published books, but this book and the one before were so meh. I get so excited to read a new book by her and have been disappointed twice. I tried to go into this book with zero expectations. I saw many mixed reviews before reading it, and tried to not get my hopes up. This book started out so strong and I was loving it, and then somewhere about halfway through it got confusing, convoluted, and just… 2.5 stars I’m starting to feel like Karen M McManus is a two hit wonder. I loved her first two published books, but this book and the one before were so meh. I get so excited to read a new book by her and have been disappointed twice. I tried to go into this book with zero expectations. I saw many mixed reviews before reading it, and tried to not get my hopes up. This book started out so strong and I was loving it, and then somewhere about halfway through it got confusing, convoluted, and just… boring. These characters I had been so invested in, I suddenly didn’t care about anymore and I’m not sure what happened. Not sure if it was the book, not sure if it was me. But I ended up skimming the last 60 pages or so just to get it over with. I think McManus is really great with story concept and character creating, but the execution of this book really didn’t hold up. I would love to see it as a CW series or miniseries.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ari

    I've enjoyed Karen M. McManus' books so far, and did not dislike this one, but it certainly paled in comparison to its predecessors. The characters felt weaker, the first half of the story waned in interest, and while the plot twist was certainly interesting, it fell slightly flat by the time that it was delivered. The story felt half-assed overall--good enough to be a quick read, but lagging in pace and execution, which is disappointing given the anticipation. I've enjoyed Karen M. McManus' books so far, and did not dislike this one, but it certainly paled in comparison to its predecessors. The characters felt weaker, the first half of the story waned in interest, and while the plot twist was certainly interesting, it fell slightly flat by the time that it was delivered. The story felt half-assed overall--good enough to be a quick read, but lagging in pace and execution, which is disappointing given the anticipation.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Em J.

    2.5 Stars Well, well, well. I never thought this day would come, but unfortunately it did... I rated a Karen McManus book something that was not a five stars For those of you who don't know, Karen McManus is one of my favorite authors, her last few books left me desperate for more of her original plots and unique characters. So, that's exactly what I did. Three months before the publication date, I pre ordered this baby in hardcover, counting the days until December first. And I did exactly what I 2.5 Stars Well, well, well. I never thought this day would come, but unfortunately it did... I rated a Karen McManus book something that was not a five stars For those of you who don't know, Karen McManus is one of my favorite authors, her last few books left me desperate for more of her original plots and unique characters. So, that's exactly what I did. Three months before the publication date, I pre ordered this baby in hardcover, counting the days until December first. And I did exactly what I planned to do from the very start. The second Amazon delivered it on my doorstep, I started reading. It started it out a little slow, like her other books, but that didn't make me back down. --- We have three characters, Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah. Milly is a bit hard to describe... She's clever, snarky, loving, and a bit shy. She's the daughter to Allison Story, and an only child. Her cousin, Aubrey is a bit more stereotypical. She's an amazing swimmer, soon off to college and hopefully the Olympics. She's the daughter to Adam Story, an aggressive author. And lastly, we have the bitter, disrespectful Jonah, son of the wicked insurance agent, Anders Story. But, not only Jonah was the jerky cousin. In fact, Aubrey, Milly, and Jonah all were in bad places. That is until, they get letters from their grandmother: Mildred Story. Mother to Allison, Anders, Adam, and their Uncle Archer. However, they've never met their grandmother, and in fact, the three cousins have never met each other, at least not since they were younger. Mildred invites each of her grandchildren to Gull Cover resort, the hotel she runs on a small, but populated island. The cousins already have their summers planned out, they are planning to decline the invitations. But, they're shocked when their parents force them to cancel their summer plans and travel to the island. The cousins can only think of one reason why their parents would want them to go: To make amends with Mildred. It's been over twenty years since each of Mildred's children received a note soon after their father died: "You Know What You Did"... and then they were kicked out off the island. But what did this note mean? They're about to find out. --- it sounded great! And the first few chapters weren't bad at all. I was inclined to read more. And, just as I suspected, Karen McManus threw in one of her signature plot-twists about five chapters in: (view spoiler)[ Jonah wasn't really Jonah. (hide spoiler)] I was shocked! And happy the book was finally picking up. But, after we got to the tiny peak, we dropped down again. And unfortunately, there weren't any more mountains. It stayed like this almost the whole way. I didn't gasp again, and I wasn't turning the pages like lightning as I usually do with the author's books. I don't even know to write, in fact I don't even know what I read. Chapters 8-20, which was over half of the book, was stretched out. There wasn't a point that I wanted to DNF it, mostly because of the character development which I'll share down below, but I was never hooked, which was a disappointment. The ending was... interesting. It wasn't as quick-paced as I hoped, but the pacing itself sped up. And the plot twist? It was cool, but just not a mind-blowing Karen McManus twist. So overall, the plot was just a huge disappointment. Now for the writing itself: The word-choice and just overall writing itself wasn't bad. But, here I'm about to explain the chapters, and the pacing, etc. Karen McManus books are basically huge webs. We have all these little details from the very start to finish, and all the twists, and every single part connects in one huge, mind-blowing way. The web is balanced. From the very first chapter to the very last, everything just intertwines in it's own way. Her writing is amazing and I'm sure she puts months and months of thoughts into her books. If you took one chapter, or even a page out, her delicate books would be ruined. But she never failed with this web. Until, The Cousins. The web was just unbalanced. Almost all of the details and twists and everything that intertwined was at the end. I could've taken multiple chapters out, and the book would've still been the same. I was just so disappointed, because McManus didn't take the risk. Sorry, I know this is getting long, but I'd just like to talk about one of the positive things, the character development. This'll be quick Mostly, with Jonah. Jonah started out bitter. So bitter, he couldn't even smile. But, by the end her grew tremendously. He was still his sarcastic, tough-shelled self, but he knew how to be happy. How to forgive. How to love. And that's all I wanted to say, but I just loved the development. We can all change for the better! Overall, I'm really sad to say this, but The Cousins was huge disappointment... I was so excited for another Karen McManus book, but this was a huge let-down. As much as I loved the characters and development, the plot, the writing, and the twists were just not what I was hoping for. However i won't let one bad apple spoil the bunch. I look forward to the author's next book, You'll Be the Death of Me, and fingers crossed it's amazing as One of Us is Lying and Two Can Keep a Secret.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Erin A. Craig

    I always know I’m going to be in for a wild ride when I read a McManus but THE COUSINS made my jaw drop— literally drop— twice. And the last paragraph— my lips are sealed but dayyyyyyum! That’s how you end a story!

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