Book Reviews

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus: Blog Tour & Book Review

This is a spoiler-free review.

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

Expected publication December 3rd, 2020 by Delacorte Press.

My rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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.

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.

Thank you to The Write Reads Tours and the publisher, Delacorte Press/Penguin Random House, for providing me with an e-ARC of this book via NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.

The Cousins is a story about Milly, Aubrey and Jonah. Three 17-year-old cousins, whose parents were all abruptly disinherited from their family’s fortune years ago – the cause of which still remains a mystery to this day. All parents claim they have no idea. And the only clue they have is the inexplicable letters they all received from their mother when it all went down. Ones that simply read “you know what you did.”

But that’s ancient history so it would seem. When each cousin receives a letter addressed to them from their grandmother inviting them to (work at) her island resort for the summer, their parents all see it as an opportunity to make amends for their mistakes and get their inheritance reinstated. But to truly make amends the cousins will need to figure out what went wrong that fateful day so many years ago… And things are never as simple as they seem.

Prior to reading The Cousins I was already quite familiar with Karen M. McManus’s other literary works. I in particular LOVED One of Us is Lying – I found it fresh, fun, and thrilling! Having not read a mystery/thriller targeted towards Young Adults since I was a teen myself making my way through the Pretty Little Liars series, McManus’s debut novel really re-opened my eyes to the possibilities and reignited my love for the – somewhat niche – YA mystery/thriller genre.

After having already adored two of her previous works – the aforementioned One of Us is Lying and its sequel, One of Us is Next – I had incredibly high hopes for this novel. And wow, even taking into account my (already pretty high!) expectations, The Cousins blew me out of the water! 🤩

The Cousins is officially my favorite book by McManus to date (and an absolute 5 star read)! It’s everything a quality mystery/thriller should be: daring, a dash of incredulous, and above all else, entirely gripping until the very last page.

All three of the main characters were both easy to love and also interesting to follow – a feat not always easily achieved. The setting an excellently unique take on a classic trope. And the plot jam packed with so many twists and turns you barely have time to catch your breath! McManus manages to weave a story full of suspense and surprise, unable to predict, and impossible to put down.

If you’re already a fan of Karen M. McManus you should definitely get your hands on a copy of her latest work. And, honestly, even if you weren’t a fan of her previous novels I’d still recommend this one to you… it’s just that good. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Have you read any good YA Mystery/Thrillers?

Let me know!

Liza is a twenty-something book blogger who spends way too much time with her nose in books and feels way too much. She loves cooking, baking, reality tv show watching and, of course, reading. She can be found most often with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. Her blog, Literary Liza, features bookish content like reviews, recommendations, and author interviews.


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