Cover Image: The Cousins

The Cousins

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Member Reviews

Thank you to netgalley and penguin for the arc wish grant I'm very thankful 
I was so happy to see this in my emails & when I finally had time I read this and it was solid. This is definitely my 2nd favourite McManus novel, the characters were decent but abit to similar places. The plot again decent but felt abit rushed in places and got abit boring but I liked ut for the most parr. I recommend. 
Again thank you for the arc.
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I was super excited to read this, and I wasn’t disappointed! I knew this was going to be a great mystery, and I was hooked from the very beginning.

When Milly, Aubrey and Jonah meet their grandmother for the first time in eighteen years, it is clear that something isn’t quite right. Despite her invitation, Mildred Story clearly didn’t know her grandchildren were joining her for the summer.

That’s our first mystery. Who sent the letters? And what happened all those years ago to cause Mildred to disown all her children?

This is the mission the cousins must solve, and they soon discover that some secrets should be kept as that.

I think my favourite character is Milly. She is so feisty and stubborn. She is relatable in so many ways.

Get ready for a whirlwind of twists and turns. I didn’t see a lot of it coming. Brilliant read!
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I read this book as part of the blog tour hosted by Dave @ The WriteReads. Special thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars! 

If there’s one thing that I can rely on McManus for it’s to completely absorb me in her YA mysteries. I’ve read all but one of her books now and I can safely say that she’s a favourite and auto-buy author because her stories are always so entertaining and The Cousins is no different. This might actually be my favourite of her books so far!

Although this is still YA, it does differ from her other books as it’s not set in a school but rather at a luxurious rich people resort. We also get more perspectives in this story as we follow our three main characters plus we get flashbacks every few chapters from one of the parental figures, and all of this really helped give us the full picture. The central theme is about family and that’s fitting as the Story family motto was: ‘family first, always’, and wow… These people were a truly messed up bunch! 😂 The Cousins provides the kind of ridiculously-rich family drama that is a steaming train wreck but one that you also can’t look away from! The adults were probably the worst part of this story because they were the hottest of hot and selfish messes.

It’s so hard to talk about the characters without giving anything away but basically I loved Milly, Aubrey and Jonah! They each had such distinct voices and personalities, and although they were so different from each other in many respects, they balanced each other out quite well. I really enjoyed how they supported each other through the craziness they endured over the summer and how their connection grows was really believable!

- Milly was the “popular girl” of the three. She’s got confidence for days and some serious attitude (but in the best way). She’s feisty, headstrong and cunning. I thought I’d have an issue with her “rich girl” problems but I was pleasantly surprised by her and I absolutely loved her relationship with Aubrey.

- Aubrey was the total opposite of Milly. She’s sporty, shy and out of the three, had the most character development. I loved seeing her come out of her shell and find that backbone to stand up for herself because she was truly the sweetest and deserved so much more–definitely more than the family she had!

- Jonah was… not what I expected but I really liked him! He was an interesting character and I felt angry with and for him and his family. I loved where the story took him and the cousins!

That said, while I liked the characters, I wish that they had been given a bit more depth. It didn’t affect my reading but I was so intrigued by them and simply wanted to know more about them!

There’s really something about the way McManus writes that always quickly reels me in. While she brings you on a surprising and mysterious ride, the writing is so easy to read and I love that she keeps it simple so as not to distract from what’s happening. That doesn’t mean that the many twists in the story weren’t surprising though because I did exclaim aloud quite a few times while reading, with plenty of “OMFG NO!“ moments 😂 The secrets and mystery went in a completely different direction to what I expected and I had a good shocked laugh with all the surprises. It was just so much fun!

TL;DR:  If you’re a fan of McManus’ books or if you’re looking for an easy-to-read and speed through YA mystery that keeps you guessing until the very end, I would definitely recommend The Cousins! You’re in for a delightfully messy rich family drama full of crazy secrets and it makes for one fun ride 😉
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3.5 stars.

Being my first Karen McManus novel, 'The Cousins' is a book filled with twists and turns, the uncovering of secrets and an overall entertaining plotline. Though it did take me some time to get into this novel, the last 30 per cent is where much of the major elements of the plot begin to unfold or explode onto the scene, should I say. 

The novel is told from four different perspectives with the three cousins written in first person. The premise centers and unfolds around a mystery and is told through two timelines. It is a novel about the Story family wherein a remote island is both their fortress and empire. To say that the Story family is rich would be an understatement, but it is the fact that in the late 1990s, the matriarch of the family kicked her four children out of the house and did not speak to them ever again. Until...the grandchildren receieved a letter from the matriach herself, Mildred Story. Thus begins the true focus of the story. Or the Story family, I should say.

The grandchildren, Milly, Aubrey and Jonah, are to send the summer at the family resort and are interested in finding out the family mystery. The setting-building of suspense and intrigue was one quite well which was inevitably portrayed when the cousins came together and realised immediately that something was not right. 

I would not categorise this novel as predictable but I wouldn't consider it as an entirely unique plotline. Some aspects of the twists frustrated me as the way that the secrets or the twist was covered up or concealed were done in the exact same way two or three times. It did take me a while to fully get engaged with the story and the ending felt similar and not all that unique, which links to what I previously stated. Though the plot was nuanced and the way that McManus was able to weave such a large cast of characters in a way that was rich and engaging, there were times where I was bored in waiting for something more to happen. Although it did get more fast-paced in the last 30 per cent of the novel.

Overall, a well thought-out and mulit-layered yound adult thriller which will engage readers. It is a fun and entertaining read which I recommend to readers who enjoy stories such as 'The Cousins'.
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The Cousins was my first Karen M. McManus and it will not be the last. I love the way we get to see Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah’s point of view throughout the whole book. It allows us to get a real inside look into what’s going on and understand it through these very different characters.

The writing also takes the reader by the hand and leads us into this dark mysterious world without ever making us feel like we’re in too deep until we are in the weeds and OMG THIS CHARACTER DID IT AND OMG IS SOMEONE GOING TO DIE?? Like I knew some shit was coming, but I was not prepared for exactly how messed up it was going to be.

And I loved every second of it.

Let’s go into the characters!

Milly: At first, I didn’t think I was going to fall in love with Milly because of the affluent life she leads, but I was totally wrong. I really enjoyed how much she took control of the situation when she needed to, but was also allowed to be vulnerable and confused. We love a multidimensional character.

Aubrey: MY FAVE!! Like the insecure girl who wants to punch her dad in the face wasn’t going to be my favorite character lol. While she was a bit timid at first, she really grew into herself as the story went on and lord have mercy, I was worried about her at the end.

Jonah: Jonah can be described in one word: SECRETS. He has a bucketful of them, but he’s not the best at keeping them considering Milly and Aubrey figure out one of his secrets a day or two after they meet him. Oops.

I also really liked Uncle Archer. I have a soft spot for an addict who is trying his best to stay on the straight and narrow, but is still having a hard time. He really proves himself over the course of the story and especially at the end.

Ok…let’s talk about THE grandmother. No spoilers, but she is creepy af. Do. Not. Trust. Her. She is mysterious and secretive and manipulative. But that’s not even the most shocking thing about her.

The mystery (or mysteries) in The Cousins is so mult-faceted and layered. I’m always in awe of mystery writers because…how do they figure out these mysteries in their head?? And how do they keep things hidden from the reader so we don’t know what’s going to happen after a couple of chapters? They’re all so creative and masterful and Karen M. McManus is no exception.

The Cousins is a fun, thrilling ride with an ending that will have you’re mouth hanging open because…how did you not think of that before?? If you love mysteries or YA mysteries especially, you need to read The Cousins. I’m giving it 4 out of 5 stars.
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I am a huge fan of Karen M. McManus’ YA thrillers, so I was delighted when I was invited on to the WriteReads blog tour for her latest. This is a complete departure from the characters of her other books, so you can pick this one up, having not read any of her others.

Milly, Aubrey and Jonah Story are cousins who haven’t seen each other for years and none of them have ever met their shared grandmother, who cut their parents off years before. Until they each receive a letter inviting them to work at their grandmother’s island resort with no explanation. The teens embark on a crazy, mysterious summer, full of secrets darker than any of them ever expected.

McManus sure likes stock characters! Her debut One Of Us Is Lying featured the five archetypal teenagers that are featured in The Breakfast Club and here we are again, dealing with a jock, nerd, princess and clown. The real secrets lie within the cousins’ parents’ generation and the chapters that flash back 25 years hold a multitude of clues as to how they all managed to become disinherited. I was trying to put the pieces together but there was always something missing, so yes, the twists continued to shake me! 

The resort itself is a classic setting for a mystery to play out. I’m sure there are plenty of secrets that it still hasn’t given up, due to its constantly revolving population and the ease that it is to completely disappear there. Like the Story family themselves, Gull Cove Island oozes carefully-crafted perfection on the outside but houses a multitude of messes once you start digging. 

We hear from all three of the cousins and they each have their own complex lives and relationships with their parents. Milly has a tricky relationship with her mother Allison, Aubrey has very little reason to respect her father Adam and Jonah has very little relationship at all with Anders. However, all of them are curious about why their parents were exiled from the family and why their grandmother has never shown any interest in meeting her grandchildren. They all possess a degree of courage that I think shows up their passive parents.

All four of the Story siblings have clearly grown into adults who struggle with the idea of family. They all seemingly resent or hold a great deal of disappointment towards their children. So much so that I knew that something majorly traumatic must have happened involving all of them. The pieces very slowly started to come together and they formed a pretty horrific picture.

The twists continued to slap me in the face and I honestly didn’t see a single one of them coming. McManus is so good at expertly laying out all the evidence while still concealing the truth. The final stretch of the book dealt with one final major curveball that took everything in a direction that I could never have predicted and I literally couldn’t put it down.

The Cousins tells the crazy story of a family who have harboured an enormous dark secret for decades. Full of haunted characters, plenty of intrigue and mysteries that keep rearing their heads, it’s the perfect, fast-paced YA thriller for the winter season.
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really enjoyed this book and all of the twists and turns that came along throughout the book as the plot and secrets unravelled. 

The characters were created masterfully and it made the story so much more interesting, especially seeing that it was partly character driven as it was focused around some rather intriguing family dynamics. I really liked that we got to know more about Allison throughout the book when she was younger and how the family used to be before they were all cut off. 

The plot was complicated and full of little secrets and big ones that came part at the perfect time and were all tied up nicely by the end. I hope that there is a sequel to this as there are somethings that I really want to see play out. 

The writing too was amazing and made me just devour the story, it was absolutely incredible and I can't wait to read more by Karen M. McManus !

I was kindly given this book by the publisher in exchange for an hones review on a blog tour.
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Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each other. Their grandmother, Mildred Story, rich but reclusive, disinherited their parents decades ago and cut off all ties with them. However, they receive a letter asking them to work in their grandmother's resort over the summer. Not going is not an option. Plus, they are curious. What happened all those years ago that Mildred cut off all ties with her children?

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus is an addictive young-adult mystery. 

It is thrilling, fast-paced, and kept me glued till the last page. The plot is thick with suspense. After 60%, I struggled to put it down. 

Fortunately, McManus does not sacrifice character development that happens in many thrillers. There are a lot of characters of interest here, and she fleshes out each one of them incredibly well. The story is told from the perspectives of several characters; however, the transition was smooth. I had no difficulty in figuring out whose voice it was even without seeing the chapter heading.

If you have read enough thrillers, you can guess how the climax would pan out once the author delivers the final piece of the puzzle. However, McManus took me by surprise. She delivers another clever twist at the climax. 

I have not read any of McManus's previous works, but after reading The Cousins, I am checking them out. I could praise the book even more, but I will stop here. Now, buy the book, and start reading it. You can thank me later.
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Milly, Aubrey and Jonah – the youngest generation in the Story family. A family full of secrets and intrigue, secrets that led to their parents being dramatically disinherited from the family fortune for seemingly no reason. But after years of no contact, the family matriarch, Mildred, invites her three grandchildren to her island resort for the summer. Could this be the olive branch they’ve always wanted? A chance to finally know the grandmother they’ve never met? If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

It probably comes as no surprise by this point that I loved this book! From the characters to the plot, I was hooked really early on. The three main characters are all different personalities which I enjoyed as it keeps things interesting. They all had different ways of figuring things out as well as their own secrets and motives which all worked brilliantly to advance the plot and throw in some curve balls in regards to guessing the twists! The plot flowed well with new information being given at the right times to keep me invested in the story. There are some flashbacks interspersed with the present day chapters which I think worked really well in giving us some context and also some subtle hints about why Mildred had disinherited her children and why they had decided not to keep in touch with each other since.

One of my favourite things about this book (and the others by this author) was all of the twists and turns. They’re thrown at us every few chapters and, although some may find it confusing, I love it. When I’m reading a mystery, I like to be kept guessing, constantly analysing everything that happens and the reveals to try and figure out the ending and this book certainly did that for me. Not all of the reveals make sense immediately and there are definitely some I didn’t see coming but I really enjoyed figuring out what they all meant. It’s clear that the author planned it all out beforehand which I find makes for a more coherent and well told story.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who has read and loved this author’s other books or is a fan of mysteries that will keep you guessing. Karen McManus is a master and hits it out of the park every time!
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Bestselling author Karen M. McManus is back with another electrifying thriller rooted in sinister secrets, fractured families and an inheritance that some would even kill for...

Satisfyingly suspenseful with a plot twist only Karen M. McManus can pull off, The Cousins will be devoured by McManus fans and new readers alike.

But did it reach the jaw-dropping heights of the renowned One of Us Is Lying series? For me, not so much. The action felt disconnected, the pacing slow yet skilfully measured, the characters flat, and an ending that felt rushed and underwhelming.. The Cousins is more cosy mystery then it is gripping thriller. But I'm blaming it on the grand (unrealistic?) expectations that I craved from McManus's previous books. Just a quick scroll on Goodreads and you'll be inundated with 5 star reviews for this book, so a worthy read for many.
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What’s one thing that will cause huge conflicts in relationships? Money. And especially in families, money can cause huge rifts. That’s the case for the Story family as well. Three cousins, Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah, are visiting their estranged grandmother over the summer after a mysterious invitation. Their parents were cut off over twenty years ago, leaving only a note: “You know what you did”. But do they? The kids want to figure out why they were invited and what happened all those years ago.

I really like the mystery and the build-up in the story. If you pay attention to the details, you can figure out what’s going to happen, but these details are so subtlely woven in, they’re easy to miss. I think this is what makes a great suspense story, and it encourages multiple read-throughs because, by the end, you know you missed out on some cues. Reading it again will give you the full story.

All of the characters are interesting with their own quirks and motivations. It’s hard to pick a favourite since every character has something I like about them. Even the supporting characters like Hazel and Archer are nice to read. You can’t help but root for the Story kids as they try to find who’s behind this.

I don’t want to say much about the second half of the book because it might spoil things, but I feel like this is how the story was meant to be. It makes sense, no character acts out of place, and the resolution feels like justice.

It’s hard to find something I didn’t like about the book. So it won’t surprise you that I’m giving The Cousins five stars. It’s a fast-paced story, with great characters, and a satisfying ending. It might not be the most surprising ending, but it’s good.
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Oh wow, I cannot believe how much I have enjoyed this fast paced thriller! Teenagers Milly, Aubery and Johan are sent an invitation to work on the island where their very wealthy gradmother lives, after not hearing from her or ever seeing her, their whole lives. For years they’ve lived with the knowledge that their parents were disinherited by their grandmother but they’ve never known why. Now the three of them have the chance to find out, but is their grandmother so willing to share the truth and what will happen when they finally find out?

I’m a big fan of McManus’s previous books One of Us is Lying and One of Us is Next so when I was offered the amazing chance to read this book I had a feeling I would enjoy it! The chapters alternate between Milly, Aubery and Jonah, with each of the cousins having different back stories and motives for visiting the island where their rich grandmother lives. None of the cousins are close and it’s exciting to see how the three get to know each other, the dynamic between them and what’s happening with those they meet on the island.

Each of the cousins is different, but I enjoyed all of the characters and their different stories. It was easy to like all of them and easy to follow the whole story despite the constant changing of viewpoint with each chapter. In fact having the viewpoint change between each of the cousins led to more interesting things being revealed such as what their parents are like in the present and how it ties in with another side story that takes place in the past.  As the plot moves forward it stays at a good pace, each chapter leading to more exciting moments. There are so many twists and turns in this story and I love how the author just keeps you constantly guessing at what is really happening.  I have to say I’m glad that I was kept in constant suspense and never guessed at the truth until it was revealed!

I love the way this story unfolds, the idea of the rich grandmother and the strange letter she left her children with that cut ties with them. It’s this aspect, the setting on the island, as well as the fourth point of view chapters, which begin later in the book and alternate between every few chapters that follow the three cousisns, that really made this plot all the more exciting to read. The chapters set in the past show us what was happening back in 1996 with the parents of the cousins and in particular Milly’s mother.

The story is just amazing throughout and the ending is both exciting and interesting. So many things are revealed in just the right way and the ending is so gripping and dramatic! I won’t reveal anything but I just love the way this story ends with that exciting reveal at the house and what happens, and how all the characters finally end up. The last few pages wrap up the story nicely and I do love how the last page just keeps you on the edge of your seat too with that last little part. The book has a small family tree at the front showing you the Story family, the grandmother, her disinherited children and their kids (the cousins). I found this very helpful, especially when I just started reading this book as I was still remembering all of the characters. There’s nothing too upsetting in this book. There is some swearing, a few uses of the f word but not too often and it fits in with the story and characters speech.

Overall this is such an exciting read! The story following the three cousins, how their relationships develop and how everything works out is just so exciting and engrossing that my heart was just all over the place with this book!  I found myself unable to tear myself away from the pages, constantly spending every moment I could reading this and even staying up late at night to finish the book instead of sleeping, it is that good!  I feel like I want to re-read this book already, although the surprises may not be as exciting as they were the first time, it’s just written so well and I just love how McManus keeps you on the edge of your seat, constantly guessing at what’s happening, that I just can’t wait to read more of her work and I can’t recommend this book enough to everyone! Seriously, if you’re looking for an exciting thriller that’ll keep you engrossed and guessing to the very end, then this is just perfect!
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The Characters:

The characters in this book were very interesting to read about. Each had their own secrets that they didn't want to reveal, and each person's story was unraveled slowly throughout the book. The three main characters of this book are three cousins: Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah, who haven't seen each other since they were children, and have been invited to their grandmother's island out of the blue. Milly was a very headstrong character, who knew what she wanted, Aubrey was more timid but still very smart and strong in her own way, and Jonah seemed to be uncaring but deep down held a lot of feelings towards the situation. I liked that we saw the relationship between the cousins developing a lot throughout this book, especially after so much time apart. I was also very interested by the family history of the Storys. The four Story children (the parents/uncles and aunts of the cousins) had been disinherited 24 years prior and there were little chapters throughout about that year and what happened, all leading up to the final moments of the book. 

The Story:
I enjoyed this story and its pacing. It is a lot slower paced than McManus' other books but I quite enjoyed that. I found that the way we got small pieces of information throughout the book and were never given every single detail was great. I liked trying to guess the mystery of the whole book too, and found myself shocked by quite a few moments in this book. This book wasn't perfect but it was a fun summer mystery, which had a lot of secrets.

Final Thoughts:

Overall I really enjoyed this book, and read it really quickly, which seems to be a theme with McManus' books. I liked the slower pace of this and the setting of the island in the summer. I found the characters to be intriguing but there were some that I would have liked to have seen more of. I ended up rating this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads as I really enjoyed reading it, and I'm excited to read more from Karen M. McManus in the future!
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There are so many elements to not just this story but the way Karen M. McManus chose to tell it. This reviewer cannot tell you what to expect if you have read this author before, but if you were looking for a place to start with her books it’s definitely worth a pre-order or checking with your library to see if they will have a copy (or copies).

The setting is just what is promised in the summary, and to take it a bit further, is exactly what one would expect from a New England resort destination. But what makes it stand out among the vast sea of New England mansion or resort-based stories is the locations across the island in which most of the conversations, confrontations, and discoveries take place. It all seemed a little cliché at first, and some readers still might think it is, but McManus certainly gave each dwelling, restaurant, and beach its own distinguishing factors, so they feel like part of this story instead of all stories with a similar base setting (New England).

Right from the start, the reader is introduced to the main characters, Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah, as well as the side characters who play almost as big of a part as they do. Everyone is a distinct person, and very much products of their environments. Those environments are a bit dramatic across the board, but this fortunately does not diminish the believability of the plot. Not all of the characters from the entire cast are immediately likeable, but it’s impossible not to root for many of them, particularly our protagonists, as the mysterious past and chaos of the present unfold.

And unfold it does. Using alternating perspectives (from each cousin) and a narrative from the past, anticipation over the darkness and tension promised in the summary continues to mount with each chapter. More secrets are exposed, some mysteries are further complicated, and moments of shock and awe crop up when they are least expected. This back and forth adds so many layers to the story and to the characters’ lives, but never does the story feel muddled or confusing. The pace at which the author chose to write works so well for the story, too. It is quick but not rushed; it makes you want to read faster but still allows the reader to savor descriptions and scenes to their fullest extent.

It was quite satisfying to see the protagonists—all around seventeen years of age—undergo realistic character development while navigating the pressures put on them by their families. They don’t completely mature by the end of the book, but they all take steps to make small changes based on things they learned about family, forgiveness, standing up for oneself, and standing up for others. The final reveal and event of the book was a surprise, and it happened so quickly yet tragically that it was hard not to feel wonderfully overwhelmed as the truth came crashing down. Just like the rest of the book, the epilogue is not void of surprises, and it might make you wonder if the story is actually over.

Whether it is actually over or it isn’t, The Cousins will make you want to hunker down and try to solve the mystery before the Story family does, but don’t get too cozy; this roller coaster is full of drama, lies, and learning who the people closest to you really are.
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Another great read from Karen McManus. It took me a bit to get into however, the twists and turns throughout did not disappoint. Hopefully there will be a follow on to see what happens to the lives of the characters once the book ends.
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I read this in one day. ONE DAY! The twists and turns had me completely hooked and I truly didn't see anything coming. I love a good familial story and this was the ultimate mysterious family drama. How could a mother completely shun all four of her children? How could those four siblings seem to want nothing to do with each other? Is everything really about family, or just getting written back into the will? These three teens are being dropped on a small island with no real knowledge of what is waiting for them.

The ambiance of the island was so atmospheric, from the resort to the family estate. Each new person on the island we met were more and more intriguing. I'm still shook over the different events and characters that slowly evolved into this family's story as it progressed. You don't know who you can trust  or who is telling the truth when everyone is pretty terrible. 

The chemistry between the three cousins was so palpable, it just jumped off the page. It felt so authentic and it developed really well throughout the book. The multiple perspectives really gave readers great insight into their lives separate from the island. It was especially compelling to hear about what happened in the past, before the four Story siblings were banished from their home. It's hard not to give any spoilers, but the relationships that formed were all so special and unique for each person. 

This was such a bright spot in a rather dim time for book releases.  I'm a huge fan of all of Karen M. McManus's books, but I think this one is my favorite. It's a departure from her previous work, but still holds the same essence. This kind of solidified a new trope I seem to enjoy in mysteries and thrillers: a story enclosed in a specific area like a small town, a summer camp, or an island. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Book source ~ Tour

Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are the grandkids of Mildred Story who disinherited her own four children twenty-four years ago. The kids, Adam, Anders, Allison, and Archer, never understood why. They only received a letter through the family lawyer that said, “You know what you did.” But they don’t. Or so they say. When the now teenaged grands each get an invitation to work the summer at the family resort, they are resentful, but also a bit curious about the grandmother they never met. So they go (with much pushing from their parents) and, whoa boy, they have intrigue coming out of their ass. Not literally.

Strap yourselves in because this is going to be a wild ride. Not so much action-packed, but full of questions, a few answers, more questions, holy shit moments, and finally answers. Wow.  There’s a few spots where the story drags just a tiny bit, throwing me off my stride, but on the whole, it flows smooth as delicious frozen custard. Mmmmm. Where was I? Oh yeah! The cousins are fully fleshed out (and likeable!), there are multiple POVs, so I was able to see it in 360º technicolor and the plot, while being a teensy bit over the top, is still a doozy. I highly recommend this twisty-turny YA Mystery.
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Ooooh that was GOOD! Karen McManus has got to be the undisputed queen of Ya mystery and she once again rules supreme with her latest illstallment 'The Cousins'. 

This twisted family drama takes place twenty four years after the Story matriarch disinherits her children by having a note sent to each with just one sentence..."You know what you did". After no contact for over two decades, their own children have been invited out of the blue to spend the summer working on their estranged Grandmothers island. Enter Milly, Aubrey and Jonah. They haven't seen each other for years but they soon have to work together to uncover the truth of what happened to the Story family all those years ago. 

I knew this was going to be good but I think it might be my favourite Karen McManus yet! I thought the use of the flashback chapters worked really well in slowly revealing the events of 1996 and how the consequences are at work in the present day. The three cousins themselves were individually interesting, each bringing their own secrets to add to the messy family drama but also fantastic as a group, I loved the evolving relationship between them and the giant helping of bickering along the way. Top Marks!!  

Thank you Netgalley for proving me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I really enjoyed this book! It's a fun, twisty read filled with secrets!  

Three teenage cousins who hardly know each other have been summoned to their long lost Grandmother's to work for the summer. Their Grandmother cut her 4 children, their parents and uncle, out of her life 24 years before so this is the first time they have ever met her. Oh yeah and she's super rich and owns an island! 

All 3 of the cousins are likeable with individual personalities. Milly was my favourite but I really liked all three of them and how their friendship delevoped throughout the story. The story alternates through each cousin's point of view which allows you to get to know them and their story quite well. There is also a fourth point of view from Allison, Milly's mum, which sheds some light on events that happened in the past!

McManus's books are like bingeworthy Netflix dramas. I read this one over two nights because just as one secret was revealed another one would rear its head! It's like a teenage soap opera, yes it borders on the ridiculous at times and is very far fetched but I would actually say it's perfect escapism for this current climate, not too taxing but gripping and addictive. 

This is perfect for the teenage audience, and older of course. There's very little sexual or violent content which I like about it. Sometimes YA can be a bit dark and I wonder what age these books are written for! But this one will happily be passed onto my 10 year old in a year or two and I think she will love it as much as I did! 

Oh Karen McManus, where were you when I was 14, stealing my mum's Danielle Steel books 😂
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I was delighted when my Net Galley wish was granted and I was able to read this thrilling book.

The story line of family feuds and disinherited children is nothing new, but Karen McManus manages to take it and develop a plot that keeps you reading. This book has so many false turns and unexpected twists that even at 80 % of the way through when I felt most things had been wrapped up, there were more surprises to come!

Anders, Allison and Adam, are 3 spoilt children who, once disinherited by their mother, seem to have spent their time lamenting the loss of their future fortune and make bad life choices. They claim to have no idea what led to their dismissal from the island many years previously. In this novel, we meet their children: Aubrey, Jonah and Milly, who have been unexpectedly summonsed back to their Grandmother's island and their parents are all hoping this will be a way back into the family fold and a share of the family fortune. Relationships all round are fractured and dysfunctional. Many of the characters are not who their initially seem to be and from the first moment I was hooked and needed to read on.

Gull Cove Island sounds idyllic, yet, as history is revealed it has its own dark illicit secrets which have set this family on a path of self destruction. 

I really enjoyed reading this book. I was irritated by the weakness displayed by the parents' of the three children and I think that Jonah, Milly and Aubrey needed to get away from their tainted, disillusioned parents to really learn who they might be growing up to be. The ending is satisfying and seems appropriate once the murky details of past actions are uncovered!
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