Cover Image: The Cousins

The Cousins

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Member Reviews

I think I have to finally admit, that I should stay away from YA novels. They just don't excite me as much as they used to anymore and they tend to leave me disappointed. Unfortunately, this was also the case with this book. 

The book definitely isn't bad, but it just did not meet my expectations. One major thing that disappointed me was, that, until the very end, I never really understood what the mystery was supposed to be. Yes, the parents of the protagonists were disinherited but somehow the mystery to it was lacking. 
Unfortunately, I also found the plot twists extremely boring and not surprising at all as they were your typical plot twists that you expect in every novel. A lot of the times, they also seemed to come out of nowhere and didn't seem to have been developed at all. 
At last, I also found the characters quite flat. I just didn't feel like there was anything more to them and I didn't feel like I was getting to know them. They were fine, but they didn't stand out. 
Also...I didn't understand the perspective of Allison at all. It didn't really seem to add anything to the plot and, in my opinion, her POV was completely unnecessary. 

I'm sure if I were younger and hadn't read so many books yet, this would've been right up my alley. I would definitely recommend kids in their early teens to pick up this book.
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This was a fun, quick paced thriller to binge through. 
With many twists thrown in all the way through, it kept you asking questions about the Story family's secrets.
I think this would make a good summer/holiday read with themes of touristy small island life. 

If you were a fan of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart I think you'd enjoy the toxic rich family drama with all the politics and manipulation to gain the upper hand. And the legendary inheritance of course. 

I'm still not too sure how I feel about some aspects of the end reveal. I generally prefer when the major reveal can be traced back through all the little innocent clues and red herrings the author has peppered throughout the story rather than relying on information that the reader could never have known. While the plot twist didn't completely do this, I thought some of the reveals mid way through the book were a little stronger. However this is subjective to each reader and very much down to personal taste.
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The Cousins is the story of three cousins; Milly, Jonah and Aubrey and the mystery surrounding their family. Why had their grandmother cut their parents off and why now have they all mysteriously got a letter inviting the grandchildren to her estate to work for the summer.

I have read a couple books by K. McManus beforehand and usually enjoy them just fine. I had heard a lot of people saying really good things about this one, and recommending it to me so I was thrilled when I got given an ARC for review. 

I don't really mesh well with YA thrillers in general. I find that not enough happens, they aren't gritty enough or dark enough for my tastes, but with that being said I still enjoyed this one. It was still fairly light and fluffy for a mystery/thriller and was more mystery than anything. Kind of gave me We Were Liars vibes. It was a quick an easy read and I was able to just flick through it really quickly. 

I enjoyed Milly and Jonah (Aubrey was a bit of a bore, I'm sorry to say), but I didn't really like any of the other characters. The plot was fine, it moved quickly enough for me and was satisfying enough without being shock worthy. The twists I saw coming most of the time (with the exception of one), but I still didn't hate that. 

I have another K. McManus on my shelf for reading and I will continue to think about picking up her future releases. It's a solid YA mystery, but maybe YA mystery just isn't my thing.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing me and ARC in exchange of an honest review.
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Yet another strong offering from Karen McManus! Whenever I pick up one of her books I am always confident I will enjoy it. As well as being a fast paced and unpredictable thriller, The Cousins presents an interesting take on dysfunctional family dynamics and their impact on children. The book also takes McManus in a slightly different direction than normal as the protagonists come from a wealthy family, giving it a slight M. A. Bennett feel. If I am being honest I didn't love it as much as the other novels she has written but it was very well constructed, the characters were all equally interesting and the twist at the end was expertly done. You won't be disappointed.
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If I’m ever recommending a crime book to a parent of a teen, or to someone who loves an unputdownable, twisty thriller, Karen M. McManus is always my go-to author. Often parents will come up to me in the bookshop I work at and say: ‘My daughter doesn’t usually read, but she’s obsessed with One of Us Is Lying’, or: ‘My son read all of Karen M. McManus’s books and is now hooked on thrillers, and has got his friends reading them too’. This is part of the beauty of her books: not only are they all incredibly well-written—without ever alienating reluctant readers, might I add—but they’re all downright addictive. Comparisons with bingeworthy Netflix dramas are definitely not unfounded; I defy anyone reading one of her books to not want to finish it in one sitting. Considering I made a conscious effort to hide myself away on lunch breaks so I could read it, and practically hissed at anyone who interrupted me, The Cousins is no exception to this rule.

MY GOD. If anyone thinks thrillers are becoming predictable, then point them in the direction of The Cousins, because I guarantee they will be floored by the twists. One of the things that McManus is best at is luring in her readers with ostensibly classic thriller concepts. In The Cousins, three cousins are invited to their grandmother’s home out of the blue, having never met her. Since their grandmother cast out her four children with a dramatic note reading ‘You know what you did’, the cousins are desperate to get to know her, and find out why she disowned her kin. As they attempt to get close to her, they get to know each other after years apart, and unearth secrets about each other, their parents, and their estranged grandmother.

If you think you can see where this is going, I guarantee you are wrong.

Part of the lure of The Cousins comes from the multiple perspectives. The three different narrators keep the plot fresh, and interestingly are not always the most reliable of storytellers. There’s something magnetic about her adolescent characters, who are never stereotyped or generalised in tropes used when writing about teenagers; they’re all resourceful and intelligent in their own ways, and are as well-rounded as any character in an adult thriller. I found myself as drawn to the relationship building between the three cousins—Milly, who takes no crap from anyone; sweet and perceptive Aubrey; and sarky, infuriating Jonah—as I was to the mystery. The side-characters are no exception; each are integral to the plot in their own way, and no cameo is wasted, which keeps you constantly guessing as to each person’s significance on the overall plot. What McManus also manages exceptionally well is a fine balance between character building and narrative progression; the twists and turns don’t start to come until mid-way through the book, but not a single page is wasted in building up the mystery and the colourful cast caught in the middle of it.

Secrets are uncovered on practically every page, and as the story races to its dramatic conclusion, the events are scandalous, the characters’ actions are gloriously morally questionable, and the reveals are utterly wild. It’s an absolute rollercoaster, and I couldn’t think of a more fun and dramatic cast of characters to deliver all the punchlines and shocking truths.

A million comparisons with iconic authors and popular franchises could be drawn, but I honestly think McManus has created her own genre of thriller. With her wonderful characters and a plot that builds gradually before madly twisting and turning, her books are perfect reads for both die-hard thriller fans and for those getting started in the genre. I’m certain even the biggest McManus fans won’t be able to predict what will happen—I went into The Cousins suspicious of everything and trusting no one, and I still came out of it breathless and shocked.

The Cousins has solidified McManus’s status as a household name in YA, and now the book is out in the world, I know it will serve as a fabulous introduction for new readers in the genre, and thrill those who are already fans. Bring on book five!
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I really liked this! And was so pleased to get an early copy as I had been so excited to read it! 
It was great, really gripping and fab story telling, just like all of the authors gorged titles!
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A few twists and turns. Kept me on the edge of my seat. Was not expecting any of the twists. Lots of surprises. A really great read
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I am a huge fan of Karen M McManus, but I feel compared to her other books, specifically One of Us is Lying, this was kind of lacking.
The story was quite unique, but this type of mystery just didn't personally appeal to me. At times it felt like it was more complex than it needed to be and for no other reason than to flesh out the book or try and make it more
 "interesting" but it just polluted what would've been quite a good plot.
I did like the characters arc, and while there was some plot twists I didn't see coming, the final, big plot twist was a bit predictable.
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Another brilliant mystery from Karen McManus.  Our main characters are three cousins, who have never met their wealthy grandmother Mildred Story.  Years earlier, she disinherited her children, their parents, with a letter which simply stated "You know what you did".  Out of the blue, the cousins are invited by her to work for the summer at the island resort where she lives.  Could a reconciliation be on the cards?   The narrative skips between the three cousins points of view in the present and the past, the summer of 1996, where everything changed.  This was a real page turner, full of secrets and lies, which kept me guessing until the end.
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Karen McManus has done it again. Absolutely smashed it!

Another gripping book that I couldn’t put down. I kept wanting to carry on reading, even after it ended!
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Although, Karen M. McManus’s other novels are extremely popular, this is the first novel I have read by her. Usually YA thrillers aren’t my thing as I have the (potentially wrong) preconception that they won’t be as gritty. With this novel I was definitely wrong for thinking it would be anything less than gritty and gripping!

The characters within this novel are so well written and felt like they could have been real people. The issue I sometimes have with thrillers is an overreliance on the plot rather than having characters with depth. This was no an issue in this novel at all. The characters were full of their own secrets and the attention to detail in the development of all of the characters really blew me away, especially for a YA novel.

I loved the way that this book was narrated. It swapped between each of the three cousins and a flashback narrative from one of the Story children at 18. I think this added depth to the novel and also helped with the pace as there were so many secrets that the characters were keeping from each other. Every character was suspicious in some way and I love that! I think thrillers with multiple perspectives work really well and this novel was no exception.

There were twists and turns throughout this novel and at no point was I bored. As a reader, you were constantly left guessing as to what the twists could possibly be. This meant that it was a fast paced novel that is perfect for anyone looking to get out of a reading slump. I read it in two days and that was around all of my uni work, I was finding it so hard to put down! It is such an engaging storyline and one that is also really easy to follow.

I pride myself in being good at predicting twists in novels and, not to be that person, but a lot of the time I’m right. However, this novel completely threw me for a loop. The ending left me shocked and even some of the smaller twists shocked me. I think this is one of the main reasons I loved this novel so much, I love being surprised.

Overall I would definitely recommend this novel to people of all ages. Although this is marketed and written for a YA audience, I do believe that adult readers will love this one too as none of the topics or dramas seem too juvenile. If you were a fan of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart then I am sure you will enjoy this novel!
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I LOVED this book. It was only after I'd finished I discovered it's aimed at the YA audience. Did this detract my enjoyment - it certainly did not. Clever author! The writing is super sharp, the characters are smartly conceived, the setting is tantalisingly fabulous and the plot is deliciously satisfying. The Story family dynasty have dominated life on a discreetly swanky East Coast island. The four siblings Archer, Anders, Adam and Allison lived a gilded life growing up but when a friend drowns and the friend's girlfriend mysteriously dies a year later - all four received a letter from their mother stating 'I know what you did' and disinheriting them. Fast forward two decades later and cousins Milly, Aubrey and Jonah have received a formal invite from their grandmother to work on the island that summer. Curious, as the three have never met her, the three meet up and go. Life on the island quickly unravels and while the cousins are determined to discover why their grandmother cut her children off they quickly discover no one is who they seem. The perfect summer beach read for anyone 16-60.
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A great read, an excellent next book for people who've just finished the Bayview series! The characters were fantastic, and I didn't see the end coming at all!
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This is the first book that I have ever read by Karen McManus and WOW what a writer she is!! 

First of all I love the cover of this book! As soon as I had read the blurb, I was keen to find out what exactly to Story children had done in the past, and what the Story grandchildren had in store for themselves 18years later. I knew immediately, we were going to be in for a ride, however, I wasn’t expecting to have so many twists and turns happen along the way. 

Although in areas, I felt like the story dragged on and I was getting frustrated in due to me being so impatient and wanting answers, the unexpected twists and turns made up for it and I was constantly on the edge of my seat waiting for another unexpected turn to take place.

I can’t really say what I want to about this book without giving anything away, but I would urge all YA and adults alike to give the book a read! 

I am a big fan of thrillers, however, Iv not read very many YA. 

I loved how this story was like no other story line iv come across before. I loved how it was unique, and unpredictable it was and I 100% look forward to reading more books by this brilliant author.
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3.5 stars

I haven’t had the chance yet to read this author’s second and third book but I enjoyed her first novel, One of Us is Lying. That one really surprised me because it is in my least favorite genre, Young Adult Contemporary, and yet I enjoyed it. So when I was invited to be part of this tour, of course, I jumped at the chance. And just like One of Us is Lying, I enjoyed The Cousins too.

The Cousins features the Story family and the plot is centered in cousins, Jonah, Milly and Aubrey who received an invitation from their estranged grandmother to stay and work in the family’s property in an island. The cousins are not happy with the idea of meeting their grandmother but their parents basically forced them to go since their parents are still confused and wanting a reconciliation with their mother who disinherited them 24 years ago. But the cousins soon found out that so many secrets are surrounding their family and they are eager to discover everything.

It took me a while to get into the story mainly because I found the first few chapters filled with regular young adult scenes and exchanges that they don’t interest me much. I even found the characters a bit cliche when they were first introduced. But the mystery surrounding their grandmother really hooked me. I really wanted to find out so I kept going. And soon, I found myself more sucked in to the story and the intrigue.

The characters turned more interesting as well as the story goes. I found myself liking Aubrey, Milly, and Jonah. Though I think my favorite would be Aubrey. She’s really kind-hearted and even Jonah found her to be someone who would be a terrible liar. She has that pure aura, which is a bit in contrast to Milly. Milly is the typical socialite teenager but I love her. The author made her appear to be sensible and not vain. She’s a girl who enjoys good things, that’s all. Jonah…Well, I don’t want to talk about him for reasons you will soon find out in the story.

The entire plot is interesting. I wouldn’t call it common but I also wouldn’t call it refreshing and unique. It’s just intriguing and would kept your interest till the end. Though for me, the last quarter of the book is the best part. The pace leading to the resolution certainly kept up. The twists are okay. The very first twist was so easy to guess. I wasn’t surprised at what Milly found out in the first quarter of the story. The same goes for the big reveal. I wasn’t surprised, mainly because that kind of “secret” have been used at least three times throughout the book. Though I think, it’s not that the author run out of an idea on how to conceal things, maybe the forst two are just hints about the big reveal.

Despite the big reveal not being too surprising, I still find this book very engaging. I liked the way the author wove all the elements of her story. The plot is certainly multi-layered. I also like the sub-plots especially the ones about the main characters. I would’ve liked their backgrounds explored more. There are more side characters in the entire story and most of them are related to the big secret and the past storyline and I think the author did a great job with them because most of them are well-developed. There’s a bit of romance and if you’ve been following me for a while now, then you’ll know I’m a sucker for romance in my reads no matter the main genre is.
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I've read all of Karen McManus' books and so far I think this was my favourite. The 3 cousins were all interesting, well developed characters so I found it easy to get lost in their story. The family drama was captivating and mysterious and I loved how it all played out. A really good read.
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me access this title in return for my honest review. 

I wanted to get my hands on this book since I knew it was coming out, having read all of the books released by Karen already I love her writing style and would recommend anyone to pick up those previous titles if really enjoy Young Adult titles.

The Cousins follows three cousins who are sent a letter from their estranged Grandmother, and they go to stay with her for the summer. The characters in this were well written, and easy to follow. The book is written in 3 different POV's and then you get flashbacks to the parents and this runs alongside with the mystery.

The plot was steady and there where a few twists but my only critism was that the plot twists came maybe a little too early and I was disappointed at this, the intrigue was definitely there but I had been able to guess most of what was going to happen.  Otherwise this was another great fast paced, well written mystery so a solid 4 starts.
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Karen M. McManus stole my heart and my sleep when she released One Of Us Is Lying. I was obsessed and she instantly became an auto-buy author.

That being said, I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed in The Cousins. I had high expectations and unfortunately, this book wasn't everything I wanted it to be. Unfortunately, it felt a bit slow for me and it was hard to connect with the characters. There were some twists in there that had me shooketh but nothing wowed me! But I'm still glad I read it!
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Three cousins who barely know each other due to a family feud all wind up working on their family island resort with no idea why they're really there. They try to figure out the real reason for the secret family feud, and along the way bond. These cousins want to find out what a mysterious letter sent to their parents meant "you know what you did".

I'm not the biggest fan of YA thrillers but this one was pretty good. It was a nice pacy read with some interesting characters that i wanted to learn more about. Things about the family in general and these specific cousins are slowly revealed through the book. A lot of the twists were easily guessable but this didn't really spoilt the book for me.  I really enjoyed how the three cousins all reacted to each other, slowly going from dislike to a really bonded group. 

Overall this is an entertaining book even though you need to suspend your disbelief at some of the things that happen. There are some plot points in the book that are a little shoe-horned in. But on the whole not a bad read.
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Any fan of Karen McManus' previous titles will fall for The Cousins from the outset. Though very different, the Story cousins are cut from the same cloth - and that cloth has a secret. It's up to the three teens to figure out why, out of the blue, their estranged grandmother has asked them all to come work at her resort for the summer. 

In classic McManus form, twists and turns abound in this story, and the reader gets to see it from all three points of view. I love the way she writes and draws out the mystery a little at a time, making you want to go back and start the book again immediately to find the hidden clues. McManus is the queen of the YA mystery, and The Cousins is no different - a knockout from start to finish!
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