The Cousins by Karen M McManus – Blog Tour and Book Review

About the Book!

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.


Big thanks to Dave @ The Write Reads and Penguin Platform for giving me the chance to read an early copy of this fantastic book.

If you know me then you know YA Thrillers aren’t normally my cup of tea but McManus may have just converted me. Filled to the brim with relatable characters and enough twists and turns to make your head spin, I powered through this book in a matter of hours.

The Story family are in disrepair. Milly, Aubrey and Jonah have never met their Grandmother after she disinherited their parents years ago, so when they receive a letter inviting them to Gull Cove Island to work for the summer their and their parents interests are peaked. They each have their own reasons for agreeing to the job, and they each have their own secrets, However, they aren’t the only people on the Island hiding something and it may take the Cousin’s working together if they are to figure the out the mystery.

This book is brilliant and a big reason for that is the characters. Milly is a rich New York socialite, used to getting her own way and used to being ignored by her distant mother. When she gets the Invite she is reluctant to go but her mother see’s this as an opportunity to get back in her mothers good books and Milly desperately wants to please her mum. Aubrey doesn’t even have to think before accepting the invitation. Things at home are tense and a summer away from her father sounds ideal, she is also eager to meet the woman whom she shares a unique birthmark with. Jonah is annoyed that he’s missing out on a Science Camp but knows he can’t defy his father. He couldn’t care less about meeting his Grandmother or his Cousin’s, and can’t wait for the summer to be over. When they first meet there is more than a little distrust, none knowing the secrets the others keep. But before the summer ends they will come out… one way or another.

The setting for this book was almost cinematic in how it was described. A small Island made famous by the family that own it and guests of the past. It is both quaint and regal, it hosts Island locals running little business’ that thrive in tourist season as well as summer balls where the elite show off their gowns. The author does a lot in this book to highlight the differences between the Story’s and the people who live on the Island, how the Story’s were revered and hated in the same breath, and all this helps with the building of the setting and the plot.

The book definitely starts off a little slow. McManus takes her time to build up the characters and the mystery of why the Cousin’s parents were disowned, but once the story gets going I found it impossible to put down. The Cousin’s follows two storylines, the present with Milly, Aubrey and Jonah and the past with their parents. We know they are linked, we simply do not know how and the author does a wonderful job of weaving these two stories together until all the parts come into place.

When I say this book was filled with twists and turns I’m not exaggerating. I had plenty of WTF moments and, although I pride myself at being good at picking up twists in book, didn’t see the majority of them coming. They weren’t, however, twists that come out of nowhere. They are the kind of twists that completely shock you in the moment and then have you hitting your head wondering why you didn’t see it coming sooner.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will definitely be picking up more of McManus’ work in the future. An easy 4/5 stars.

7 replies »

  1. Love your review, Becky and I totally agree with everything you said! It’s always so easy for me to see McManus’ books being made into shows or movies and I think that should happen already 😂 The Storys were such hot messes but this story kept me eager to read on! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

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