Review: The Cousins

Title: The Cousins
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: December 1, 2020
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

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.


Twenty-four years ago, Mildred Story disinherited each of her four children. She ended contact with them by sending a note that said, “I know what you did.” Now, her three grandchildren have received a letter inviting them to visit her island and work at her resort for the summer. Jonah, Milly, and Aubrey are unsure about going to meet this woman who cut her children out of her life, but their parents insist that they go. Soon after they arrive, they discover that there is a dark family secret that tore the Story family apart. The cousins won’t stop digging through their family’s past until they find out what really happened.

This story was built on secrets. Every character, even the minor characters, had secrets. Some of them were secret events in their pasts, while others were secret identities. These secrets didn’t necessarily put the characters in immediate danger, but they created suspense since all of the characters were hiding something.

This was a complicated story. There were three generations that were involved in the mystery of the story. It was a little confusing to keep track of everyone’s secrets by the end. One thing that made it even more complicated was that Mildred’s children had similar names starting with A: Adam, Allison, Anders, and Archer. I kept getting the three brothers mixed up, which slowed down my reading when I had to figure out which was which. This story would have been much easier to read if the names weren’t so similar.

This was a suspenseful mystery!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Have you read The Cousins? What did you think of it?

Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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