e-ARC Review: The Cousins

e-ARC Review: The Cousins

Title: The Cousins

Author: Karen McManus

Publication Date: 1 December 2020

Format: e-ARC, Netgalley, Kindle

Pages: 336


Rating: 4 out of 5.

You Might Also Enjoy: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (Holly Jackson), Blink Once (Cylin Busby)

Synopsis (from Goodreads): “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 Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book. All opinions in this review are my own.

I was a pretty big fan of One of Us is Lying, and I’ve been in a serious mystery book mood for a while now. The Cousins is everything I didn’t know I wanted in a mystery book – family secrets, a bitter grandmother who banished her own children, and three suspicious cousins who are more interested in what happened? than the family inheritance.

This book is fast paced with distinct character voices, making it easy to switch between Milly, Jonah, and Aubrey. Each cousin has their own secret, but they must learn to trust each other if they are going to find out what happened twenty-four years ago that caused their grandmother to forbid her own children from ever seeing them again.

I found that I really enjoyed reading from each character’s perspective. Usually I find that I only enjoy one or two points of view, but each character had a unique way of looking at things, and they were overall interesting characters. I worried for them, felt annoyed, and my heart hurt at how the adults in their lives treated them.

Flashbacks help give the reader more information to help them come to their own conclusion of what happened all those years ago – something I think teen readers will enjoy, as it makes the book more difficult to put down because you’ll want to see if your theory is right.

In true McManus fashion, there are plenty of sudden plot twists towards the end. I just wish there had been a little more to the story. It was satisfying, but I felt like something was missing, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Oh, well!

Overall, The Cousins is a great book to end the year with. Teen readers and YA fans alike will have a hard time putting this one down. You might even start to think about your own family and what secrets it has.

5 thoughts on “e-ARC Review: The Cousins

  1. Excellent review, Syl! I agree, it was a fun read but there was just a little something missing. I also felt there was too much impersonation going on, which seemed a bit far-fetched ☺

    Hope everything is well with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Stephen! I think you worded it exactly right. I guess I kind of wanted a certain person to be who they said they were.
      All is well! I hope you’re doing well, too! Happy December!

      Liked by 1 person

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