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The Cousins

The Cousins

eBook - 2020
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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.
Publisher: [S.I.] : Random House Children's Books, 2020.
ISBN: 9780525708025
Branch Call Number: Overdrive
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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List - Teen Detectives
Beaverton_IanD Apr 03, 2020

"After receiving an invitation to spend the summer with their estranged grandmother, the Story cousins arrive at her house only to discover that she is not there, and the longer they stay on the island, the more they realize their mysterious family history has some deadly secrets."


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Haadiya_1002
Jun 14, 2021

I am a huge fan of Karen M McManus I was beyond delighted when I was given the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour run by @TheWriteReads for her new book The Cousins! This is a standalone novel and you don’t need to read her other books to enjoy this one!

This book is a perfect read for any fans of mysteries and murder mysteries that are perfectly crafted and will keep you guessing until you turn the last page.

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, Mildred, 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.

Mildred’s children are Adam, Anders, Allison, and Archer. Allison’s daughter is Milly, Adam’s daughter is Aubrey, and Ander’s son is Jonah making up the 3 grandchildren/cousins who are the main characters of the book. The family tree is a bit complicated but luckily it’s included at the beginning of the book, not very easy to handle when it’s an e-arc (which I received) but definitely nice to include.

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.

I really liked the chemistry between Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah, they are all very different but what starts as a forced union quickly becomes a real friendship. They all have some issues with their families and it was nice to see how they manage to support each other and create a family bond where there wasn’t one.

The plot flowed with new information being given at the right times to keep the reader invested in the story. There are some flashbacks strewn about with the present-day chapters which I think worked really well in giving some context and some subtle hints about why Mildred had disinherited her children and why they had decided not to keep in touch with each other.

When Karen writes a book it is NEVER predictable and that’s the best part. She keeps you guessing until the end because of the many twists and turns but you’re never confused. Not all of the reveals throughout 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 it was planned out beforehand which I find makes for a more coherent and well-told story.

The final stretch of the book dealt with one final major curve that took everything in a direction that I could never have predicted and I literally couldn’t put it down. This has been one of the best murder mysteries written in 2020 and overall this has been thoroughly enjoyable and thrilling and I cannot wait for her next book.

Huge thank you to TheWriteReadsTours for including me in this #UltimateBlogTour and to Karen M McManus herself for exceeding all expectations once again!

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mariameljayar
Jun 04, 2021

I LOVED this book. It had a hint of murder mystery, and there was a lot of amazing foreshadowing. Truly such a page turner!

k
Kidbean
May 28, 2021

I didn’t finish this book.

As a mystery, this one is okay. Character-wise, it strikes a weird balance between a backstory that features interesting characters, and a main story with meh ones. I think I'll leave Karen's next books for those who enjoy her writing more, because really, it doesn't do anything for me.

I think it’s time to acknowledge that Karen M. McManus’s books just aren’t for me.

The Cousins follows Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story, estranged cousins who are all sent the same letter from their grandmother to come and work for her on Gull Cove Island. Their family is from this remote island, and over twenty years ago, their grandmother cut all ties with them, refusing to speak to them ever again. Now, the cousins are back, and the mystery of their grandmother's actions, and their parents' involvement, is a whole lot messier - and more important to their lives - than they thought.

I do love a good mystery, whether YA or adult, and so I have always thought McManus would be right up my alley. However, every time I've picked up one of her books, I've been...underwhelmed. The only one that I really connected with was Two Can Keep a Secret, and though I've never not enjoyed her others, I tend to find them a bit predictable, and I'm ready to have them over with by the end.

With this book, that's definitely true, but I also found the twists just...not for me. Spoilers ahead, but one case of mistaken identity per book is enough for me. I lost count of them here, and I wanted something more than that for the big reveal.

I found also that the characters here are bland. Milly is perhaps the most interesting, but no one does anything that made me go "huh, really?" or anything close to it. The romance here was cheesy and predictable, and I honestly hated that it happened at all.

What kept me reading, I guess, was the mystery of the past. I wanted to know what happened with the original Story kids, and the way that story played out was infinitely more interesting to me. The four Storys had more personality than the cousins did, and they made me want to know what happened to get the family to this place.

So, yeah. As a mystery, this one is okay. Character-wise, it strikes a weird balance between a backstory that features interesting characters, and a main story with meh ones. I think I'll leave Karen's next books for those who enjoy her writing more, because really, it doesn't do anything for me.

TeensReadItFirst3 Mar 10, 2021

Reviewed by Lauren M.

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus is an intriguing novel. While being primarily a mystery, the underlying themes of romance, friendship, and family build a story with many layers. Overall the plotline is incredibly engaging and unpredictable. The regular surprise twists in the second half of the novel add much suspense to the story and make it impossible to put down. I found the family dynamics presented in the Cousins to be very interesting. The class differences illustrated by the author give a more diverse perspective to the characters and their individual struggles as well as how their grandmother’s wealthy background influences the people they interact with. Ultimately it contributes to an important message about how money can be a corrupt motivation in peoples’ lives.

Throughout my reading, I noticed how well developed and unique the characters were. The author does a fantastic job of conveying the tension between certain characters whether it was romantic or based in hatred. I quickly developed favourites (and least favourites) and felt satisfied with how everyone’s individual storylines concluded. I would absolutely recommend The Cousins to anyone looking for a simple but thrilling read.

Rating 5/5

a
Alicorn1
Feb 23, 2021

I absolutely enjoyed reading The Cousins because the plot and characters were amazing! This book takes place in the modern world, when three cousins, Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are invited to meet their rich grandmother and work at her resort for the summer. Their parents are adamant they go to get back into the good graces of their grandmother, who had disinherited all of her children years ago. As Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah discover the dark secrets of their family's past, they learn more about each other and grow closer to one another. I really loved all of the character's interactions with each other because each of their conversations brought them to life and made them seem real. The plot twists throughout the book surprised me, and I definitely did not expect it to end the way it did. The story was well-paced with a little romance and realistic descriptions. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves mystery and plot twists!

TeensReadItFirst2 Feb 08, 2021

Reviewed by Ainsley H.

I would rate The Cousins a 4 out of 5 stars because it had a lot of cliff hangers and made me want to keep reading. I liked how the characters were relatable and were not the typical teenagers that are shown in books. The ending felt a bit rushed because of how sudden everything was and it did not seem finished but hopefully, that’s because there is a sequel coming. I liked how it had each person's point-of-view, although it felt a bit confusing having Allison’s point-of-view and not any of the other siblings. The writing kept me engaged because I always wanted to know what the other cousins were thinking and how they felt about the scenario. Overall, it was a good book because of the twist and turns and mystery involved.

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mynovelesquelife
Feb 05, 2021

RATING: 3 STARS

I really enjoyed One of Us Is Lying and it's sequel, One of Us Is Next and stand alone, Two Can Keep a Secret so I had to try McManus's newest release. Right away this one did not catch my interest much, but I kept reading as I did enjoy her previous novels. I did get a bit hooked with the family drama aspect of the book to see what caused the big rift. Sigh, the ending just let me down. I gave it 3 stars as it was an easy read and I stayed to the end.

m
midori_hon
Jan 13, 2021

a competently crafted YA mystery

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What did Uncle Archer say earlier? Give some thought to forgiveness too, okay? If there’s one characteristic I wish the Story family had more of, it’s that. He was right, but it hits me all of a sudden that he didn’t only mean that we should forgive other people - the way Mildred never could. Based on the exchange he and Oona had earlier, I think he was also talking about forgiving yourself. And you can’t do that without acknowledging you did something wrong in the first place.

What did Uncle Archer say earlier? Give some thought to forgiveness too, okay? If there’s one characteristic I wish the Story family had more of, it’s that. He was right, but it hits me all of a sudden that he didn’t only mean that we should forgive other people - the way Mildred never could. Based on the exchange he and Oona had earlier, I think he was also talking about forgiving yourself. And you can’t do that without acknowledging you did something wrong in the first place.

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OPL_KrisC Dec 19, 2020

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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