Sunday, October 8, 2023

REVIEW: The Cousins (book) by Karen M. McManus

The Cousins is a YA thriller/mystery. I bought my copy new.


This book alternates between the past and present, as well as between several POVs. Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins. They hardly know each other, but they're united by family mysteries and drama. Twenty-four years ago, wealthy Mildred Story shocked everyone by suddenly disinheriting all four of her children. The only explanation she gave was a letter sent through her lawyer that said "You know what you did." Mildred has refused to have any contact with her children since then, and she's certainly never contacted her grandchildren.

Until now. Out of the blue, Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah have been invited to spend the summer working at one of Mildred's properties, the Gull Cove Resort. None of them particularly want to go there, but their parents, hopeful that Mildred might be softening in her old age, don't give them much of a choice.

The Story family has more secrets than any of the cousins ever realized, and Gull Cove Resort is going to give them an opportunity to find them all out.

I think this might be the best of McManus' books I've read so far. It does start off a bit slow, with only a few hints of potential "rich people" drama to keep readers interested, and I never really got into the scenes set in the past as much as the scenes in the present. Eventually, however, the hints of something else going on under the surface became more intriguing.

Milly and Aubrey were a great pair - I loved their interactions and the friendship blossoming between sunshiney Aubrey and cool and sharp Milly. I was iffier about Jonah, especially since McManus seemed to be hinting at a development I wasn't wild about (thankfully that went better than I initially expected it would).

Maybe I just read this at the right time - it was nice to read a YA thriller that didn't take place at school, and I was definitely in the mood for a little rich people drama - but for the most part I really enjoyed this.


A book club discussion guide and an interview with the author.

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