Cover Image: The Cousins

The Cousins

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Member Reviews

A really great YA thriller! I’ve loved McManus’s previous novels, so it was no surprise that I enjoyed this one so much!
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This novel is a thriller with flashbacks to a mysterious past. The cousins from the title are the grandchildren of a wealthy  woman. When they are summoned to work and be near their grandmother, secrets come to the surface. The novel has several unexpected plot elements. There are several unlikeable characters and readers will continue to guess motives throughout. Told in four points of view, Milly seems to be the main narrator. Some of the topics that come up are hard-hitting, so it is more suspenseful than entertaining. One of the cousins, Aubrey, does go through some personal growth, so her transformation may inspire some teens. 
3.5
I mainly listened to the completed audiobook. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the e-galley.  My reviews and ratings are my own.
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McManus is back with another mystery! This time, three estranged cousins are mysteriously asked to visit the island where their parents grew up and disinherited 24 years ago-- where their grandmother still lives. But there are too many questions: why now? why the peculiar invite from their grandmother's employee instead of Gran? why were their parents disinherited? what is the significance of several landmarks each cousin knows about? Will Jonah, Millie, and Aubrey be able to figure it out before their time at the island is up? 

This is a fun and super twisty mystery! I love that McManus really amps up the red herrings, the intrigue, and the puzzle of trying to figure it all out without making it too dark and violent (They Wish They Were Us and A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, I'm looking at y'all). There are lots of surprises that I didn't see coming and that I literally gasped at loud at when they happened. Give this to teens who enjoy a good puzzle to solve out!
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I haven't read a psychological mystery/thriller in a really long time. So I'm not sure if I loved this because I hadn't read one, or because it was really that good. I haven't read any of McManus's other titles, but this one was page turning. For being YA, it had enough twists and turns that felt authentic, AND didn't feel too angsty like a lot of YA does. Each little nugget of information that led to something else was really well crafted.
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Much like the author's other works, this book's biggest strength is the lead cast of characters.  Having each POV really helps the reader invest in the mystery and its conclusion.
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I could not put this book down. Karen McManus always finds a way to weave in a bit of intrigue throughout her mysteries and this one did not disappoint.  The moment I finished, I shared with my students and one grabbed it from me and another grabbed her first book since I only had one copy.
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This was not my favorite McManus novel, but I still enjoyed it. I had a hard time relating with the characters, but I liked the mystery aspect of the book. I did not expect the story to take so many twists and turns, so that part of it was enjoyable.
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Karen McManus does not disappoint with the constant twists and turns in uncovering dark family secrets. Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah are forced by their parents to accept the invitation to  go work in their grandmother’s resort. The trio grow close as they are trying to figure out the dark family secrets that have been surrounding the Story family for almost three decades. This was a roller coaster ride of twists, turns, and constant surprises. While the story moved a little slower than her previous books, it made up for in family drama and the complexities of relationships.  I love Karen McManus’ books and this one was no exception! 

Thank you NetGalley for the ARC. This review and opinions are my own.
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This was a decent book.  There was a lot to it that seemed unrealistic, but the overall plot kept you interested.  Felt it was a bit lack luster in the mystery part.  But overall a quick read that I think teens will like.
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The Cousins by Karen McManus was my second foray into McManus’s work, and overall, it was both an enchanting and alarming adventure into a reclusive and wealthy private island community, where one family, the Story family, has held a vast amount of power, influence, and intrigue over the entire island community for decades. However, much of that power, influence, and intrigue has been consolidated solely into matriarch, Mildred Story, who mysteriously disowned her four children, one daughter and three sons, with only one potential clue as to why… "You know what you did." Suddenly, a letter reaches each of the grandchildren of Abraham and Mildred Story, inviting them to spend a summer working at Gulf Cove Resort, a family-owned business on the island. While McManus excelled at numerous unexpected twists and turns with her busy plotline and setting, her characterization frequently suffered from dry, boring, and a bit unrealistic/over-the-top, characters, particularly the three “cousins,” Mildred “Milly,” Aubrey, and Jonah. While I have a lot of specific and individual thoughts on each of the three cousins and their respective actions and behaviors, I do not want to give away any pertinent details to the main plot. However, I was extremely impressed to finally see a young-adult novel focus more so on the relationships between formerly-estranged cousins, because there are many families who have different circumstances and family drama keeping relatives from connecting and interacting with one another. The dysfunction and estrangement featured in The Cousins were believable and enlightening; however, it would have been more intriguing and cutting-edge if it hadn’t featured yet another run-of-the-mill Mayflower old-money family who consider themselves to be American royalty. 

All in all, I enjoyed the inclusion of Uncle Archer and the flashbacks to Milly’s mom, Allison Story, in 1996. I thought these additions added a lot of depth and breadth to the plotline and they helped bring a lot of the puzzle pieces together for the reader. The Cousins could have benefitted greatly from more diversity, particularly with its characters and setting. The ending of the young-adult novel did not fail to disappoint with its poetic sprinkling of karma and justice, and what just happened to feet like an allusion to a potential sequel.

A warm-hearted and much-appreciated thank you to Random House Children’s, Delacorte Press, and NetGalley for providing an advance copy! Please make sure to pick up a copy of The Cousins at your local book depository.
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Cousins Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story did not grow up enjoying extended family vacations on Gull Island or at the resort home of their wealthy grandmother. Instead each has had to deal with a parent who is still - years later - dealing with the fallout of being disinherited by their mother, matriarch Mildred Story. Cut off with only a message of "You know what you did." the story children are left to fend for themselves which, given their upbringing, they were not prepared to do. When the cousins each receive a postcard from their grandmother inviting them to work on Gull Island's resort for the summer, they have mixed reactions. Their parents, however, insist. It's the opportunity to get back into their mother's good graces, and they've been waiting decades. Forced together, the cousins arrive on Gull Island only to be told they "shouldn't have come back." They bond together to make the best of their circumstances and learn more about the family they never got to know.

THOUGHTS: This one will keep readers guessing, and fans of McManus's other books will be happy with this new mystery. A must have for middle and high school libraries
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A teen thriller with great twists, big reveals, and high stakes (and even a bit of swoony romance!). So much fun to read! Karen M. McManus definitely knows how to craft a satisfying YA mystery!
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Thank you NetGalley for providing this book for an honest review. This is my first book by Karen McManus and I was not disappointed. This was a mystery that unraveled the secrets of each cousin and then the mysteries surrounding their parents. It was a well written book with characters that everyone can identify with at least in some part. I liked the cousins and how they stuck together even though they barely knew each other.
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I enjoyrd this one quite a bit. Definitely a book and author I will be mentioning to YA and Thriller fans
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How well do you know your family? This is the question at the heart of McManus' latest teen mystery. Milly, Audrey, and Jonah have only met briefly as children, but they all know the story. Their parents were suddenly and inexplicably cut off both financially and emotionally from their grandmother years earlier. Out of the blue, each teen receives an invitation for a summer internship at their family's island resort - a place none of them have set foot on. Eagerly encouraged by their parents, the cousins accept, reuniting on the ferry ride over. But upon arrival, it's clear their grandmother had not sent the invitations. So who invited the cousins, and why? The narrative perspective alternates between the three distinct teens' perspectives, increasing the tension as they struggle to understand both each other and why they have been called back to the family estate. Full of McManus' signature unexpected twists and family secrets, this is another enjoyable read for fans, new and old.
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I love all things Karen M. McManus writes and The Cousins did not disappoint. Through the first half of the book, I was trying to figure out why Jonah, Milly, and Aubrey were tasked with visiting their grandmother. I guessed the first twist, but the road after that was bumpy and confusing, which makes for a great McManus story. The ending did not disappoint, though I did guess a few things along the way, which is cause for my 4 star rating. I loved living in the minds of Jonah, Aubrey, and Milly, and I loved the setup for a sequel at the end!
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This is a solid multi-POV mystery. I managed to see many of the twists coming, but that didn't really detract from my enjoyment of this book. A solid pick for teens wanting more mysteries.
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I thought this started a little slow but then the mystery took over and I was hooked.  YA’s will enjoy the romance, the setting and figuring out what happened to cause the family rift.
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Another creepy book by Karen M. McManus! Though her first two novels seemed a little bit more related, this novel takes a slightly different course but will resonate well with all of her fans.
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This was a fun read! I love how McManus does suspense / mystery, and throwing in the family element was an interesting twist. I thought the storyline was unique, and I flew through it.
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