Book Review | The Cousins by Karen McManus

Thank you to The Write Reads for my spot on this blog tour.

About the Book

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.

Goodreads’ Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Cousins by Karen McManus is “the wildest, weirdest month imaginable,” as described by one of the characters.

What I Loved

There is nothing like starting with the end, but I have to say that the last page sent cold chills up my spine, which is my absolute favorite type of ending. The solution to the mystery to jaw-dropping as is. Not necessarily shocking but very complicated to the point that it is impossible to guess every little aspect. The story continues with everyone picking up the pieces, so it lulled me into thinking I was taking in a relatively happy ending. And then I read the last page, backed up and reread it, and on for the third time. Did those words mean what I think they did? Of course, they did, and OMG! The creepiest twist that I never even came close to anticipating.

I love the depth and complexities of the characters, from the three narrators to the support characters. Events that happened over 20 years ago profoundly impacted everyone – the characters that were there to the next generation must find out what actually happened and what is going on now. They each have their own unique set of scars that have molded them, for good and bad, and I enjoyed discovering the reason for every insecurity.

I loved the setting – a very dream-provoking family-owned resort island off the coast in the NE US. It fuels the imagination and maintains that small, enclosed space that is just ripe with possibilities and mystery. The picture of Catmint House that my vision created is a place that would be an absolute dream to live in or even to see and imagine living in. It is fun to have such greed and depravity in such a beautiful idyllic setting because it makes the bad that much more jarring.

To Read or Not to Read

If you are looking for a jaw-dropping, fast-paced YA mystery with and spine chilling ending that will stick with you long after you’ve closed the book, look no further. The Cousins is a must-read for mystery lovers.

15 Replies to “Book Review | The Cousins by Karen McManus”

    1. It is very good. More on the psychological thriller line with a wonderful creepy twist at the very end.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I really wanted to get an ARC of this one, but never received a yay or nay about it. I love a good mystery with a jaw-dropping ending, so I’m sure I’ll get around to reading this one. Your review sealed the deal!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if they approved any outside of blog tours 🤷🏻‍♀️. It’s on the psychological thriller side of mystery with a creepy twist at the end. I love that ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review Tessa, I’m glad you enjoyed this book so much! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You don’t want to miss this one then. The very end gave it that 5th star for me.


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