Amy’s Thoughts On…The Cousins by Karen M. McManus (Blog Tour)

Thank you to The Write Reads for allowing me to be part of this incredible blog tour.

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

Published By: Penguin

Released: 3rd December 2020

CAWPILE Rating: 7.5 / 4 ★

Book Depository / Waterstones

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

*This post contains affiliate links, this means, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and purchase the linked item.*


The Storys are the envy of their neighbours: owners of the largest property on their East Coast island, they are rich, beautiful, and close. Until it all falls apart. The four children are suddenly dropped by their mother with a single sentence:

You know what you did.

They never hear from her again.

Years later, when 18-year-old cousins Aubrey, Milly and Jonah Story receive a mysterious invitation to spend the summer at their grandmother’s resort, they have no choice but to follow their curiosity and meet the woman who’s been such an enigma their entire lives.

This entire family is built on secrets, right? It’s the Story legacy.

This summer, the teenagers are determined to discover the truth at the heart of their family. But some secrets are better left alone.

Amy’s Thoughts

I love Karen McManus and have read all of her previous work, and she is slowly becoming one of my favourite writers of YA mystery and thrillers. So, when I found out about her new book The Cousins I knew I had to get my hands on it. Truth be told, I was rather excited to get stuck into her new thriller and see where it lead.

The Cousins follows Milly, Aubrey and Jonah, three cousins who have been estranged for a long while. Their parents were disowned by their grandmother several years previous and never heard from her again. One day, all three of the cousins receive an invitation to work and spend the summer at their grandmother’s resort. They all decide to go and meet the lady who has been a secret for their entire lives. However, once they get there they soon discover that the secrets their family have been keeping run deep and the three teens are determined to discover what they are before it’s too late.

Well… The Cousins certainly has that mysterious, gripping edge that McManus is known for in her previous novels. I was automatically intrigued by the riddles surrounding the Story family and found myself longing to know more through each chapter I passed. You are brought into this world of wealth, greed and secrecy and you don’t want to leave. You are sucked in, and hooked and I know this is how McManus wanted you to feel.

The story itself runs a bit slower than the stories in previous novels by the author, and it does take time for the plot to build up into something substantial. This did leave me feeling quite worried as to if I was going to enjoy the overall plot, however about halfway through the action kicks in and I was pulled in. I found the way the secrets and mystery surrounding the Story family are revealed to be, well shocking and as someone who usually guesses the conclusion to a thriller, I was surprised to say I didn’t see this certain reveal coming. Also, I just want to mention the setting of Gull Cove added to the intrigue and secretiveness of the plot, and I could just imagine something sinister happening there.

Each cousin had a different personality and I found myself gravitating towards all of them for different reasons. Milly, at first you think she’s the perfect, pretty girl but as you get to know her character more you see a more vulnerable side to her, and that vulnerability ultimately ends up changing her for the better. With Aubrey, we first see her as the sporty girl who just wants to please everyone, all whilst going through a crisis herself. Throughout the story we see her grow with confidence and become the strong young woman she wants to me. Now with Jonah, he was a bit of an enigma at first. I wasn’t sure what path his character was going down. Nevertheless, we start to see growth within him, and come to the end he’s changed into a much better person, less selfish and more willing to listen. I also enjoyed getting to know Allison’s character (Milly’s mum) through flashback scenes woven into the plotline. We get to see how vulnerable Allison was and it somewhat mirrors Milly’s character.

The Cousins was, overall another triumph for McManus. It’s a beguiling, mystifying read that had me addicted with its twists, turns and thrilling agenda.

2 thoughts on “Amy’s Thoughts On…The Cousins by Karen M. McManus (Blog Tour)

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