The Cousins by Karen M. McManus Blog Tour: Review

I loooove a mystery. The not-knowing who did what, the wondering who’s lying and who’s not who they say they are, and of course, the final reveal! When it’s done right, mysteries can shock you to your very core or at least, have you reading faster than you ever thought possible just so you can find out what happens next.

The Cousins is definitely done right. I’m so glad I signed up for this blog tour because I don’t know if I would have picked this one up on my own. It has been a great book to escape into.

As you scroll through, check out the synopsis, my review, and a little about the author. Let’s do this!

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

Genre: Mystery, YA mystery
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 304

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.


The Cousins was my first Karen M. McManus and it will not be the last. I love the way we get to see Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah’s point of view throughout the whole book. It allows us to get a real inside look into what’s going on and understand it through these very different characters.

The writing also takes the reader by the hand and leads us into this dark mysterious world without ever making us feel like we’re in too deep until we are in the weeds and OMG THIS CHARACTER DID IT AND OMG IS SOMEONE GOING TO DIE?? Like I knew some shit was coming, but I was not prepared for exactly how messed up it was going to be.

And I loved every second of it.

Let’s go into the characters!

Milly: At first, I didn’t think I was going to fall in love with Milly because of the affluent life she leads, but I was totally wrong. I really enjoyed how much she took control of the situation when she needed to, but was also allowed to be vulnerable and confused. We love a multidimensional character.

Aubrey: MY FAVE!! Like the insecure girl who wants to punch her dad in the face wasn’t going to be my favorite character lol. While she was a bit timid at first, she really grew into herself as the story went on and lord have mercy, I was worried about her at the end.

Jonah: Jonah can be described in one word: SECRETS. He has a bucketful of them, but he’s not the best at keeping them considering Milly and Aubrey figure out one of his secrets a day or two after they meet him. Oops.

I also really liked Uncle Archer. I have a soft spot for an addict who is trying his best to stay on the straight and narrow, but is still having a hard time. He really proves himself over the course of the story and especially at the end.

Ok…let’s talk about THE grandmother. No spoilers, but she is creepy af. Do. Not. Trust. Her. She is mysterious and secretive and manipulative. But that’s not even the most shocking thing about her.

The mystery (or mysteries) in The Cousins is so mult-faceted and layered. I’m always in awe of mystery writers because…how do they figure out these mysteries in their head?? And how do they keep things hidden from the reader so we don’t know what’s going to happen after a couple of chapters? They’re all so creative and masterful and Karen M. McManus is no exception.

The Cousins is a fun, thrilling ride with an ending that will have you’re mouth hanging open because…how did you not think of that before?? If you love mysteries or YA mysteries especially, you need to read The Cousins. I’m giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus comes out on Dec 1, 2020.

About the Author

Karen M. McManus is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying, Two Can Keep a Secret, and One of Us Is Next. Her fourth novel, The Cousins, will publish in December 2020. Her work has been translated into more than 40 languages worldwide.

Karen lives in Massachusetts and holds a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, which she mostly uses to draft fake news stories for her novels.

3 thoughts on “The Cousins by Karen M. McManus Blog Tour: Review

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