Today I am pleased to share my review and stop on the huge Ultimate blog tour for The Cousins an amazing YA thriller which is out next week! 😀  This is such a brilliant book and hopefully, after reading my review you’ll see just how much I love it and maybe you’ll want to read it too. 🙂 Please check out the other stops on the blog tour and a big thank you to The Write Reads and publisher Penguin for the chance to be on this tour!

Title: The Cousins
Author: Karen M. McManus
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Teen/young adult fiction, Thriller
Book format: Pre-release proof/arc copy
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Description: 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.

*Free copy provided by the publisher for review…

Review:  Oh wow, I cannot believe how much I have enjoyed this fast paced thriller! Teenagers Milly, Aubery and Johan are sent an invitation to work on the island where their very wealthy gradmother lives, after not hearing from her or ever seeing her, their whole lives. For years they’ve lived with the knowledge that their parents were disinherited by their grandmother but they’ve never known why. Now the three of them have the chance to find out, but is their grandmother so willing to share the truth and what will happen when they finally find out?

I’m a big fan of McManus’s previous books One of Us is Lying and One of Us is Next so when I was offered the amazing chance to read this book I had a feeling I would enjoy it! The chapters alternate between Milly, Aubery and Jonah, with each of the cousins having different back stories and motives for visiting the island where their rich grandmother lives. None of the cousins are close and it’s exciting to see how the three get to know each other, the dynamic between them and what’s happening with those they meet on the island.

Each of the cousins is different, but I enjoyed all of the characters and their different stories. It was easy to like all of them and easy to follow the whole story despite the constant changing of viewpoint with each chapter. In fact having the viewpoint change between each of the cousins led to more interesting things being revealed such as what their parents are like in the present and how it ties in with another side story that takes place in the past.  As the plot moves forward it stays at a good pace, each chapter leading to more exciting moments. There are so many twists and turns in this story and I love how the author just keeps you constantly guessing at what is really happening.  I have to say I’m glad that I was kept in constant suspense and never guessed at the truth until it was revealed!

I love the way this story unfolds, the idea of the rich grandmother and the strange letter she left her children with that cut ties with them. It’s this aspect, the setting on the island, as well as the fourth point of view chapters, which begin later in the book and alternate between every few chapters that follow the three cousisns, that really made this plot all the more exciting to read. The chapters set in the past show us what was happening back in 1996 with the parents of the cousins and in particular Milly’s mother.

The story is just amazing throughout and the ending is both exciting and interesting. So many things are revealed in just the right way and the ending is so gripping and dramatic! I won’t reveal anything but I just love the way this story ends with that exciting reveal at the house and what happens, and how all the characters finally end up. The last few pages wrap up the story nicely and I do love how the last page just keeps you on the edge of your seat too with that last little part. The book has a small family tree at the front showing you the Story family, the grandmother, her disinherited children and their kids (the cousins). I found this very helpful, especially when I just started reading this book as I was still remembering all of the characters. There’s nothing too upsetting in this book. There is some swearing, a few uses of the f word but not too often and it fits in with the story and characters speech.

Overall this is such an exciting read! The story following the three cousins, how their relationships develop and how everything works out is just so exciting and engrossing that my heart was just all over the place with this book!  I found myself unable to tear myself away from the pages, constantly spending every moment I could reading this and even staying up late at night to finish the book instead of sleeping, it is that good!  I feel like I want to re-read this book already, although the surprises may not be as exciting as they were the first time, it’s just written so well and I just love how McManus keeps you on the edge of your seat, constantly guessing at what’s happening, that I just can’t wait to read more of her work and I can’t recommend this book enough to everyone! Seriously, if you’re looking for an exciting thriller that’ll keep you engrossed and guessing to the very end, then this is just perfect!

-The Cousins is published on the 3rd December 2020!


What do you think of this book?  Have you read any of the author’s previous books?  Do you like thrillers?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂