BOOK REVIEW: The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

the cousinsTITLE: The Cousins

AUTHOR: Karen M. McManus

PUBLICATION DATE: December 1st, 2020

GENRE: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Alcohol abuse/addiction, Alcohol use (including underage drinking), Arson, Cheating/adultery, Child abuse (emotional/psychological), Death of a loved one, Drugging, Emesis, Gambling addiction (mentioned), Incest (inferred), Miscarriage, Murder, Parental neglect, Pregnancy


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.

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My spoiler free review: 

Well…. I actually kind of hated that ha. Sooooo unbelievable. It’s easy to suspend believe for fantasy or magic realism, but when it comes to mystery and thrillers I like it to be somewhat believable.

This was also just really boring. I almost stopped reading it a few times. In fact, the only reason I didn’t is because I couldn’t find spoilers online.

The only reason I’m giving this two stars instead of one is because I did like the characters. Well, Aubrey and and Millie at least. Jonah had a pretty bland personality.

Starting to think McManus just might not be for me.

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So. Audrey, Jonah, and Milly’s grandmother was actually murdered the day she disowned all her children. Her assistant at the time murdered her with the help of the local doctor and lawyer. She then steps into the grandmother’s shoes, disowns the children to cover up the murder (and as revenge for her sons death?), and impersonates her for 20 years. And NO ONE REALIZES IT. NOT. ONE. SINGLE. PERSON. What the fuck???

I’m sorry but that is SO unbelievable that it is painful. I could maybe understand it if she was a complete recluse, but she wasn’t. She still lives on the island that the resort is on. She still oversaw said resort. (To an extent, at least.). You’re telling me in those 20 years not a SINGLE person questioned the appearance change? From what I understand they didn’t even look all that similar.

I just can’t.

Honestly if I didn’t like Milly and Audrey this book would have EASILY been a one star. This is my second book by McManus that I’ve read. It’s also the second I didn’t like. I think it’s time I admit to myself that her writing just isn’t for me. 😦

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My Rating:



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