Blog Tour Book Review; The Cousins- Karen Mcmanus

Family first. Always.

Page Count 336

Publication date December 2020

Publisher Penguin

GoodReads link

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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.



I’ve been picking up Karen McManus’ novels on release day since her debut One Of Us Is Lying. Initially I discovered her via twitter on writing community conversations.
Well thanks to Dave @ The Write Reads and Penguin publishing, this time I got an advanced reader copy of her fourth novel The Cousins!

Karen McManus writes YA thriller mysteries, perfect for teenagers and those of us adults who like to cosy up with an easy going mystery.
The Cousins tells the story of the most dysfunctional family you can imagine! When Aubrey, Milly and Jonah are invited to work at their long lost Grandmother’s island resort they snatch the opportunity to finally uncover what made Mildred Story disinherit their parents 24 years ago.

True to form every character is hiding a secret. The cousins, their parents, the uncles and the locals all have something to hide. We read from the present day, first person perspectives of Aubrey, Milly and Jonah, with intermittent flashbacks to the history of Milly’s mother- Allison to slowly uncover the demons hidden by the Story family.

I hadn’t guessed the conclusion before I reached it. The answers weren’t so far fetched or unbelievable, it all ties together perfectly. I was just so invested in the moment that my mind didn’t whir ahead to try and untangle the mystery as I usually would.

As hinted by the title, The Cousins is very much a family oriented book. Themes of parenting, neglect, emotional trauma and addiction feature throughout and Mcmanus uses these to develop some wonderful arcs for the middle generation of Story characters over the course of the book.

I’d highly recommend this as a gift for teen readers this Christmas, if not for yourself!

Roxanne’s Reactions:

Author: Roxanne Michelle

Dramatic, curly-haired wannabe writer from a nowhere town in Somerset. Stop-starter of all projects great and small. Here to talk books, film, mental health and lifestyle.

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