Books Thriller YA

The Cousins by Karen M McManus [book review]

The Cousins

Book: The Cousins 

Author: Karen M. McManus

Published: December 1, 2020

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre: YA Thriller

Pages: 337

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The Cousins by Karen M MacManus book summary:

The Cousins by Karen M McManus is about Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story. Their grandmother disinherited their parents long before they were born, so they never got a chance to meet her. When all three of them get sent a letter inviting them to work on her island they all have mixed feelings. They want to spend their summer doing the things that they want to do but they also want the opportunity of meeting their grandmother.

But they have no choice in whether they are going to go or not because their parents are making them go. They want to get back in her good graces not only because she’s their mother but also because she’s rich. When Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah make it to the island they soon realize that their grandmother has different plans for them. The longer that they are there the more they want to figure out why she disowned their family.

The Cousins
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Rating: 3 out of 5.

What I thought about The Cousins:

So, The Cousins is a young adult thriller that kind of leans more towards the mystery side than the thriller. The start of the book actually starts off really good! As I stated above there are four different points of view to this story. At first, I was a little worried about that because I typically don’t do well with multiple points of view, but that’s because the author either doesn’t do it very well or adds way too many characters and it ends up being hard to keep up.

The Characters

Thankfully all of the characters are pretty different and versatile. To me writing multiple points of view would be really hard only because it would be difficult to make them three-dimensional and believable. I do have to say that Karen McManus does a great job with the characters and making them pretty realistic!

The only thing that bothered me with The Cousins is how the kids don’t know a thing about their mother. Mildred is on such a small island and if you know anything about small-town mentality then you would know that the people there know everything about everything. You have some of the nosiest people in small areas. Since Mildred is such a rich and popular person doesn’t make the plot feasible. I wish that Karen had gone into more detail about the ‘plot twist’ and how the characters were able to get away with it. Yes, Mildred was a shut-in but there were times she had to get out. In fact, when the cousins first got to the island they were introduced to her. So how exactly could no one figure out what happened?

On top of this, I kind of doesn’t like the family dynamic. During the parts that took place in the past, it seems like the family was pretty close. I get that tragedy breaks people apart, but I figured this would bring them closer together so the secrets they keep would stay between them. That’s how I imagine things would have turned out anyway.

Despite the fact that I didn’t care for some things in The Cousins I still ended up really enjoying the story. In fact, it kept me on my toes and made me wonder what exactly was going to happen. I do have to say that I really wasn’t expecting that ending and it genuinely surprised me!

If you like YA thrillers then you may also like The Inheritance Games.

Books by Karen M McManus:

One of us is Next

One of us is Lying

Two can keep a secret

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2 thoughts on “The Cousins by Karen M McManus [book review]

  1. Megan

    I haven’t had a chance to read this yet but I’ve heard so many good things. I’m definitely going to have to add it to my list now. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ellie

    Great review! I had the same thoughts over this book, glad I’m not the only one!

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