Title/Author: The Cousins by Karen M. McManus
Publisher: Penguin Random House Children’s UK
Publication date: Dec 03, 2020
In a nutshell:
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.
Thank you The WriteReads Tour and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. This is my first book by Karen McManus, and thought it was generally a good read.
We have three 17-year-old cousins. Milly, the beautiful, confident, and full of sass cousin, whose parents were divorced; Aubrey the sensible, athletic and talented swimmer (I don’t understand why was Thomas in the picture, he had hardly any role to play except an effusive boyfriend) whose dad slept with her swim coach; and Jonah seemed somewhat distant at first, as what the other cousins would expect. He wasn’t even active in his social media account and didn’t have any of his pictures posted so they didn’t know what he looked like as a teenager.
They met up after receiving the letter from the mysterious Millicent Story, their estranged grandmother, requesting them to meet her, much to their surprise and their parents too, who were the children of Milicent Story. Her letter to them came unexpectedly as she had cut off all communications with all of them 24 years ago. The cousins were reluctant to meet her at first, but after much persuasion (and some ‘bribes’), they decided to give in to their parents’ request and meet their grandmother to find out what exactly happened and why their grandmother cut them off so suddenly.
Be prepared for betrayals, lies and deception and a story deep in mystery and secrets.
Out of the three, I enjoyed reading Aubrey’s part the most, as I saw how she developed as a character from being doubtful about herself to feeling more confident and courageous towards the end. Milly was an interesting character in the beginning and Jonah was mysterious enough that I wanted to know what else he was hiding. It was such a pity that Milly and Jonah weren’t part of the ‘big reveal’ towards the end. The story kind of took them out of the picture, just like that, even when they had played a part in trying to solve the mystery.
The story took awhile to kick off and felt like it wasn’t going anywhere, but as it gets towards the end, the story moved pretty quickly. There was a cliffhanger at the end, which I assumed is the author’s intention of setting up for a sequel.
I’m sure young readers would devour this especially with characters they could relate to. Overall, a quick read for young adult mystery lovers.
Have you read this book? What did you think? If you haven’t, do you intend to? Please share with me your thoughts!