Good Reads, Lifestyle

Good Reads Challenge Book Review: The Cousins

What’s up “fam”..Welcome back to the blog.

“Everybody has secrets that are nondebatable. The only question is whether you’re keeping your own or someone else’s.” – Karen McManus

Hello friends, and how are you? I hope you’re doing well, getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, focusing on your mental health, and giving yourself grace.

I’m still struggling to get back to my regular blogging schedule.  It’s been quite the task with work priorities, and I’m reading too many books simultaneously.  I’m also resting more and trying to pay attention to my body when it says …”hey, I’m tired,” but this week is looking up. The good thing is that I’m not behind on reviews like last year.   My ultimate goal is two reviews a month, but enough, I digress here’s my review of The Cousins…and so it goes.

The Review

Title | The Cousins
Author | Karen McManus
Format | Hard Cover
Pages/Hours | 330 pages
Published  | December, 2020
Genre |  YA, Mystery, Thriller
GR Rating | 3.78
Purchase | Amazon


Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each other, 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.

My Rating (3.95)

Every year, I add at least 2-4 YA novels to my Good Reads challenge because they are (in a word) entertaining. The Cousins by Karen McManus didn’t disappoint. This was a quick, fun read. Family …you can’t pick em’.

The story is about …yes, the Story family and three cousins (Aubrey, Milly, and Jonah) who haven’t seen each other since they were toddlers. The cousins are now teenagers, and their parents are estranged from their mother (Mildred Story). Aubrey, Milly, and Jonah each receive a letter inviting them to their grandmother’s island resort to work for the summer. As for the parents, they only received one message stating, “You know what you did.” Cryptic right.

Quote from The Cousins
“It’s a little weird, maybe, to be carting all this around, but I don’t know these people. And when I don’t know something, I study it.”

The cousins are forced to go, each parent trying to get back into their mother’s good graces or her wallet …however, you want to spin that one.

Quote from The Cousins
“Leave the past where it is.”

This story has all the twists and turns of a good mystery novel because I couldn’t really figure out what was happening until it was happening. The novel lays out the foundation, giving you a background of the Story of children, privileged …yes, well-liked…not really (because of that privilege but when your parents have money, the small things don’t matter.

The novel weaves a story from the past (when the Story children were teenagers) to the present, where the Story cousins work. You get a sense of the dynamic of the siblings through stories shared as we get a peek into each of them. Who was the favorite, the drunk, the bullheaded one, and the one that always got in trouble?

Quote from The Cousins
“The loneliness of that settles over my shoulders like a heavy blanket.”.

I kept trying to figure out the mysterious note. There are so many breadcrumbs, so many secrets. A mysterious death on the island would set the stage for events in the present. We don’t really see the matriarch (Mildred Story) much in the novel. She’s not friendly, she doesn’t really try to get to know her grandchildren, and by the first half of the book, they’ve only met her once when they first arrived. So, you immediately begin to wonder …didn’t she invite them? Why is she staying away from her grandchildren? Why did she have them come all this way to ignore their presence completely?

Now, my interest has been piqued. As the cousins worked their way through the island, getting to know the locals and learning about their parents, all would come to a head at the Summer Gala, and from that point on, life would change for the cousins.

Great story. The end flopped for me a little because once I found out the secret, it was a bit of a letdown because I was hoping the author would elaborate more, but I can’t forget this is a YA novel, and overall, it had a good ending. (You can’t get blood from a turnip)  I liked the characters; no one drove me crazy, the book didn’t drown me with details about each and every part of the environment, and it was easy to follow.

Thanks so much for visiting the blog today.  Don’t forget to follow and subscribe, as I really appreciate the support. — Peace

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