The Cousins – Book Review

Title:- The Cousins

Author:- Karen M McManus

No. of pages:- 327 pages

Date published:- December 3rd 2020

Genre:- YA Thriller

Rating:- 4/5

An explosive YA thriller from international bestselling author of One of Us is Lying.

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.

After reading One of Is Lying by the same author, I got nearly all Karen McManus books and The Cousins is one of them. The story follows three cousins–Milly, Aubrey and Jonah who returns to Gull Cove Island after their grandmother has extended an invitation to meet them. In each of their letters, there’s one sentence “You know what you did last summer,” implying their parents, back in 1990’s when they were teenagers must have done something terrible in the island. The cousins come to the island to find many deep secrets about the island and about their own family and parents as well.

First part of the story was slightly boring but then things got interesting by the mid way of the book. There were some twists and turns, which some are completely unexpected. The story is told from the perspectives of Milly, Aubrey and Jonah, and how their friendship began to develop while being in the island. By the second part of the story and towards the edge, I couldn’t simply put the book down that I got engrossed into the story as to what was going to happen next. The ending was completely unexpected in my opinion.

Overall, if you like a family drama with a thriller element in it, then this book is one for you–worth four stars!

Karen M. McManus is a #1 New York Times and international bestselling author of young adult thrillers. Her books include the One of Us Is Lying series, which has been turned into a television show on Peacock and Netflix, as well as the standalone novels Two Can Keep a Secret, The Cousins, You’ll Be the Death of Me, and Nothing More to Tell. Karen’s critically acclaimed, award-winning work has been translated into more than 40 languages. To learn more, visit or @writerkmc on Twitter and Instagram.

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