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The Cousins

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  21,699 ratings  ·  3,301 reviews
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 goin
Library Binding, 337 pages
Published December 1st 2020 by Delacorte Press
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  21,699 ratings  ·  3,301 reviews

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Karen McManus
Feb 15, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
ETA: The cover is live, and it's stunning! You can read part of the first chapter on Paste Magazine:


Since a few people have asked: this book, which will be my fourth published book and will be released in December 2020, is not part of the One of Us Is Lying series. It's a standalone YA mystery, in the same vein as Two Can Keep a Secret, with a brand-new setting and different characters :)
daph pink ♡
And the award for the biggest disappointment ft. wtf storyline, out of the blue twists, cardboard characters and forced romance of the year goes to "Three cousins " *cough* "The cousins".

I am not a big fan of author , I have only read One of us is lying which was pretty decent I think , but due to the hype this book received I decided to read it , but ohhh no , this was such a lackluster , I forced myself to complete it!

Plot thing :- The plot was simple , three cousins go to an island and th
✨ A ✨
Am I underwhelmed by the title?

But I'd still read anything by McManus, so there you go 💁
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
Jan 07, 2020 marked it as not-released-tbr
well, Karen M. McManus has decided to write a novel on one of the most terrifying things in the world....


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Nilufer Ozmekik
Dec 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Twist and shout, come on come on come on baby, work it on out! I keep singing this song after reading this ultra twisty, surprising book with full of deliciously juicy mind games!

My head is dizzy! This book is crazy roller coaster! First it builds up the tension and gives you the clues, then it makes a sudden u turn by giving you stomach knots and a few chapters later it throws another bomb into your lap! At the end you’re getting attacked by a few sucker punches that you didn’t see it coming!
Dec 07, 2020 rated it liked it
i just want to say that this book, for what it is, is decent. i personally dont read a lot of YA mystery/thrillers because they feel very watered down compared to adult mystery/thrillers, which kinda defeats the purpose for me, and this book is no exception.

the pacing is slow, but good if you prefer a more relaxed kind of mystery. the character development is missing, but they are a little entertaining regardless. there is no tension found anywhere throughout this and it reads more like a conte
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**3.5-stars rounded up**

The Story family, wealthy and private, are practically royalty on Gull Cove Island, a remote vacation destination off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

They own the largest resort on island and everyone knows them. Twenty-five years ago, the family matriarch, Mildred, suddenly disowned her four children, essentially banishing them from the island. The cause of this remains a mystery to all.

These children are now adults and three of them have children of their own. Au
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Karen McManus is always my cure for a reading slump. There’s something about her YA thrillers that immediately pull me in and keep me compulsively turning pages until the end. Though a little different in tone from her previous hits like One of Us Is Lying and Two Can Keep a Secret, The Cousins is no exception to that rule.

Milly, Aubrey and Jonah Story have never met their grandmother, Mildred Story, before. She mysteriously cut off contact from their parents twenty-four years ago, and hasn’t se
C.G. Drews
I have discovered I have an deep interesting in inheriting a large and mysterious fortune, so I will continue to read books about inheritances (and disinheritances) until I, too, find the answer 😪 Also this was such a brilliant McManus book. I'm so fond of her thrillers, and while this one actually felt more lowkey on the thriller aspect, it has the TWISTS that leave your brain shrieking. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. The premise. The messy problematic rich families. The estranged cousins b ...more
Apr 03, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
If this book's title doesn't start with the word "three" then what's even the point?

EDIT 21/10/19: Okay so.... disappointment much?? I mean it even says in the description it's about THREE cousins so why you gotta be so lame with the title and ruin the tradition of McManus book titles??? C'mon...
Larry H
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Looking for a healthy helping of twisty family drama? If your answer is "Yes, please," you'll want to pick up Karen McManus' newest YA mystery, The Cousins .

Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah have never met their grandmother, the immensely wealthy Mildred Story. Ever since she disowned all four of her children more than 20 years ago, she’s rebuffed any effort their parents have made through the years to reconcile or meet her grandchildren. Even their parents—all siblings—barely speak to each other.

Mar 05, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2020
the way this could've been titled "three's a crowd" and it would've made sense and kept up with the ~one.. (of us is lying)~ and ~two.. (can keep a secret)~ trend going on is such a missed opportunity but i'll take it ...more
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have genuinely no idea how i managed to get an ARC of this but i'm so thrilled i did, thank you NetGalley and Penguin Random House!

I read this book in one day and just couldn't put it down. This is more of a family drama than it is a thriller like her previous works, and follows three cousins who are summoned to their family island resort to spend the summer with their grandmother. The only catch being that their grandmother, who owns and runs the resort, disinherited all of her children dec
Jessica | JustReadingJess
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The Cousins is a great YA thriller like I expect from Karen M. McManus.

I was invested in The Cousins from the first page. I was so curious to find out why Milly Story disowned her children. Milly, Aubrey and Jonah haven’t seen or talked to each other in years. Together they try to figure out what happened eighteen years ago. Milly and Aubrey quickly become close. I enjoyed reading about their new friendship. All of the family drama was interesting and I couldn’t wait to find out all the secrets.
Dec 30, 2020 rated it liked it
The Cousins is a dark, dramatic family mystery that comes to light when the Story siblings’ children, Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah, are invited to work at their grandmother’s resort, despite their parents being cutoff from her for many years.

Their parents are clear — The cousins are going. The invite isn’t optional, and perhaps presents an opportunity to get back on their mother’s good side.

When they arrive, cousins Milly, Aubrey and Jonah quickly realize things are off at the resort, and on the i
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thrillers
This is my new favorite of Karen McManus's YA thrillers! It hit many sweet spots for me: beach town, family secrets, rich assholes, and a few more that are spoilers. It's kind of unfortunate for everyone else this won't be out until winter, because it's a perfect summer jam!

Karen's books are always adept at multi-POV, but I really gelled with the characters in this one. I think b/c this one focuses on family trauma and the "sins of the father" being carried out on the children, there was a lot
Amy Imogene Reads
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. A large part of that enjoyment came from treating it like a contemporary novel, though, and not a mystery.

Concept: ★★★★ 1/2
Pacing: ★★★
Mystery/Surprises: ★★ 1/2
Enjoyment: ★★★★

So, real quick, let me just say this: if you're coming to this book for intense action, devious mysteries, or any kind of edge-of-your-seat thriller vibes, this is NOT the read for you.

The Cousins is Karen M. McManus' fourth YA novel, and it has a really nice set up. Three cousins from estranged sibli
Rachel Reads Ravenously
2.5 stars

I’m starting to feel like Karen M McManus is a two hit wonder. I loved her first two published books, but this book and the one before were so meh. I get so excited to read a new book by her and have been disappointed twice.

I tried to go into this book with zero expectations. I saw many mixed reviews before reading it, and tried to not get my hopes up. This book started out so strong and I was loving it, and then somewhere about halfway through it got confusing, convoluted, and just…
Sophia Triad
I want to read everything anything by this author...
“Everybody has secrets,' she says, taking a sip of her drink. 'That's nondebatable. The only question is whether you're keeping your own, or someone else's.”


I don't think Karen McManus and I are meant to be.
Her books just aren't for me and I don't think it's because I'm a bit out of age target's rate.
Despite being past my sweet teens, I still appreciate YA thrillers from time to time. When they're done right, that is.

The biggest problems I have with McManus's stories are the insufferabl
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Note to self:

When it comes to a Young Adult type of family "mystery" this one probably wasn't all that bad.  But my hopes were soooooooooooo high.  And also I really had myself convinced that this would be all super dark and potentially nasty when it came to the big reveal (and it was briefly hinted that there might be a little "Flowers in the Attic" type of lifestyle going on).  Sadly, this one ended up not being much of anything I was hoping for and the "twist" was unfortunately pretty lac
Mara YA Mood Reader
Mar 13, 2020 marked it as to-read
Sounds like We Were Liars with a splash of VC Andrews 😆 but I’m in!! 03/13/2020
‘My maternal grandmother loomed large over my childhood, but as more of a fairy-tale figure than an actual person’.

The Four A'sAdam, Anders, Allison, and Archer Story. Brothers and sister, once as close as can be, but now estranged for over twenty years.

Because back in 1997 they did something so terrible that their mother disowned them and has refused to speak to them ever since.

Until, out of the blue, their children – cousins Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah – each receive a letter from their el
Dec 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-s-books
i'm staying the fuck away from family gatherings ...more
Oct 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun YA mystery!

Family secrets, a mysterious letter, and tragic deaths...

McManus has created a well thought out novel that really delivers. The multiple POV’s helped in explaining the motivations of each character. Small twists were well placed and kept me questioning where the story was going. The ending was a complete surprise and not anything close to what I had expected. Solid 4 stars.
Lucy Tonks
This was an alright book. Not my favourite from Karen M. Mcmanus, that would be Two Can Keep a Secret, but not my least favourite either which is One of Us is Lying (and that is just because I didn't like how a topic present in OoUiL was executed).

This book follows Milly, Aubrey and Jonah Story who are all cousins, but they barely know eachother. They've never met their grandmother either, who disinherited their parents years before the were born. Strangely, each of them get a letter from th
Leah Waters
Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Um, wow. This book was the definition of unputdownable--I kept saying "Just one more chapter" but I'm still reading hours later. It's that good.

(But why must her books end on mini cliffhangers? Now I really want a sequel.)
CC the Great is Not Okay
Oct 17, 2019 marked it as to-be-released
This is such an awful title. I hope they change it before it gets published. 🤢🤢
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this clever YA mystery/suspense/family drama.
The characters of the cousins Milly, Jonah, and Aubrey are particularly well-described and there are twists and adventures galore. The cousins are the children of three of the four Story siblings who were unceremoniously disinherited from their wealthy family as young adults and had no contact with their mother since. The grandmother has summoned the cousins to her island resort for the summer, the first contact in over twenty years,
Dec 28, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reads
I've enjoyed Karen M. McManus' books so far, and did not dislike this one, but it certainly paled in comparison to its predecessors. The characters felt weaker, the first half of the story waned in interest, and while the plot twist was certainly interesting, it fell slightly flat by the time that it was delivered. The story felt half-assed overall--good enough to be a quick read, but lagging in pace and execution, which is disappointing given the anticipation. ...more
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Hi, and thanks for stopping by my Goodreads page! I don't visit this site often, so the best way to reach me is via my website at, or on Twitter, where I'm @writerkmc.


Karen M. McManus is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying, Two Can Keep a Secret, and One of Us Is Next. Her fourth novel, The Cousins, will publish i

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