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The Cousins
Karen M. McManus
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The Cousins

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  13,286 ratings  ·  2,197 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published December 3rd 2020 by Penguin (first published December 1st 2020)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  13,286 ratings  ·  2,197 reviews

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Karen McManus
Feb 15, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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 :)
✨ A ✨
Am I underwhelmed by the title?

But I'd still read anything by McManus, so there you go 💁
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 t
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
well, Karen M. McManus has decided to write a novel on one of the most terrifying things in the world....


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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
Nilufer Ozmekik
Dec 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
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  ·  review of another edition
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.

Jessica | JustReadingJess
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.
Mar 05, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mara YA Mood Reader
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
It is taking ALL of my willpower not to preorder this. I hate book buying bans sooooo much!!!

Why do I put myself through this!?

P.S. Days later I pre-ordered it. I suck at book buying bans.

Sophia Triad
I want to read everything anything by this author...
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
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
Dec 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Leah Waters
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
This is such an awful title. I hope they change it before it gets published. 🤢🤢
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
Em J.
2.5 Stars

Well, well, well. I never thought this day would come, but unfortunately it did... I rated a Karen McManus book something that was not a five stars

For those of you who don't know, Karen McManus is one of my favorite authors, her last few books left me desperate for more of her original plots and unique characters. So, that's exactly what I did. Three months before the publication date, I pre ordered this baby in hardcover, counting the days until December first. And I did exactly what I
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…
Erin A. Craig
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always know I’m going to be in for a wild ride when I read a McManus but THE COUSINS made my jaw drop— literally drop— twice. And the last paragraph— my lips are sealed but dayyyyyyum! That’s how you end a story!
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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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