Blog Tour: The Cousins – Karen M. McManus

My rating: 5/5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Story’s are the envy of the island: they are rich, beautiful and tight-knit. That is until it all falls apart. The four Story children are cut off from their mother and disinherited with only one sentence:

“You know what you did”

Over twenty years later, the Story cousins Milly, Aubrey and Jonah receive a mysterious invitation to spend summer on the island to work at their estranged grandmother’s resort. They all decide to follow their curiosity and meet the elusive Mildred Story.

Little did they know that the whole Story family are built on secrets but they’re determined to find the truth…

My thoughts

Although, Karen M. McManus’s other novels are extremely popular, this is the first novel I have read by her. Usually YA thrillers aren’t my thing as I have the (potentially wrong) preconception that they won’t be as gritty. With this novel I was definitely wrong for thinking it would be anything less than gritty and gripping!

The characters within this novel are so well written and felt like they could have been real people. The issue I sometimes have with thrillers is an overreliance on the plot rather than having characters with depth. This was no an issue in this novel at all. The characters were full of their own secrets and the attention to detail in the development of all of the characters really blew me away, especially for a YA novel.

I loved the way that this book was narrated. It swapped between each of the three cousins and a flashback narrative from one of the Story children at 18. I think this added depth to the novel and also helped with the pace as there were so many secrets that the characters were keeping from each other. Every character was suspicious in some way and I love that! I think thrillers with multiple perspectives work really well and this novel was no exception.

There were twists and turns throughout this novel and at no point was I bored. As a reader, you were constantly left guessing as to what the twists could possibly be. This meant that it was a fast paced novel that is perfect for anyone looking to get out of a reading slump. I read it in two days and that was around all of my uni work, I was finding it so hard to put down! It is such an engaging storyline and one that is also really easy to follow.

I pride myself in being good at predicting twists in novels and, not to be that person, but a lot of the time I’m right. However, this novel completely threw me for a loop. The ending left me shocked and even some of the smaller twists shocked me. I think this is one of the main reasons I loved this novel so much, I love being surprised.

Overall I would definitely recommend this novel to people of all ages. Although this is marketed and written for a YA audience, I do believe that adult readers will love this one too as none of the topics or dramas seem too juvenile. If you were a fan of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart then I am sure you will enjoy this novel!

Thank you to the WriteReads for having me on the tour!

Do you have a suggestion for the next book to add to my bookshelf? Let me know in comments.  


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