The Cousins is the latest novel by the bestselling author of One of us is Lying, Karen M McManus. It's a must-read for all fans of her work, and perfect for fans of E. Lockhart's We Were Liars.
Glamour, wealth and secrets; meet the Story family. Mildred Story’s four children are the envy of their neighbours and live a charmed existence. That is, until the day she disinherits them all with only a single sentence “You know what you did”. All four children are devastated and claim not to know what she meant. Now 26 years on they all live separate lives and have lost touch with each other. Their children, Milly, Aubrey and Jonah, despite being cousins, barely know one another. Then, out of the blue they each receive a mysterious letter from their grandmother inviting them to spend the summer on her resort. Coerced by their parents, who are desperate to return to their mother’s good graces, each of them accepts. From the moment they step foot on the island something seems amiss, and the cousins all have their own secrets to hide. Now comes a summer filled with lies and secrets as they try to un puzzle what has been going on.
It would be difficult to find a YA novel with as many surprises as this one. There were twists and turns around every corner and it kept you guessing right up to the last page. I was curious to see if this book would live up to the high standard McManus has set for her novels. Fans will definitely not disappointed, in fact she seems to have raised the benchmark even higher.
The story was slightly slow to get going but once the first hints start to appear it picked up greatly and then came plot twist after plot twist. The book gives us little clues, and the reader feels as though they are close to figuring everything out before a new revelation turns everything on its head. This a book filled with family drama, unsettling secrets and just a hint of summer love. For pure escapism during lockdown, what more could you want?
You can purchase your copy of The Cousins from the LitVox Bookshop.