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Jun 14, 2021Haadiya_1002 rated this title 4.5 out of 5 stars
I am a huge fan of Karen M McManus I was beyond delighted when I was given the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour run by @TheWriteReads for her new book The Cousins! This is a standalone novel and you don’t need to read her other books to enjoy this one! This book is a perfect read for any fans of mysteries and murder mysteries that are perfectly crafted and will keep you guessing until you turn the last page. Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins who haven’t seen each other for years and none of them have ever met their shared grandmother, Mildred, who cut their parents off years before. Until they each receive a letter inviting them to work at their grandmother’s island resort with no explanation. The teens embark on a crazy, mysterious summer, full of secrets darker than any of them ever expected. Mildred’s children are Adam, Anders, Allison, and Archer. Allison’s daughter is Milly, Adam’s daughter is Aubrey, and Ander’s son is Jonah making up the 3 grandchildren/cousins who are the main characters of the book. The family tree is a bit complicated but luckily it’s included at the beginning of the book, not very easy to handle when it’s an e-arc (which I received) but definitely nice to include. It probably comes as no surprise by this point that I loved this book! From the characters to the plot, I was hooked really early on. The three main characters are all different personalities which I enjoyed as it keeps things interesting. I really liked the chemistry between Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah, they are all very different but what starts as a forced union quickly becomes a real friendship. They all have some issues with their families and it was nice to see how they manage to support each other and create a family bond where there wasn’t one. The plot flowed with new information being given at the right times to keep the reader invested in the story. There are some flashbacks strewn about with the present-day chapters which I think worked really well in giving some context and some subtle hints about why Mildred had disinherited her children and why they had decided not to keep in touch with each other. When Karen writes a book it is NEVER predictable and that’s the best part. She keeps you guessing until the end because of the many twists and turns but you’re never confused. Not all of the reveals throughout make sense immediately and there are definitely some I didn’t see coming but I really enjoyed figuring out what they all meant. It’s clear that it was planned out beforehand which I find makes for a more coherent and well-told story. The final stretch of the book dealt with one final major curve that took everything in a direction that I could never have predicted and I literally couldn’t put it down. This has been one of the best murder mysteries written in 2020 and overall this has been thoroughly enjoyable and thrilling and I cannot wait for her next book. Huge thank you to TheWriteReadsTours for including me in this #UltimateBlogTour and to Karen M McManus herself for exceeding all expectations once again!