Today, I have the immense honour of being a part of the blog tour for The Cousins by Karen McManus. Thank you so much to The Write Reads and Penguin for inviting me to take part.
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 mysterious invitation to spend the summer at their grandmother’s resort, they have no choice but to follow their curiosity and meet the woman who’s been such an enigma their entire lives.
This entire family is built on secrets, right? It’s the Story legacy.
This summer, the teenagers are determined to discover the truth at the heart of their family. But some secrets are better left alone.
The Cousins is another smash-hit from a queen of YA mysteries: Karen McManus herself.
She reminds me of Agatha Christie in her tightly compacted, immaculately paced mysteries. They often demand a second reading immediately, so you can pick up all the tiny hints and threads expertly woven throughout the story. The Cousins is no exception to this trend. In fact, I would probably call this her best book yet.
The story includes a multitude of perspectives and two distinct timelines and it’s a testament to McManus’ skill that it never feels convoluted or hard to follow. Everything is balanced just so, keeping you constantly in suspense and wanting to chase down the final conclusion. That being said, you can’t help but become entangled with our three primary protagonists. Hearing each of their voices really helps you delve deeper into their psyche and reinterpret events through their eyes. McManus’ trademark use of multiple perspectives really ramps up a notch with The Cousins, providing an enriching and thoroughly enjoyable reading experience.
Secrets, scandal and shocking moments are the hallmarks of The Cousins. You feel like you’re peering behind the curtain of immense wealth and privilege to discover the fractured, abhorrent mess the whole facade is trying to hide. Families are always complicated and the Storys are no different. The entire novel revolves around the terrible events of the past that caused this cataclysmic divide and if that premise hasn’t already sold you, then what lies in store definitely will.
The pacing is spot-on, giving it this bingeable nature. It reminds me of the latest Netflix hot hit, in that you have to consume every last page and feel unable to look away. I absolutely flew through it, which is truly a mark of a brilliant book. McManus packs in twist after fiendish twist, with moments that left me speechless. It just has that spark of fascinating mystery and intrigue that would lend itself to screen adaptation perfectly.
The Cousins is an unmissable mystery that will keep you up into the early hours, desperately hunting down the secrets of the Story family until you reach the thrilling revelations where dastardly deeds are uncovered.
Thank you again to Penguin and The Write Reads for including me and please make sure that you check out the rest of the incredible blog tour posts.