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The Cousins by Karen M. McManus, Narrated by Sarah Skaer, Kate Reinderes, David Garelik and Julia Whelan

Published December 1st 2020 by Delacorte Press, Listening Library

3.5 Stars:

The Cousins is a YA thriller that had me interested from the start. Milly Story disowned her children eighteen years earlier and no one seems to know why. When her grandchildren, Milly, Aubrey and Jonah receive invitations to the island for the summer they are not sure if they want to go. Not only do they know nothing about this grandmother they have never met, but they have not seen of talked to each other in several years. Milly and Aubrey get along fine, but Jonah seems aloof. Even though they are on the island, they still do not see their grandmother, it is all very strange. What secrets does this island hold? Will the grandchildren be able to build a relationship with their grandmother?

This was a story full, and I mean full of secrets. There is some dual timeline as we get bits of the past through narrations from the middle generation. The setting is beautiful, a grand beach resort, but it seems to be masking something that is trying to remain hidden. There are also 3 POVs, which I think were necessary to this story, along with the past memories, it could get a bit confusing and I had to double check things a few times. I will say that the as we learn more about the past, I was trying to put together a timeline that might reveal what happened, then nothing. The family drama and relationships themselves were also hard to understand, until there are a few reveals that provided a twist. Why did Milly invite her grandchildren to the island, then want nothing to do with them? This had me guessing and wondering. The final twist was the one that revealed all. I enjoyed this story, but there seemed to be something lacking. The wrap up seemed a bit convenient to me. Overall an enjoyable read, but not as good as I had been anticipating. Let me say that I don’t read a lot of YA fiction, so those of you who enjoy this genre, may love this title. The audiobook had a slate of narrators which made it enjoyable to listen to.

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About the Book: Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised… and curious.

Their parents are all clear on one point—not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious—and dark—their family’s past is.

The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over—and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.