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The Cousins Hardcover – December 1, 2020

4.4 out of 5 stars 4,251 ratings

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From the Publisher

THE COUSINS by Karen McManus

Book, thriller suspense friendship thrillers mystery books for teens mystery books mystery thriller
One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus One Of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus One of Us is Lying (TV Series Tie-In Edition) One Of Us is Lying and One Of Us is Next Boxed Set by Karen M. McManus
One of Us Is Lying One of Us Is Next One of Us Is Lying TV Series Tie-In Edition Karen M. McManus 2-Book Box Set
Read the fast-paced story of the Bayview Four! Four teenager's lives unwind after being the only witnesses to their classmate's suspected murder. The electrifying sequel to One of Us Is Lying. A TV tie-in edition with a cover featuring your favorite characters from the Peacock series streaming now! One of Us Is Lying & One of Us Is Next
Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus You'll Be the Death of Me by Karen McManus
Two Can Keep a Secret You'll Be the Death of Me
Don’t miss Karen McManus's other pulse-pounding thrillers! A small town begins to relive its dark past after a girl goes missing before homecoming. Three friends relive an epic ditch day, and it goes horribly—and fatally—wrong.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Wealthy, eccentric Mildred Story disinherited her children via a one-line letter: "You know what you did." Years later, a similarly dispassionate missive invites her three teenage grandchildren to work at her remote, luxurious island resort for the summer so she can get to know them. Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story barely know each other, but their parents all see an opportunity to get back into their mother's good graces—and a share of the fabulous Story fortune. When the cousins arrive at Gull Cove Island, their grandmother doesn't seem at all pleased that they're there and goes out of her way to avoid them. They settle into their jobs and get to know each other better, but everyone they meet seems to have a dark secret connected to the Story family's strange, hidden history. The twists come fast and furious after a relatively slow start to McManus's (One of Us Is Lying) latest. One of the cousins is half Japanese, and the others are all white. VERDICT The ultimate resolution will require a hefty suspension of disbelief, but fans of YA suspense won't mind. Give to readers who enjoyed the author's other works or E. Lockhart's We Were Liars.—Stephanie Klose, Library Journal


Every twist is gasp-inducing…. Another McManus novel worth pulling an all-nighter for.” —Kirkus Reviews

"The twists come fast and furious." —SLJ

"McManus (One of Us Is Lying) once again crafts a taut, multilayered mystery.... [She] weaves past and present to take readers on a well-paced, twisty ride that will hold readers rapt till the last page.” —Publishers Weekly
"Masterfully plotted and packed with her trademark twists, fans will be utterly hooked." —The Bookseller
“A slow-burn, uneasy beginning ultimately makes way for a frantically paced end peppered with twists that genre fans will happily take in stride. . . . Fans of McManus's previous offerings and of mysteries steeped in family dramatics will be eager for this." —Booklist

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Delacorte Press (December 1, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0525708006
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0525708001
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 14 - 17 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ HL760L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 9 - 12
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.88 x 1.12 x 8.43 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 4,251 ratings

About the author

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Karen M. McManus is a #1 New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of young adult thrillers. Her work, which includes the One of Us Is Lying series, Two Can Keep a Secret, The Cousins, and You'll Be the Death of Me, has been translated into more than 40 languages worldwide. Karen lives in Massachusetts and holds a master's degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, which she mostly uses to draft fake news stories for her novels. For more information, visit or @writerkmc on Twitter and Instagram.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
4,251 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on December 3, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on December 7, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Mystery Filled with Family Secrets and Lies!
By Elle G. on December 7, 2020
Family can be terrifying and McManus proves this in her latest release, COUSINS. This book was a pure JOY to read. Not only because I was shocked at the twist and turn of events towards the end but because I was able to DEVOUR this book at warp speed. You guys, I have had the HARDEST time when it comes to being able to read a book in a day (I used to be able to, but the past few months has changed this). With this one, it was NO TROUBLE AT ALL. That’s how good it is; the novel is intriguing, mysterious, and downright FRIGHTENING when it comes to what is actually happening. AH! I loved it. If you’re a fan of young adult mysteries (yes, this book is more of a mystery instead of thriller like her other books), then this is the book for you! Sometimes readers can be turned off by the age of the characters but trust me, you really don’t notice that these kids are teens in this one. You’re so sucked into a story of secrets, shame, and lies that you forget how old they are!

Alright, so now we’re getting into my specific likes and dislikes for the novel (this is a fairly new thing I’m doing so I hope it helps potential readers who want something a bit more specific in reviews they read). You can read them below. I’ll keep spoilers out of it as no one wants to know a plot twist before they read a mystery like this one!


📝 Despite the beachy setting, this book has some dark undertones. Normally a setting can set the tone for a story but with this one that’s not the case. What seems like an idyllic location to spend the summer is actually a mask for the crazy things that go down in the story. It’s as if the scenery itself is HIDING all the lies behind it. I loved this so much! I don’t always need to read about a gothic setting when it comes to dark family secrets and issues (although that type of setting always works and sets the tone) and that’s proven here.

📝 The way the story is presented through 3 POV’s works so well for this story. Usually, I prefer the POV’s stay at 2 because I get confused when too many characters are talking to me (LOL) but I think Jonah, Milly, and Aubrie’s POV was NEEDED to bring this one full circle.

📝 The twist at the end was EPIC. I love an EPIC TWIST especially when I don’t figure it out before it happens and that’s what we get here. I was SHOOK. It’s also what freaked me out to be honest because I didn’t see it coming and I could only IMAGINE that being real life **shudders*

📝 The book is compulsively readable. It’s so intriguing and you WANT to know the answers so bad that you continue reading despite the time. I love a book that can take over and this one did that! When my son gets a little older, I’m going to have him read these books because I KNOW he’ll find them to be awesome!


📝 We know that there is something seriously wrong within the Story family (you can literally FEEL it though her writing) but things don’t really present themselves until the end. AS I’ve mentioned in other reviews, I am not a big fan of slow-moving mysteries or suspense and that’s what this book is. I did enjoy how the story unfolded but it was a tad slow getting there.

📝 The kids parents were all morons. I hate seeing the parents of children act so childish and horrible and you see a lot of that in this book. A LOT.


In McManus’s latest release, readers are going to uncover that not all families are perfect. The Cousins is one heck of a young adult thriller and reading it in one sitting won’t be difficult at all. If you’re like me then you won’t be able to stop! It’s compulsively readable, engaging, mysterious, and TWISTED. I very much recommend it!

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Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

4.0 out of 5 stars Another great mystery novel from Karen M. McManus!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 23, 2020
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10 people found this helpful
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4.0 out of 5 stars A quick read with an interesting story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 31, 2020
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5 people found this helpful
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4.0 out of 5 stars impressive twists
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 9, 2021
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Polly Morgan
3.0 out of 5 stars Secrets, lies and a slow-burn mystery.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 11, 2021
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another brilliant story. Clever.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 23, 2021
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