The Cousins by Karen McManus may be my favorite book of hers yet. I'm a big fan of One Of Us Is Lying and her other books, and honestly? Just going by the premise, I wasn't sure I'd like this one as much. Well, I was wrong. I liked this one at least as much, if not more, than her previous books. I liked the humor elements, they really added a certain something, and the change of scenery from the previous books felt fresh also. The premise here is that three cousins- Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah- are offered jobs for the summer at their grandmothers' posh island resort. The catch? They've never met her- and she disinherited their parents years ago.
So why does she want to get to know them now? Well, that's the question. Something happened all those years ago, but the cousins' parents swear they have no idea what drove their mother to disinherit them. Righttt. So the three cousins go to the island for the summer, and not only have to get to know their grandmother- they have to get acquainted with each other as well. The sparks are going to fly, especially between Milly and Jonah. And what secrets will be uncovered as the summer progresses?
I liked all three cousins a lot. I cared about all of them, and while Milly was my favorite (and Jonah a close second), Aubrey's arc was very compelling and heartfelt. I really sympathized with her predicament. The author really made me care for these characters, and it was fascinating also to see what happened in the past.
The island is its own character, with a Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard feel but on a smaller scale, and the family secrets and history really made me want to know more. I quickly came to hate certain supporting characters, and like many stories of this kind, it was fun to try and parse the clues and figure out who did what. In true McManus fashion, there are some tantalizing reveals and a few shocking moments as well. If I have one quibble, it's that the plot twist at the end seemed a bit much for me. Easily overlooked though as this is just a stellar way to escape real life for a while.
McManus has knocked each book out of the park so far- I've enjoyed everything she's written- but this one is the topper. I loved the characters, the setting- everything just comes together to make this an awesome read.