The Cousins

Delacorte. Dec. 2020. 336p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780525708001.
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.

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