BOOK REVIEW: Ten, by Gretchen McNeil

Date(s) read: January 2, 2013
Genre: YA Horror/Mystery


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Don’t spread the word!
Three-day weekend. Party at White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

My Thoughts

In my years as a reader, and in my years as a book blogger, I have been on the hunt for a very scary book. In most cases, I’ll pick up a book I want to be completely wowed by and find myself shrugging my shoulders in indifference by the time I finish. I’m always very happy when I find a book that fits my criteria of a spooky read.

Ten was definitely one of those books. It’s not so much of a horror novel, but more of a whodunit, mystery book. I don’t read enough of these in the YA genre. Right away I was pulled into the story of Meg and Minnie who are heading off to a secluded island for a weekend of partying. I love secluded island books and knew that this was already heading in the right direction.

This was the kind of book that had me scared when I read it at night. Sure, there are no ghosts or bogeymen afoot, but there’s a definite creep factor that had me turning on the lights when I got up to go into different rooms of the house, even if my feet knew my journey by memory. There’s also something to be said about a book like this where there are kids dying – it just adds something even scarier to the story. Books like The Lord of the Flies, where it’s like these kids go crazy, whether it be from cabin fever or just the fear of being secluded, out of touch with the outside world.

I had myself guessing in the beginning who the “killer” of the story was – kids started disappearing and I knew I could figure it out! By the time I was guessing on the 5th or 6th person who could be the bad guy, I gave up and let the story pull me along. It moved at a fairly quick pace and I finished it in no time. I really liked how the voice of the narrator stayed on Meg the whole time and that my opinion wasn’t getting tainted by anyone else in the story. I liked that I only had her POV to deal with.

I also really enjoyed the setting of the story, like I said. I love a spooky island, but add in some bad weather, a big house, and a cast of varying characters and I love it even more. The weather was horrible and all the things you’d think could go wrong, go wrong, and all the characters had their own annoyances – or even some things I liked about them – that had me turning the pages so fast I thought I might become the speed reader I had only dreamed of becoming.

There were a few things that drove me crazy throughout the whole story. One was the relationship between Meg and Minnie. I really liked Meg and thought she had a good head on her shoulders, but I just couldn’t figure out why she felt the need to stick up for Minnie ALL THE TIME. There were times she explained it, but it still didn’t make sense to me. Maybe I’m wrong and just don’t know what I’m thinking, but that’s just my opinion. The second thing that drove me crazy was how the story seemed to tie up too neatly in the end. I don’t want to give away anything to ruin what happens, but there were certain things that were lacking for me and I felt like there could be more that happens, maybe more filler throughout the story to make it a little bit longer. It felt very short to me.

In the end, this was a very spooky read, one I wish I could’ve read during the month of October. Seeing as it’s based on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, I may have to put that on my list to read sometime. I’d love to be able to compare the two.

If you’re looking for a creepy read, or a whodunit kind of mystery, this is the book for you. I’m glad I finally had the chance to read it.



17 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Ten, by Gretchen McNeil

  1. Pingback: Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge (20) | Reading In Winter

  2. The setting was very, very well done I thought.

    I will say though, And Then There Were None is like ten times better, so definitely add that book to your need to read list, or at the very least your need to read in October list. 🙂

    • I hear that it follows And Then There Were None pretty closely — but I’m still interested in reading the Agatha Christie book. I hope you like Ten if you pick it up!

  3. Great review!
    I still don’t know what to think of this one. I’ve seen this book a LOT in the past few months and I know people were crazy about it. I do have the Kindle version but
    a.) I’m a huge Agatha Christie fan and And Then There Were None is one of my favourite books of all time. Which makes me a bit sceptical and… I don’t know. I’m worried about picking it up and being disappointed because of this.
    b.) I actually started reading it a few weeks ago and I was already 13% in when I still didn’t know what to think. I didn’t like any of the characters and I didn’t get the two girls’ relationship either.
    So… I don’t know. I’ll need to pick it up again and keep on reading – I hope it won’t be a disappointment 😦 Glad you enjoyed it, though! x

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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