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Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Wednesday, April 3, 2013
3.5 Stars: A Good Read
Hardback: 304 Pages
Publication: September 18, 2012 by Balzer & Bray


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?

Imagine this. You're trapped on an island with nine other teenagers. A big storm rages as huge waves crash on the shores; the power goes out, and your companions begin dying off one by one start in different "accidents." In addition, you are all from different schools, so you don't all know each other. You have no idea how you're connected--why you would be called out here together. Naturally, this makes it hard to trust each other, and you all point fingers in different directions when the murders starts.

Meet Ten, a re-telling of Agatha Christie's best-selling novel And Then There Were None. I haven't read the original story, so this was a whole new read for me. The story is about ten teens trapped on Henry Island during what is supposed to be "the weekend of their lives" but what instead turns out to be a horror story come true when someone begins killing them off one by one.

I like the suspenseful, mysterious, eerie setting of Henry Island. It's perfect for a crime scene and sets the mood for the novel. I felt as though I was there on the island with the teens, racing to put the clues together to find the killer among them before they become the next victim. The plot is well done and doesn't give too much away too soon. As the novel progresses and we learn more about the characters, I kept changing my theory on who the killer is. It isn't until the real killer is revealed at the end that I knew for sure the killer's identity.

This could have been a stronger book overall if it had been more character driven. The characters are really superficial and flat overall, which is partly due to the lack of character development. I never felt as though I really got to know the characters, even Meg, Minnie, and T.J., who stood out to me as the three main figures in the story. Meg says what's on her mind, and uses her brain to figure out the killer's methods before everyone else does. On the other hand, her best friend Minnie is nasty: she likes to party, she is fast with guys, and she lies and keeps many things from Meg. I don't know how Meg can put up with her. The way Minnie acts is like a psycho, yet Meg keeps trying to please her. T.J. is the school’s most eligible bachelor; in short, hot. I like how he is there for Meg and also uses his brain.

If characters are important to your enjoyment of a book, I would hesitate to recommend this to you. If you are in it for the plot, however, then this will be more of your kind of read. The story is exciting, short, and fast-paced. I recommend Ten if you are into suspenseful, heart-pounding mysteries.

A copy was provided by Harper Collins for review.

4 comments on "Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil"
  1. Great to read a review from someone who isn't familiar with the original story (which is one of my favorite Christies). I definitely agree that this would have been stronger if the characters had been more developed.

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  2. I want to read this one! This is a great review and it made me feel like I was missing out on something great. It also kinda sounds like teen version of the mini series Harper Island, which I love!

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  3. Christianna, you will love the book.

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