Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ten by Gretchen McNeil - Ashley's Review

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Title: Ten
Author: Gretchen McNeill 
Year Published: 2012

My Pre-Reading

Synopsis: SHHHH!

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?

Review: I love a good mystery, and this book definitely delivered! I kept trying to figure out "whodunnit," and which teen would be the next to die. Ten kept me on the edge of my seat and kept me up well into the night. It had enough of a resemblance to And Then There Were None so that I wasn't disappointed in that respect, but it was also a new and unique story that could definitely stand on its own.

Most of the characters are very well written and easy to relate to. Meg is smart, funny, and intensely loyal. She doesn't really fit in with a crowd, but she's not ashamed of it. She just does her own thing and protects her best friend. Minnie, on the other hand, is so annoying. I wanted her to be the first to die just so she would shut up. I know she's supposed to have real medical problems, but she just came across as a whiny, over attached, little brat. I don't know how Meg puts up with her for so long.

As macabre as it might sound, I really enjoyed the way the teens died. There was a reason and a purpose and a story within a story that made it interesting and unique. The killer had to be creative and made sure everyone died in a way that was important and meaningful to him/her. It was similar to the  way the victims in Christie's novel are killed according to the "Ten Little Indians" poem, but still different and unique. 

I didn't really find this to be a "horror" novel, but if you're looking for a good suspense/murder mystery, you should definitely check this book out. No paranormal or supernatural things, no dystopian society, just a bunch of contemporary teens on an island for the worst weekend of their lives. There's even a little bit of romance that runs as a very minor subplot to break up all of the death and everything. It's no And Then There Were None, but it certainly is an excellent contemporary take on it that fans of Agatha Christie's novels will likely enjoy. 4/5! 


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