Clearly, Halloween is in the air y’all. The other week I gobbled up Ten by Gretchen McNeil in about 15 minutes. Actually, that’s hyperbole. HOWEVER, I did manage to actually read Ten on my lunch break and then after work, when usually I spend lunch eating and decompressing, so there is that. The fact of the matter is, Ten managed to hold my attention through a very intense, very busy, very stressful two days and I definitely can appreciate that.
Alright, so if you are awesome chances are you have read And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, which is THE BOMB y’all. If not, that’s okay, but you should TOTALLY read it RIGHT NOW because it’s almost Halloween! Anyways, the plots are very similar. The main character, quiet, snarky Meg gets an invite to an exclusive party on an island. Along with nine other teenagers, she goes to the island for the party because the most popular girl at school is the host. Unfortunately, only one other house on the island is currently being inhabited and that’s all the way on the other side. So, anyways, once at the house they find that it has a satellite, food, beer, and music. Of course, the teens get their party on. Eventually, they come across a homemade DVD which is all about vengeance and how ten teenagers will pay. THEN one by one each teen starts getting MURDERED. AWWW YEAH.
There are obviously ten central characters in Ten by Gretchen McNeil. Like, I don’t remember the names of all the characters, but the MAIN FOCUS characters are Meg, the main character, Minnie her best friend who is apparently bipolar and off her meds, and TJ, this boy that Meg and Minnie are fighting over. I liked Meg for the most part, but I thought she seemed a bit callous at times and less than kind, because she is very snarky. That’s not to say that being imperfect is bad, it’s not, but I don’t know that I would want to be friends with Meg. Minnie was super annoying and kind of selfish, she very much wanted all of the attention on her and was all about attention from boys. Because I don’t really know a single thing about bipolarity, I won’t comment on that aspect of Minnie’s character. TJ was alright, but at moments kind of super cheesy and overall not very memorable.
If you are looking to have the daylights scared out of you, Ten might do it. There were bits where my pulse was racing. HOWEVER, I did happen to text a blogger friend when I was about 150 pages in to complain about only 2 people being dead so far. I thought the methods of death were pretty gruesome, so if you’re into that (HOLLA scary movies!!), you’ll like this book. Some bits are kind of tame though, and other parts I was like REALLY THIS STRETCHES BELIEVABILITY SO MUCH.
While I find Agatha Christie to be very readable, I thought that Gretchen McNeil did a pretty decent job presenting the story on the level of young adults. Ten is very fast paced and gripping, even though I did not want to become best friends or makeout buddies with the characters. I like that Gretchen McNeil’s prose isn’t bogged down with flowery descriptions or anything, rather the plot takes center stage. Sure, the atmosphere is well done, but there aren’t pages and pages about how it was a dark and stormy night, instead we get RIGHT TO THE ACTION and the point. Frankly, I think actually teenagers will probably appreciate that.
Ten by Gretchen McNeil is definitely a season-appropriate read and totally best read on a dark, rainy day, FOR THE MOOD. However, if I am being 100% honest, I think that it does pale when compared to the great dame of murder mystery, Agatha Christie. I thought, unlike Christie, the ending took the easy way out when it could have gone the full nine yards. In fact, I was kind of expecting a certain ending after reading And Then There Were None, and was let down. BUT, I think that if you come in without preconceived notions and expectations, you might really like Ten by Gretchen McNeil.
Disclosure: Received for review.
Other reviews of Ten by Gretchen McNeil:
Anna Reads – “I decided to lady up and give Ten by Gretchen McNeil a try.”
Chick Loves Lit – “Maybe I’m not as much of a wuss as I thought!”
Hobbitsies – “It is a perfect creepy thriller for this time of year”