Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mini-Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Gretchen McNeil
September 18, 2012
POV: 3rd, limited
Pages: 294
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Don't spread the word!
Three-day weekend. House party.
White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it. 

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives – three days on Henry Island at an exclusive house party. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their own reasons for wanting to be there, which involve their school's most eligible bachelor, T.J. Fletcher, and look forward to three glorious days of boys, bonding, 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 outside, the teens are cut off from the rest of the world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry isn't scheduled to return for three 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?"
It's the party everyone would kill to be at...and one that may kill you if you attend. Thrilling, horrifying, and strangely entertaining, TEN is a highly suspenseful murder mystery that is nearly impossible to set aside for even a second. The third person narration follows Meg, a sarcastic teenage writer who was dragged along to an exclusive party by her codependent BFF, Minnie. While I never felt a deep connection with Meg, I was rooting for her to survive from the beginning and was eagerly trying to unravel the clues right alongside her. Simply put, TEN is the type of story that will keep you up late at night reading, anxiously turning the pages and warily eyeing every shadowy corner in your home1

Highlights: I was both correct and incorrect about the killer's identity, so I found that to be a pleasant surprise. There is plenty of diversity among the characters, and I like that McNeil didn't follow the typical horror movie pattern entirely. All in all, TEN is one thrilling mystery. 

Lowlights: Neither the characters nor the romance are deep or complex, but that didn't bother me (I feel like this story is meant to be a quick, exciting read rather than deep or emotional). It takes a few chapters for things to get going. A few of the murders seemed a bit convenient (the killer had to get really lucky a few times in order for the right person to fall into the correct trap). 

1 Probably not a good idea to read this one at night, like I did. I don't scary easily, but even I had a hard time falling asleep after reading this one (especially since my house makes creepy creaking noises at night - which so didn't help the situation). *cuddles with flashlight*

What's your favorite horror story? 



  1. Great review! This has just reminded me that this book is on my wishlist - I want it so bad now! Oooh, a sarcastic main character! Yay! My favourite! I'm glad you really enjoyed this one and that it differs slightly from the normal horror book! It's a pity that the characters and romance aren't as developed as you would have liked though. :(

    And I have a creaky house too. So not fun when you're reading a scary book! I usually make my dog guard me. ;) xx

  2. Is it sick that the fact that it scared you makes me want to read it more? :) Great review btw!

  3. I'm glad to hear another good review of this one! It's had so many mixed reviews. My guest blogger, Amy, reviewed it and loved it. It sounds like such a fun and super creepy story!

  4. I really enjoyed this one, but felt it was a little short. I'd have liked to spend more time with the main characters. Also, McNeil didn't pull any punches with her ending. She went all out, that's fer sure.

  5. Definitely not a book to read late at night; I started reading it when I was home alone and had to put it off until people were back in the house.

  6. I totally agree with you about this book, I definitely think it was meant to be shorter and less emotional, but very action packed and creepy! I read this one at night as well, and there are very few things that can scare me. Even I had to put this one down around 1 AM and pick it up in the morning! It was just too creepy to read at night, and that's coming from somebody who doesn't get scared easily.

    I really do agree about how things were too convenient and how the romance developed too quickly. The mystery surprised me as well! I'm glad that the author was able to make me guess incorrectly.

    Fantastic review! <3

  7. I'm glad you enjoyed this one but I couldn't get into it. I think I just loved the original Agatha Christie mystery so much that I had too high of expectations.

    I do like mysteries where it is hard to figure out who the killer is and I do like books that provoke that kind of feeling where you can't read it at night like The Diviners(though I am not a fan of horror).

  8. I agree that this one was supposed to be quick and exciting, but without ANY character development at all, it was hard to keep track (let alone care) about who died. I'm one of those bloggers who were disappointed with this one -- it could have been much, much better.

  9. Hmm, this sounds like it might be an interesting afternoon read sometime, I'll maybe have a look if I see it in the library sometime.

  10. Usually not being able to connect with the characters is a huge pet peeve of mine, but for some reason, it never bothers me nearly as much when it happens in a horror or thriller book. I think this is one I'm going to have to try, especially since I'm such a huge fan of the genre!

  11. I've been itching to get my hands on this one. Good review, can't wait to read it myself.