Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Release Date – September 18, 2012
Publisher Website –  Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages -  304 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**obtained from publisher via BEA for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
And their doom comes swiftly. 
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?
10 teens, a deserted island, and 1 killer make for a spooky, atmospheric read. Ten is filled with heart pounding chills and a well thought out plot. A fun, and mysterious treat that left me rethinking island vacations.

Gretchen McNeil’s homage to the classic “And Then There Were None” benefits from her ability to create a mood. She sets the tone, and setting for this type of story perfectly. You are immersed in the cut off, isolated feeling of the characters almost immediately. The chills keep coming as the wonderfully paced plot escalates. Everything from the island, to the characters themselves add to the ambience. This is the type of book you want to curl up with close to Halloween and let it scare you.

It’s the little things that sent shivers down my spine. The more subtle scares worked better than the obvious one, and luckily Gretchen goes for this approach more often than not.  Your imagination is quite capable of conjuring up the worst images possible with the right prompting, and this novel uses this to it’s advantage.

The killer and his motivations are well defined. The clues are there but not overtly obvious. The killer’s rational makes them anything but a one dimensional villain. The story will resonate as the topic is timely and one that is a current hot topic issue.

While everything from the mood, the pacing and plotting were well done, I wished the characters had been more developed.  The novel could have been a little longer to add a bit more characterization to make the deaths resonate more. This is common of the usual horror movie narrative and I do believe that was the essence Gretchen was wanting to capture. As a character driven reader, I wanted more.

Fans of the TV show Harper's Island will especially love this one. It's a thrilling, gripping read that has a well thought out killer.It’ll keep you reading late into the night…just be sure to lock the doors.


  1. I absolutely loved this book! I don't think I've actually found a good YA novel that is this creepy and continually gives you chills like this one did. It definitely made me rethink being isolated on an island. Love your review, I definitely agree that this book should have been a little longer.

  2. Eeeeeeep I'm SO looking forward to this one!!! It looks AMAZING! Great review, you've got me even more excited!!

    Anna @ Literary Exploration

  3. Hey sweetie! Great review! I loved TEN! It was exactly my kind of read, spooky, creepy, suspenseful and mind-bending :) It wasn't even all that complex or anything, but I loved getting scared! It does remind me of Harper's Island, tho I haven't seen the entire show! And also of I Know What You Did Last Summer and old-school thriller/horror movies of that sort! I totally dig Gretchen's writing style, too. It's straightforward, dynamic and very spooky!

    Glad you enjoyed it, too, Kathy! <3


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