03 December 2012

Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Published: 18 September 2012 by Balzer + Bray

Pages: 294 (hardcover)

Genre/s: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller

Source: Own library

Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository


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—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?

My Thoughts

I had huge hopes for Ten.  A group of teenagers stuck on an isolated island with a killer on the loose?  Yep, this was one of my very rare pre-orders, based on both the synopsis and the reputation of the author, I was saving this one for a cold, rainy night, ready to freak myself the hell out.

The first 10-15% of Ten was actually pretty disappointing for me, however.  I didn't find the introduction very creepy, and I started to fear that this would turn into a predictable story that branched off into some teenagers making out and scaring the crap out of each other by holding torches below their chins.  I also had trouble telling some of the characters apart, most worryingly the lead female character, Meg and her best friend, Minnie.  For the first part of the book I actually kept getting them confused and then being shocked when they did something so out of character that I finally realised I had been thinking of the wrong character.

But when things start to go south, they go south pretty fast and the creep factor is turned up to full.  It was only then that the characters really emerged as separate beings, although even at the end there were a couple of the male characters that I had trouble discerning between them.  Ten isn't overly graphic or gory, but it was enough to keep me entertained and the growing paranoia between the characters felt real and helped build the tension.

Overall, the feeling I ended up with from Ten was like watching a B-grade horror movie.  There were parts where I actually wanted to shout at the characters not to do something incredibly stupid, which is exactly what I do with cheesy horror flicks.  Having said that, I love B-grade horror movies, and with Ten having that same feel, albeit with a slow start, it was a fun, entertaining read.


  1. I had trouble with differentiating between Meg and Minnie as well! I think it's because their names start with the same letter, and they are both female leads with prominent roles. I think I must have gotten through a third before I started really remembering who was who.

    I wanted to shout at some characters too!...these teens need to watch more horror flicks. Then they'd know not to go running into a dark, abandoned house. *facepalm*

    I had many issues with this book (and it wasn't just the stupidity of all the characters) but mostly because I found the forced romance too grating. And the characters just too flat for me to care about their deaths. And the deaths did nothing to build up tension since it seemed like all the others.

    I also reviewed Ten, if you're interested =): http://noveltoybox.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/review-ten-by-gretchen-mcneil-2012/

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

    1. It probably wasn't the smartest move giving the two 'besties' the same name! I didn't even mention the romance because it was so blah!

  2. I'm pretty sure I should give this one a wide berth. I want to read it because retelling, but UGH it sounds so awful with your review and Lilian's. Made it official on Goodreads. I won't read it. I have better things to do with my time.

    1. I don't think you would like this really, to be honest. Ah, retellings, what are you doing to us?!

  3. Yeah! I agree with the horror movie vibe. I really enjoyed this one, I thought it was a fun read and I definitely didn't have it figured out at all. Happy you liked it overall as well!

    1. It was definitely fun in that B-Grade horror movie way, if only for the body count ;)

  4. I totally feel the same way about this book, Kat! I've actually been struggling with writing my review because I think I wanted to like it more than I actually did. It really reminded me of those mid-90's teen slasher films where the a character does that obviously really STUPID thing that'll get him/her killed and you just want to toss the book across the room in frustration. Seriously, do these people have a brain? And yeah, I definitely got some of teh characters confused in the beginning too. All in all, it was okay but not as good as I had hoped. Perhaps, my biggest issue was that I kept comparing it to Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None." Clearly, there is no comparison there.

    1. Maybe expectations ruined it a little bit too - EVERYONE was so pumped for this book and although it was fun, it certainly didn't blow me away.

      Those shoes may have been just a little too big to fill properly!

  5. I felt about the same! It was cliche and cheesy, but the suspense in the end was enough to keep me interested. I despised Meg and Minnie, though, and the drama was a major buzzkill for me. If there had been more focus on the creep factor and less on the high school BS, I'd probably have given this book 4 stars. Still entertaining though, like you said!



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