24 July 2013

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Source: Bought
Goodreads Stars: 4
Rating: Essential
Buy it: Amazon UK

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? - Goodreads
Minnie's face was deathly pale.
I'm fairly certain that most people think I'm slightly disturbed when I announce my fascination with death, murders, etc. I can't help what I love, and creepy stories or murder mysteries tend to draw me in. I love having no clue who the killer is, and struggling to put the clues together before time runs out. So when I heard that Ten is a novel about a bunch of teenagers who get murdered while on a creepy island, I was all over that. Unfortunately, due to the ridiculous pricing, it took me a while to get to it. 

Ten takes a long while to get started. It took me about fifty pages to get fully immersed in the story, since before that point I felt like there was way too much friendship and relationship drama. I didn't feel like it was necessary at the time. However, looking back, it was actually quite a good way of setting up the various characters who we later come to suspect of being the murderer, as well as gently introducing the killer's overall motivation for going on a rampage.

I definitely was not a fan of the love story. I thought it was fairly ridiculous due to how rushed it felt, and I didn't feel any chemistry between the two characters at all. I liked them both individually, although they didn't really overly impress me, but together they were just rather dull. Props to Gretchen McNeil for having a POC love interest though. I mean, I shouldn't have to praise an author for doing this since it shouldn't be so rare as to make me have to point it out, but I feel like authors need some sort of encouragement for including a more racially diverse cast of characters. Otherwise it may never become the norm. Anyway, I'm getting off topic.

As predicted, the mystery plot was my favourite thing about this book. I thought I had figured out who the killer was pretty early on, and I was posting sad statuses on Goodreads and praying that I was wrong. And guess what? I was! It was a good twist, and I applaud McNeil for keeping me in the dark the entire time. There were a couple of minor details that I thought were totally obvious, and that Meg completely missed at first, but overall the mystery was a great one. And the ending was shocking!

Can I also say that the murders themselves were really interesting? I liked their connection, and I also enjoyed picturing the murder scenes. I know, I'm gruesome and also slightly crazy. I can't help it! The murder scenes were awesome because it made me feel like I was watching a movie and walking around in the dark with the rest of the characters.

Overall I would definitely recommend Ten to those of you who enjoy a good, dark mystery novel. Don't pay too much attention to the romance or the main character's stupid moments, and you'll really enjoy it. If you're anything like me then you'll love uncovering the mystery while you go around suspecting everyone of being the killer!


  1. Looking back on this book, I really don't even remember the romance. It's all about the mystery. Great review!

  2. I thought I had this one sussed too and was praying it wouldn't be so obvious but the twist was really good! Didn't suspect it at all! Great review, Amber! :)

  3. Great review! As always :)
    I've had this for sometime now and I'm planning to read it, but now that I know you liked it I'm definitely raising its position on my TBR :D

  4. I'm fascinated by murders, too. ID is my go-to channel when nothing is on TV. I was a bit disappointed by Ten, but I did like the quick pace and was definitely a bit surprised at the ending (I was sure I had the killer pegged, too, and was happy to be proven wrong). I think it is always hard to do a re-telling and I think this is where the book fell a little short. Great review!

  5. I really liked this book as well. The murders were fascinated and I think it helped that I hadn't read Agatha Christie's "And Then There Was None" which inspired it. I liked how, even when I thought one character might get away ... they didn't. Gretchen McNeil is pretty harsh like that, and the killer did trip me up. I though it was someone else for a while.


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