Second Look: TEN by Gretchen McNeil

The Story: Ten teens are invited to a weekend of partying, drinking, and hooking up on a private island. After stumbling upon and watching a creepy DVD (which can be seen in the book trailer for Ten, which we posted from Gretchen McNeil’s blog a couple weeks ago), the teens start dying one by one. After attributing the first few deaths to accidents and coincidences, the remaining teens finally realize that not only are the deaths intentional, but someone is out to get each and every one of them. With no phones, no internet, and no way off the secluded island, the remaining teens have to find a way to survive the rest of the weekend.

The Low Down: There’s simply no other way to explain Ten, except to say that it is the love child of And Then There Were None and the murder/mystery TV series, Harper’s Island. And if you’re not familiar with Harper’s Island, I highly recommend you add it to your Netflix queue immediately.

Go ahead… I’ll wait.

(PS. If you’re interested in actually watching the series, don’t do too much Internet digging because you will find LOTS of spoilers. Just sayin’)

Ok. Now. Back to the book. Ten is a good, old fashioned, “whodunit” murder mystery at its core. Throughout the book, you can’t help but think, “is HE the murderer?! No, wait… is SHE the murderer?!! Wait! Maybe those two are in on it TOGETHER!”

Ten has a strong female lead in Meg, a wannabe writer who is ready to leave her clingy, dependent best friend behind in favor of heading for UCLA. She’s a real character with real teenage attitudes and problems (except for the whole being-stalked-by-a-killer thing). The characters were likeable except for a select few (who aren’t supposed to be likeable), but don’t worry… they may not survive. *evil laughter*

As far as content is concerned, there are some obscenities peppered throughout, but not much more debauchery than that. There are some allusions to sex, but nothing on screen. The murders are a bit gruesome (such as an impalement and an arrow straight through the heart), but are not graphically described.

The Bottom Line: Ten is a suspenseful, page-turning horror-mystery. It’s not “action packed” per se, but the pacing keeps the story moving. It’s a good read for fans of mystery fiction, or for anyone who’s starting to explore the genre. I approve!

OFFICIAL RATING: 7.5/10

 

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