Sep 11, 2012

Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Ten by Gretchen McNeil
September 18th, 2012 from Balzer + Bray

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?

They blurb really says it all - Ten teens. Three days. One killer. This book reminds me of the movie Clue. Everyone is lured to the house under false pretenses and then people start dropping like flies. As soon as you think you have an idea of who the murder might be, they'd die. Several clues are dropped for the reader, but they aren't so easy to pick up on. The characters are smart, none of this "I'll go in the attic and look all by myself" business. There are even a few jokes that play off of bad horror movie cliches. All too often in horror movies and books there are serious holes in the plot. Why don't they walk next store and ask a neighbor for help? Why don't do this or that? McNeil pretty much covered everything and truly made these ten teens out of touch with the world.

I really appreciate the anti-bully message in this story. The weight or words are heavy and not easily forgotten. It is important for young people to understand how negative messages and actions stay with a person long after high school. Yes, this story is about revenge, but we see the hurt and pain along the way.

Ten is a classic who-done-it for teens and I'm not giving a single hint away. You'll have to weed through the lies, gossip, and back stabbing all by yourself!

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