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Ten Hardcover – September 18, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-A beach house, 10 teenagers, no parents, and the promise of a weekend-long party: friends Meg and Minnie embrace the exclusive invitation, despite the fact that neither of the girls is close to the host. But a storm is brewing on Henry Island. The wind is howling, the rain is pouring, and the local ferry won't be back until morning. Then people start dying. A creepy DVD warns the teens of their imminent demise, and red hash marks on the wall tally the deaths as the guests' guilty secrets are exposed and they're picked off one by one. In the end, it is up to Meg to save herself and figure out who is killing her friends and why. Though character development and motivation are a bit weak, McNeil's novel nicely parallels Agatha Christie's classic And Then There Were None (originally titled Ten Little Indians in the United States), and is likewise a quick-paced thriller full of half-facts and red herrings that take readers through the twists and turns of a deadly weekend. While it might not be considered an amazing teen mystery, among the numerous adaptations and stories that borrow from Christie's 1939 novel, McNeil's book holds its own.-Jennifer Miskec, Longwood University, Farmville, VAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

After years of living on the fringes of the Seattle high-school social scene, Meg and Minnie are finally making a comeback. At an exclusive house party on a remote island with their mutual crush T. J., emotionally fragile Minnie is thrilled, but her protector, introverted writer Meg, is leery, and with good reason. As soon as they meet the other eight guests, things are amiss. The hostess never arrives. The only DVD bears an eerie, foreboding message. The electricity goes out. And then Lori is found hanging from the rafters. As the bodies begin to pile up and clues appear, Meg searches for the killer among them. In the esteemed tradition of teen horror fiction, Ten hits all the high notes: a stormy night, illicit liaisons, cut phone lines, suspicious disappearances, double-crosses, secret histories, and plenty of twists. Though most of the short-lived characters are one-dimensional by necessity, Meg is sympathetic and complex enough to cheer for as she pieces together the nightmare weekend and tries to escape alive. Grades 8-11. --Heather Booth
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062118781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062118783
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #545,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Gretchen McNeil is the author of the standalone YA horror novels POSSESS, TEN (a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, a finalist for Washington state's 2015 Evergreen Young Adult Book Award and Vermont's 2014-2015 Green Mountain Book Award, and was nominated for "Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012″ by Romantic Times) and 3:59, as well as GET EVEN and GET DIRTY, part of her mystery/suspense series Don't Get Mad, all with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins. In 2016, Gretchen will publish two novels: RELIC, a YA horror novel, with HarperCollins/EpicReads Impulse on March 8, 2016, and in the fall, I'M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL, her first YA contemporary, with Balzer + Bray. Gretchen also contributed an essay to the Dear Teen Me anthology from Zest Books.

Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4's Code Monkeys and she sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. She is repped by Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Ward on September 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
'TEN' is a taut and riveting young adult thriller set on Henry Island - a private island off the coast of the Pacific Northwest. Meg and her best friend Minnie are excited to be invited to one of the hottest parties of the year, thrown by the most popular girl in school. When they arrive at the island, they discover that there are only ten of them on the island, instead of the huge crowd and party they were expecting. A storm hits Henry Island and they are suddenly cut off from the rest of the world and with no way out. Soon, people are dying one by one, there are strange red marks on the wall, and they don't know who to trust. Will Meg be able to survive the weekend until she can get off the island for help?

In my opinion, there are nearly enough young adult thrillers out there. With 'TEN', Gretchen McNeil has written a truly creepy page turner. The book is very well written and had me hooked from the very first sentence. I literally couldn't put it down until I finished it and found out who the killer was. The setting is a perfect place for the book - a secluded private island shut off from the rest of the world during a storm. The characters are original and have unique personalities and flaws - all which fit perfectly into the plot.

The way the story is writing is phenomenal. It starts out at a good pace, and then things just start accelerating until you have to find out what's going on. There are some incredible twists and turns that you don't see coming - which only add to the completely engaging storyline. Every piece of the story is perfectly implemented and works together to make a serious masterpiece of a thriller. I honestly can't say enough to show how amazing this book is and how much I absolutely loved it.
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Bradley Friedman on November 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: I'm not a teen but a high school teacher who loves good teen fiction and loves recommending good teen fiction to my students. I've also been a huge Agatha Christie fan since before I was a teen myself! AND THEN THERE WERE NONE was the first Christie novel I ever read, and it is certainly one of her best. To fall for McNeil's hook - ten teens trapped on an island with a killer - on the off chance that her mystery might at least have been inspired by the classic plotting and tone of Christie's work makes me feel doubly cheated. Finally, I just finished John Green's THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, which I loved, so maybe comparing a finely-written YA novel to this one made TEN seem far worse than mediocre.

In honor of this novel, let me count off ten reasons why you shouldn't waste your time or money:

1) PLOT: Without giving much away, there is nothing unusual or striking about the plotting of the mystery. References to Christie aside, this is just another example of those teen clique revenge stories so popular with R.L. Stine fans. It's not even a very good example of that! And as a mystery, it just doesn't work, since the murderer's "careful" planning and thirst for vengeance turns out to be pretty much a mess. At one point the killer brags about how long and carefully they planned their crimes. Then, when confronted by the fact that they made an essential mistake about who should be killed, the murderer essentially says, "Whoops! Oh well...."

2) CHARACTER: Aside from the two main female characters, (who are best friends for reasons that totally escape me since they actually seem to hate each other), there is virtually NO characterization going on. Most of the people in the book are either caricatures or barely sketched out.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ODell @ Book Twirps on September 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A house party on an isolated island. A raging storm. A mysterious DVD with an ominous message. A power outage. Ten teens trapped with no way to escape. And a dead body. It's the perfect set-up for a fun whodunit that would make Agatha Christie proud. In fact, it's pretty much a re-telling of her classic mystery And Then There Were None (Ten Little Indians), but for teens.

I was kind of a weird kid, I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on. I'll never forget reading a copy of Ms. Christie's book when I was no more than twelve years old. I was spending the weekend with my grandmother and I found a copy tucked away on a shelf in the basement. I curled up and read the book, hiding it from her whenever she would enter the room so she wouldn't fuss at me. Thus began my infatuation with murder mysteries and spurred my love/hate relationship with all things horror related.

When I first heard about this book, I was very excited. I loved Ms. McNeil's Possess, and I was excited to see what she would do with this. I wasn't disappointed. While I wasn't creeped out, or even surprised by the ending, it was still well-executed and well-written. I'm well above the targeted age range for this book, and I'm sure a lot of teens may not be familiar with the original, so they will probably find the twists and turns surprising.

The book is well plotted and follows the murder mystery format to a T: Introduce the characters/setting, a mysterious occurrence, a strange message, the first body is discovered, all hell breaks loose, fingers are pointed, red herrings abound and the killer is revealed with a twist. It's a tried and true formula that works well when executed properly and Ms. McNeil does a fine job.
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