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Ten Hardcover – September 18, 2012
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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.
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
Top customer reviews
Ten went on sale this summer, and as soon as I heard that it was based on Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None I knew I had to buy it. It's a fun read, especially leading up to Halloween. It'll keep you up reading and wondering if anyone at all is going to make it out alive.
Ten was a fast-paced novel that I read fairly quickly. Which is rare for me since I've never been one of those "Oh, look I read five books today" kind of readers, though I am jealous of those awesome people. It's written in one continuous story, having each chapter pick up where the last left off, and was both thrilling and pretty frightening when it had to be. This was definitely a great read, though I felt there were just a few things keeping it back from shining the brightest it could. For one, the dialogue for some characters was a little offbeat and detracted from being able to keep interest in the characters for a bit. There were also things that seemed glossed over, but I'll leave off on those to keep from posting possible spoilers, though they aren't really complaints since the story was wrapped up quite nicely.
I will say that the author does have a sharp writing style that matches the tone of the novel with great execution. This is the first book I've read by Gretchen McNeil. (I own POSSESS but still need to get to it) and I can say that I was pleasantly surprised by this novel and look forward to her future releases. With the abilities I've seen in this book alone, and the world-building/story I've read, Mrs. McNeil is in the right path to eminent success.
Furthermore, I can conclude that TEN was a great short read that provided me with that new taste in this reader's paranormal/supernatural and dystopia saturated brain. I give it a four out of five and say it is definitely worth a look.
“You’re going to have fun this weekend if it kills me.”
I never read And Then There Was None, I meant to and now I’m a bit sad that I read this one first. I think this book is going to make Christie’s masterpiece less enjoyable when I finally do. It seems that a less “high school” version would suit this set up better and I’m sure most people agree with that for the acclaim the original version received.
The characters in Ten are…annoying bastards, pardon my French. I guess in a book like this you’re supposed to dislike the characters. It aims to make you wish they would die and makes you happy in a strange way when they do. But I feel like I should have cared about the characters more. I think if I cared about anyone who died I would’ve been sucked into the story and enjoyed it more. Don’t get me wrong it was a fun read, and I read it in one sitting but I still think some components could have been improved.
The speech and behaviors in the book were aggravating at first. I know I should’ve read it and been like well duh, they’re young and they sleep around and party and fight. But it was off putting, it made me feel like I was back in high school dealing with the petty drama I hated. (Maybe I need to just stop reading YA books if that annoys me.)
So all in all it was a decent book, interesting enough that I never wanted to actually stop reading it but at the same time I cringed at parts. (The guy who constantly said dude, especially.) Maybe I’ll get around to Agatha Christie’s, And Then There Were None and the plot will feel less childish, more warranted.
Also if you liked this book at all definitely give the movie, 9 dead a try. It’s one of my favorites.