Author: Gretchen McNeil
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Published By: Balzer + Bray
And their doom comes swiftly.
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?
This book isn't like any other book I've read in recent memory. To elaborate, I don't think too many books like these fall under the general genre of YA today. Also, now that I think about it, this book surely would have been a big hit in the 90s wherein horror/thriller/suspense were very popular to teen and young adult readers. Think Christopher Pike and LJ Smith. That's not to say that that this book wouldn't be a success today, however. It's a quick, engrossing read - it's one of those books you just can't stop reading because you have to know who's behind it all. - and the premise is incredibly intriguing. One island, ten teens, one murderer - who will survive?
Come on, you know your curiosity's piqued - mine certainly was!
The beginning of Ten introduces us to Meg and her best friend Minnie while they were on their way to Henry Island. From the get go, it was quite obvious that Meg catered to her best friend's every need and that it was Minnie who ran the show. We then got snippets of Meg's anticipation of finally graduating high school and escaping Minnie's clutches, and her endless pining for TJ, a guy who Minnie also happened to like. Of course, because Meg always put Minnie first, she resisted her feelings for TJ... even though he liked her too.
I know that a lot of people have problems with characters with doormat tendencies like Meg, but I really liked how she was portrayed. Sure, sometimes I just rolled my eyes at how she lets Minnie decide everything for her, but then again, there are a lot of friendships like Meg's and Minnie's between teenagers and even adults, come to think of it. Sometimes, no matter how hard-headed or how bad of an influence a friend might be to you, you just can't forget all the things he or she has done for you and how much you care about him or her. That's the vibe I got off Meg - despite all of Minnie's shortcomings as a friend, she loved Minnie, and that's that. Then again, I also believe that sometimes a person has to let go, and this is something that Meg ponders on for quite a bit during the course of the novel.
However, I really can't say quite the same for the other characters. I barely got to know any of them, but that's to be expected in a book with ten characters. All characters (aside from Meg, Minnie and TJ - all of whom we get to know quite well because Meg is the MC) were given adequate introductions, sure, but the killings had to start early on for the whole story to fit in 300 pages, right? Honestly, I could barely keep track of the initial murders because I really couldn't remember which character was which, but once I adjusted to the pace of the story, I got along just fine. I also loved the book's setting - the island and the storm really set the mood for the murders perfectly. Also, one of my favorite twists has something to do with the setting - I remember freaking the hell out when I read that particular part!
I had fun while reading this book. I really did. I wasn't trying to find out who the murderer was - I allowed myself to be swept into the story and let me tell you - I honestly felt like I was on the island! However, I did catch on pretty early on how the characters of the book were connected to each other, so I'm giving myself a pat on the back for that one! Also, let me tell you - the pattern the murders followed, the way the murders were done, was truly ingenious. Just thinking about them right now gives me the chills, and it's around two in the morning...
Another reason as to why I truly enjoyed this book is because I haven't read the book this was loosely based on. I had no basis of comparison, so I just sat back and allowed myself to be part of the story. All in all - Ten is a brilliant read. It's fast-paced, chill-inducing, appropriately gruesome, and it will make you think. It will make you ponder on the concept of vengeance as a whole. I had a hard time getting the story out of my head well after I finished it, and I think a lot of you will feel the same.
Rating: 4 Stars