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? – Goodreads
The big highlight of Gretchen McNeil’s Ten was the atmosphere. I was already a fan of how Gretchen McNeil set the scene in her first book, Possess, and she was able to easily make Henry Island an isolated, haunting location. As the teenagers found themselves cut off from the outside world due to a storm, it wasn’t hard to imagine why this added urgency to their situation.
Maybe it was my mood, or maybe I’m just not as easily frightened anymore, but I didn’t feel much suspense as I read Ten. I wasn’t able to figure out who the killer was — though I did think the revelation was pretty disappointing and nonsensical — but I never formed any sort of attachment to the characters to care who died or why. Furthermore, the reactions Meg and the other characters had to the deaths didn’t resonate with me either; I felt that they didn’t react enough and it was difficult to put myself in their shoes as they panicked and freaked out.
As far as characters go, they lacked development. Meg, Minnie, and T.J. stand out as the main three, but I didn’t feel much for them except for annoyance due to their whininess. The rest? I couldn’t tell you much about at all because all I knew about them was surface-level stuff. Kids are dying… I should care or feel SOMETHING, right? While I went into Ten hoping for a good, scary read, I always want good characterization and this, unfortunately, lacked that for me.
Maybe I expected too much, but I wish I had been able to enjoy this more. It did have elements that made this a fast and addictive read, but overall Gretchen McNeil’s Ten fell flat for me.
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