Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Second Chance Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Title: Ten
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 296
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It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie are looking forward to two days of boys, booze, and fun-filled luxury. But what starts out as fun turns twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine. And things only get worse from there.

With a storm raging outside, the teens are cut off from the outside world . . . so when a mysterious killer begins picking them off one by one, there’s no escape. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on one another, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine? 

I first attempted to read Ten way back in 2015 and I hated it. I ended up DNFing at 34% and cited the romance and teen drama as the cause. I even said the book made me feel like I was growing out of YA! I'm not really sure what I was going through on that particular day, but I was recently in the mood for a mystery/thriller and decided to give this one another try.

Ten is a retelling of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. I'm familiar with this story because I've seen the BBC miniseries by the same name multiple times. (It's fantastic - watch it!) This retelling follows the script closely, so if you know the story then you probably have a very good idea of how things will end up, but that doesn't mean you'll have any idea who the killer will be! I was second guessing almost until the reveal, although I admit I guessed correctly near the end.

Meg is the main character of this iteration and she, along with her friend Minnie, have found themselves on a remote island at a party with eight other teens that they know to varying degrees. Of course, there is a romance. I still don't love the way the romance is written, but I do understand the need for it and I did like what it added to the plot. Many of the other characters are honestly interchangeable, but I really wasn't reading this for compelling characters - I was reading it for a murder mystery.

As I've already said, there isn't anything incredibly new in this retelling, but man was it was entertaining! The atmosphere Gretchen McNeil created on the island was fantastically creepy and, while I wouldn't call this horror, it had a good amount of scares.

I am absolutely glad I gave this book a second chance and it has made me consider doing the same with other DNFd books. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for this the first time. If you enjoy a good murder mystery, this is a book you shouldn't miss! Even if you know the story already, this is a fresh enough take to be enjoyable.