Monday, January 14, 2013

Book Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Gretchen McNeil
YA Suspense
Published: September 2012

image: Goodreads
I couldn't wait to read this, thinking back to my own YA days reading Christopher Pike thrillers. It's a quick read with all the teen suspense staples: a secret party, jealous friends, deserted house, a storm that cuts them off from civilization. This is a retelling of an Agatha Christie novel, which is probably why the story feels like it's been done before. There's really nothing new here, but for teen readers looking to get into suspense or thrillers, this is a good entry point.

Meg  has reservations on accepting the party invite--even though her best friend Minnie will be there. It's popular kids, and kids she doesn't know, and Meg is the wallflower/diary-writer type. (Also, the party is set on a DESERTED ISLAND. Clue #1 something strange is afoot). As expected, the house is creepy, a storm is brewing, and I definitely got a feel for a horror novel from the setting. I get freaked out by remote houses in the country, let alone one set on an island and it's cold and raining. 

So, weird things start happening in the house. Someone has a nut allergy and nuts suddenly appear in a salad. I thought this was brilliant--a realistic update that is actually lethal for some people. A mysterious diary shows up, and of course Meg reads it, finding a very dejected, scorned author among the cryptic writing. You can probably guess, it's someone in the house--or is it?--and those who scorned he/she are probably those who were invited to the deserted island. 

The pace is quick, and while Meg is a bit of a dimwit, it's a fun little story that keeps moving. It started with ten. How many will survive at the end?


  1. It's been so long since I've read Agatha Christie's version, I can't remember this surprise that made it so famous! Now I'm torn, re-read Christie first or read this first?

    1. Tough call. This is a short read, and probably quite a bit different than the original source. I would've loved this as a teen, going back to those Christopher Pike books.

  2. I read this in October for one of my Halloween reads. It was fun and creepy and thoroughly entertaining.

  3. Hmm. Sounds interesting! Thanks for a great review!

  4. I've been interested in reading this for a while but haven't picked it up yet. Thanks for the review!


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