Saturday, November 24, 2012

Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Published by Blazer + Bray
Genre: YA horror/suspense
$17.99 (US hardback)
294 pages
What it's about:
Don't spread the word!
Three-day weekend. House party.
White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it.

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?

My Thoughts:
It's no secret that I'm madly in love with Agatha Christie. I talk about her books all the time, so when I saw that someone wrote a newer, teen version of Ten Little Indians (or for you British people out there, And Then There Were None) I was excited, really really really excited.

Then the reviews started coming in. All the Agatha Christie lovers out there were saying run, run away as fast as you can from this book. I still have not seen one review from a Christie fan that has liked this book. Obviously, this made me a little nervous going into the book.

Knowing both the book and the play version of TLI, I knew what to expect. I knew that there are two possible outcomes for this book and that it was most likely going to be the play version. This did take away some of the suspense of the book, but McNeil added a lot of her own characteristics to the book. The one big big big change McNeil made to her version is that the death message is on a dvd, is a little cheesey, and didn't explain much. Part of the brilliance of TLI is the little song that is posted on the table with the little Indian figurines. The party guests didn't think anything of it until a few deaths in. But with Ten, you didn't have that. You didn't know how each person was going to die and there wasn't the added song to make it errie. Because of this, it took away from the cleverness of the story and turned it more into a teen horror movie feel.

So for being an adaptation of a beloved story, it was okay. Adaptations of other stories can be very difficult and I think that McNeil did a pretty good job taking TLI and adding her own twist to it. I would definitely recommend mood setting while reading this book. Read it at night, a cold, rainy night. In a dark house. Set yourself up for the mood of the book and I think this could be a really fun read.

My rating: 7/10


  1. See, I haven't read any Agatha Christie, but I absolutely loved Ten, and maybe that has something to do with it. I wasn't comparing it to the original story.

    But awesome review - it makes me want to go read the original, then reread Ten and see what I think.

  2. I find retellings of books I love disappointing. If I don't LOVE the original they're easier to enjoy, you know?

  3. You liked this one a whole lot more than I did. I thought the book was far-fetched and that there were so many characters, most of them underdeveloped, that I couldn't keep track of who was dying, let alone care. I echo other reviewers -- stick with the original.

  4. I finished this book yesterday afternoon and I loved it! I remember reading And Then There Were None in 8th grade and I wasn't a big fan. When I read the summary for this, I thought of that book and this mini series called Harpers Island and was immediately interested. I will admit the first two chapters were kind of slow but after the first death, the story started to get more intense and good. The romance element seemed to slow the story down but also made it better because I'm a romance geek. In the end, the huge twist had me out of breath. Literally. I think Gretchen Mcneil did an awesome job writing this and I wouldn't mind seeing a movie companion.


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