Author : Gretchen McNeil
Publisher : Balzer + Bray
Source : Bought
Pages : 320 (Paperback)
Summary from Goodreads :
From Possess author Gretchen McNeil comes this teen horror novel inspired by Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. Perfect for fans of Christopher Pike’s Chain Letter and Lois Duncan’s I Know What You Did Last Summer, Ten will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page!
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?
(whoa, I must say the trailer is quite creepy 0_0)
Firstly I need to confess that I'm a big fan of Agatha Christie's 'And Then There Were None' (it's an amazing thriller novel and you should try to read it too! =D) and also since I'm one of those amazing 90's kids, I've watched a couple of that 90's horror and thriller teen movie (sadly I missed 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' but I was fan of 'Scream' series). So the summary above is very familiar to me and because I knew from where the idea was, I thought the storyline would be pretty predictable. Nevertheless, I was pretty excited to read this book. I also actually have never read any book from Gretchen McNeil and have never read any teen thriller and horror novels before (I dislike Goosebumps because I'm a coward and hate the horror-after-effect because I'm quite imaginative *facepalm*) so this was adding fuel on my excitement and wanted to know if this book and the author would work on me. And guess, it does work on me, definitely! =D
This book is even beyond my expectation; though I was excited, I didn't put too much expectation because, you know, it gets just so-so rating. I enjoyed this book quite much, could hardly put it down because I wanted to know what would happen next and was very curious who the hell the culprit is. I like McNeil's writing here. The story moves swiftly in a quick, fast pace without being too forced, I think there are no single unnecessary and wasted scene because, well, the whole things set in only three days, but I barely realized it. I also think McNeil created some nice twists and modifications in this teeny version of ATTWN so it would not exactly like the original one, like the appearance of mysterious DVD which reminded me of 'The Ring' (the japanese version btw, I don't watch the Western one because having watched 3 volumes in a row is already too overwhelming for me, ugh), changes the nursery rhyme and 'prediction' how each of them would die into a diary of a dead girl (it's bloody brutal, I've warned you), changes the reason why everybody should be dead, and of course with a cliche high school love story like a popular boy falls in love with just an average-but-smart girl (which is my favorite formula, actually =p). I know those are not so original but I think it's still enjoyable and add some interests into the story, especially if you haven't read 'And Then There Were None' or watched any 90's horror-thriller movies.
Saw the story inside Meg's head as the main character and the main voice, I also could feel the fear she feels (thanks to the great writing) and could not help but kept guessing the murderer along with her. Although she's a smart and a kind girl, I have to admit that there's nothing special about her, I even thought she's kind of pathetic. I think the other characters are actually more colorful and have certain traits although they mostly are not good person. Maybe because most people will die in the end, McNeil created some fellows that are actually jerks and would not be missed or make us feeling loss if they're gone. TJ as the love interest also... well, just the average nice and hot boy who has a crush on our Meg. Just... nothing special. Nevertheless they add their own stories in the bigger picture and since the start the focus of the story is not about character's development but more about their each role in this story. I was also surprised with the identity of the murderer at the near-end of the story, totally unexpected and never thought it would be 'you'! Wow!
I guess I'm a person who don't always take 'unoriginality' and 'familiarity' as a bad thing and just enjoy it as it is, so I give it solid 4 stars. It gave me a great high-tension and bone-chilling moments when I read it in the middle of the night.
I'm not ensuring you would absolutely enjoy and love 'Ten' since almost the whole thing in it is pretty familiar and also it has several flaws. But you should give it a try especially if you have an interest into horror-mystery-thriller reading but you don't know where to start and probably you'd enjoy or even love this book if you have never heard or read about Agatha Christie or never watched 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' or 'Scream'.
Happy reading! =D