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  • ARC Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
  • ARC Review: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
  • Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Review: Karmic Hearts by Jhing Bautista
  • Review: The Conspiration of the Universe by Kenneth Olanday

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Warning: this book is not for the faint hearted.

My eyes felt like it's going to fall out of its sockets when I finished reading this book. I was so silent, and I couldn't believe I was able to make it through the whole book without even scaring myself to death. But it was creepy, and it's one of the things that makes it awesome.

Title: Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Pages: 294
Release Date: September 18th 201
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher (thanks, Christine!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
Buy locally: Fully Booked


And their doom comes swiftly.

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?

Bad weather, a friend with a sickness that must be kept a secret, a girl who lies to protect someone she loves, a secluded island and a bunch of teenagers all connected in horrific ways they are not aware of. All of these are required, the perfect ingredients, for a shocker of a read. For Ten.

I've always been adamant about reading scary books. My imagination runs wild at the barest coaxing, and Ten just had my head spinning while I was barely 50 pages in. Weirdly enough, the mystery and the suspense had me teetering along the edge of my seat and I cannot stop myself from reading this book. Yes, it was scary. If you are not a fan of books dealing with violent deaths, or death in any kind of way, stop now. This book isn't for you. But if you are brave enough to plow through 294 pages of a dark, twisted story, then read this book by all means.

I enjoyed reading Ten. For one, this book reminded me of I Know What You Did Last Summer, which is one of my all time favorite scream fest of a movie. I liked how the mystery just keeps on getting the better of each characters, how they race against time to figure out who the killer is, who did what to whom and uncover the reason why they are being killed off one by one, the motivation of the killer and the one thing that ties all of them to each other. Gretchen McNeil did a great job telling that particular kind of story.

A good mystery horror book cannot be done without stubborn, determined characters and Ten has quite a few. I am particularly happy with how T.J. and Meg's characters and stories get entangled with the very reason why the killings were happening. It was such a twisted, sad, love story filled with lies, deceptions and guises of friendship and protecting a person they love. There are characters you will hate, characters you will doubt, characters you will feel sorry for, and characters which will ultimately throw you off into thinking just who the killer is. Mind games, you say? These characters will give the readers a lot to think about as Ten is not just about brutal deaths, it also tells the story of each character, the how and why they ended up in the island. While readers worry who becomes another red line on the wall, they must also put up with complicated love triangles and friendships. And the setting? It was perfect. An isolated island, cut off from the rest of the world in a raging storm, with no power, no internet, no means or ways to get message to the outside. It's the most ideal place for a chilling encounter with death to happen. Now aren't you just skeptical of house parties in small islands now?  

The imagery that this novel will make you think of was what made me a bit wide-eyed. A tally of the deaths was kept, painted in red. A countdown. A cruel, mocking warning that the killer will come for you next. Anyone of them can die in an instant. That was enough to make me feel chills running down my spine. As if that wasn't enough to drive the readers insane, the author described, in perfect detail, the contents of a DVD, a video. It was a sinister warning. What was supposed to be a fun, relaxing vacation turned out to be a grisly experience for a few, and a tragedy for some.

Filled with ingenious twists from left to right, surprises that will make you raise your eyebrows and a driving, intriguing plot that will fill you with dread and anticipation, Ten is a chilling page turner about vengeance and the consequences of one's actions, no matter how much unaware they might be when they did it. People will die. Race alongside with the characters to find just who the culprit is, figure out how each of them are connected and wait in anticipation to see who dies and who lives. How is that for a story? I love a good mystery, and my guesses were proved wrong quite a few times. Predictable? Maybe. If you think hard, it will be easy to figure it out, but what made this book a whole lot interesting was what started it all. What I've learned from this book? Two wrongs definitely do not make a right and sometimes, well, love can be deadly.

Ten is a hair raising, nail biting read. It's definitely memorable, and if you want a book that gives you a good scare? You might want to pick up a copy of this one.

Content (plot, story flow, character):
This book has that kind of ending that you know you should expect, like the way it is done in movies. It didn't keep me from having fun guessing and figuring out the clues, though!
Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:
Awesome cover!


  1. NEED. THIS. BOOK. I LOVE the horror/thriller genre so this is definitely my kind of book. Plus I was a huge fan of the author's POSSESS book . . . so I must get a copy of this book too. Fantastic review!

  2. Great review! I need to pick up a copy. :)

  3. What a fabulous review! I'm not much for horror-thrillers but from the beginning I really wanted to read this one. I LOVE that tagline.

  4. I try to avoid scary books/tv/movies but this really does sound good and I love that it kept you reading!!

  5. I'm not a fan of horror books/movies so I think I might give this a pass BUT Ten sounds so good. I'm glad that that even though it was creepy it was hooking and had you flipping the pages in a rush.

    My imagination runs wild, too! Sometimes that much that I scare myself...

    I love that you loved this so much. ♥

  6. oh man I knew this novel is scary and a thriller but i didn't know it was THAT SCARY! omg I stayed away from watching I know What You Did Last Summer but I don't think I will be able to stay away from Ten!!

    great review

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  7. Great review! I haven't read any horror book yet - I've been meaning to pick up Stephen King's The Shining for the longest time, but I think I'll start with this! :)

  8. I really enjoyed this read too!! It was such a page turner. I was on the edge of my seat until the very end.

  9. Ten has very very interesting story! I am very curious about this book. I have heard so many good things about it and your review is amazing!

  10. I'm weary about reading this book because I think that I'll keep comparing it to And Then There Were None (one of my favorite Christies)... I do like mysteries, but not really scary stories. I'm glad you liked it so much, I think I'm a bit more encouraged to read this one now...

  11. Thank you for your review! Ten has been among my most anticipated releases this month! I am always keen for some horror in the YA department. I am looking forward to reading it this month, just in time for Halloween season!

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

  12. Nail biting scary books are really my thing, even when I'm a chicken :p I never watch movies with promises like this, but it works for me in a book. I love the sound of the different feelings you got for the characters. It's so much fun when there are characters you really hate :p Great review and I can't wait to solve this mystery!

  13. Scary books are not really my genre because I have the tendency to overthink things which makes it hard to read. So far, I haven't read any yet so I'll probably give this a try. Great review!


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