July 11, 2013

Ten - Gretchen McNeil

Title: Ten
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Pages: 304
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

From goodreads.com: 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?

Okay, here's the thing about Ten: I loved the concept.  I felt like it was one of those books that was made with me in mind.  I love teen slasher flicks.  I still remember the first slumber party that we watched Scream at.  We only got through the first ten minutes before we decided it was too scary to watch at night, so we put it back on in the morning.  I remember going to the movies to see I Know What You Did Last Summer and squishing my Reese's Pieces between my hand and my best friends during a particularly scary bit.  The plotting of this book was really good.  The characters were another story entirely.

Right away I didn't connect with Meg.  I didn't know why she put up with so much of Minnie's crap.  Yes, she's her best friend, but she was mommy-ing her to death.  I think I would have been more understanding of it if they were sisters, then the uberprotective vibe would make sense.  I also didn't like how everyone else treated Meg.  Ooh, Meg the writer, Meg, you're so witty, if only you would speak out loud more.  It wasn't just her though.  I found very few redeeming qualities in anyone on that island and - I hate to say it - I didn't feel that badly when they bit it.

Moving away from the negativity, I really liked the plot.  Ten teens on an island for an all weekend rager when they start being picked off one by one.  The deaths were inventive and I love that they were being killed in ways that someone had fantasized about in their journal.  Without spoiling anything, I didn't see the killer coming and I liked the reveal a lot.

Unfortunately my dislike of the characters led to this book's ultimate downfall.  Without caring if anyone lived or died it was difficult having anyone to root for.  The best parts of Ten were when people  were dying and sadly that wasn't enough for me.  Has anyone read Ten?  What did you think?

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