Ten by Gretchen McNeil

11:25 PM

Pages: 304
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 9780062118783
Genre: Young Adult Horror

Review by Phil

Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

SHHHH!Don't spread the word!
Three-day weekend. Party at 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 (Spoiler Free):

Ok so I am going to start off by saying that I did not HATE this book, I actually thought it was pretty good, BUT I did have one major problem with it, which I will explain later. For now though lets review the actual book.

Ten is the story of ten teenagers invited to a house party on an island off the coast of Seattle (if I remember correctly). While there are 10 main characters, the story mainly focuses on Meg and her best friend Minnie. Meg and Minnie have been best friends since 7th grade, and while they care about each other dearly, they have reached a point in their friendship where they can barely stand one another. Meg takes on a parental role towards Minnie, constantly reminding her to take her anti-depressants, and Minnie is basically just sick of her. Meg and Minnie are also both in love with T.J., which causes strains in their relationship as well. There are 7 other characters but really they aren’t that important and are basically just your normal filler characters based on high school stereotypes, aka “the bitch”, “the sleaze bag”, “the jock”, “the punk girl”, “the musical girl”, and of course “the mysterious hot guy who no one knows”.

Once all 10 guests arrive at the house they soon realize their host isn’t going to show up, and there is a huge storm brewing on the island, making them unable to get off. Soon one by one the characters begin to get killed off. Over time the existing survivors start to realize that one of them is the killer. Everyone becomes skeptical, and things get cray, then the book is over like 50 pages after that.

So now you must be wondering, Phil, why do you sound like you hate this? This book sounds seriously awesome. Well here is the answer. Ten is a retelling of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. In And Then There Were None, 10 strangers are all invited for the weekend to an island getaway, they soon realize that their host isn’t going to show up, and one by one they all start to get killed off. Over time they realize one of them must be the killer, they get skeptical and things get cray, then the book is over like 50 pa…. HEY WAIT!??!!? That’s exactly the same story as Ten!?!?!?!

So yes, that is why I did not love this book. While it is a retelling, Gretchen McNeil straight up took Agatha Christies’ storyline and watered it down for teenagers. Seriously they are the SAME EXACT STORY, every detail even down to the secret of the killer is spot on! When you write a retelling I feel like your story has to be distinctly different from the original. For instance, I am reading Splintered by AG Howard right now, which is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland. Splintered has themes from Alice in it, but they are two completely different stories. Ten is just a bad And Then There Were None.

And what annoys me the most is that in her Acknowledgements page Gretchen McNeil didn’t even mention Agatha Christie, which is complete LUNACY to me because she basically wrote the book for her. Overall, Ten was an unoriginal plot line, filled with stereotypes and a watered down ending for younger readers. I ended up giving it 3/5 stars, because the writing was good and it kept my attention despite the fact that I had essentially already read the story. But I do need to tell you not to waste your time and read this, but rather read And Then There Were None, it’s the original story, and it is so much better. 


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