Shhhh! 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—three days on Henry Island at an exclusive house party. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their own reasons for wanting to be there, which involve their school's most eligible bachelor, T. J. Fletcher, and look forward to three glorious days of boys, bonding, 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 outside, the teens are cut off from the rest of the world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn't scheduled to return for three 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?
I just wish it had the characters. They don’t stand up to the word at all and I didn’t particularly care about any of them. Let’s start off with Meg and Minnie, best friends for years. And Meg was okay, she really was, but with one major flaw – she lets Minnie walk all over her, not just walk on her but dance with stiletto heals. ‘Cause here's the thing: both girls are desperately in love with the same guy, T.J., only Meg doesn’t let on so as not to hurt her friend, even though it’s obvious that T.J. likes Meg. So throughout the whole book you get to hear her telling herself she has to get over him, though she’s not getting over anything and doesn’t even really try.
This get’s old.
Besides that, Minnie is extremely annoying. I hate to say it, but it’s true. She’s heartless, whiny, and I couldn’t see any reason why anyone would like her, let alone this nice, sensible girl who is practically giving up her shot at happiness for her. The other characters are fine, just a little flat and cliché.
This being said, I stayed up until two in the morning to finish it, and it took another half hour to convince myself that no one was going to pop out and murder me. A little pathetic on my part, but true. Because let’s face it, this book is really scary and really intense, and I’m actually just kind of sad that more thought wasn’t put into the people acting out this show.
So if you love horror, have a slightly morbid mind, and don’t mind staying up until hours when people stare at you like you’re insane, go for it. TEN isn’t going to trigger any great epiphanies or stick with you for years, but hey, frankly it’s fun, it’s exiting, and it kind of makes you appreciate your life a little more. And there’s nothing too wrong with that.
McNeil's writing style is clear and straight to the point, while building a mysterious and creepy tone that keeps the suspense high. I am recommending the book to my students and my friends. My one bit of advice to everyone;buy the book, wait for a rainy day full of crying winds and thunder, curl up with your blankets, a flash light and read! One of the Best books of Fall 2012. Readers will not be disappointed.
This is a fast-paced page-turner of a book! From the very first page, the reader is thrust into a tense, atmospheric ride that never lets up. I enjoyed the suspense, and I liked that the uncluttered style of writing doesn't get in the way of the pace.
I also was very interested in the mystery. I liked finding out clues and guessing what was coming next. Beneath the heart-stopping suspense is an examination of how bullying, cliches, and ignoring the pain of others can have drastic consequences, and I think that's a poignant message for teens.
What Left Me Wanting More:
There's not much to nitpick here because this book is exactly what it advertises itself to be: a quick thrill ride through the horror genre. If you go in expecting that and wanting that, you'll be more than satisfied. I tend to want deeper character development and a certain level of intimacy between myself and the narrator, and I didn't quite feel that on this one. However, I did find the narrator interesting, and I felt she was the best suited to tell us the story. I just didn't connect like I wanted to, but that could be a matter of personal preferences.
I've heard other reviewers comparing this book to Agatha Christie's famous TEN LITTLE INDIANS, and I'd caution against that. This isn't a re-telling. It's a story inspired by Christie's, and I think it does the idea justice in the YA genre.
This is a heart-in-your-throat thrill ride with non-stop suspense, and readers who love a good old-fashioned horror story are going to enjoy it.
I never read And Then There Was None, I meant to and now I’m a bit sad that I read this one first. I think this book is going to make Christie’s masterpiece less enjoyable when I finally do. It seems that a less “high school” version would suit this set up better and I’m sure most people agree with that for the acclaim the original version received.
The characters in Ten are…annoying b*******, pardon my French. I guess in a book like this you’re supposed to dislike the characters. It aims to make you wish they would die and makes you happy in a strange way when they do. But I feel like I should have cared about the characters more. I think if I cared about anyone who died I would’ve been sucked into the story and enjoyed it more. Don’t get me wrong it was a fun read, and I read it in one sitting but I still think some components could have been improved.
The speech and behaviors in the book were aggravating at first. I know I should’ve read it and been like well duh, they’re young and they sleep around and party and fight. But it was off putting, it made me feel like I was back in high school dealing with the petty drama I hated. (Maybe I need to just stop reading YA books if that annoys me.)
So all in all it was a decent book, interesting enough that I never wanted to actually stop reading it but at the same time I cringed at parts. (The guy who constantly said dude, especially.) Maybe I’ll get around to Agatha Christie’s, And Then There Were None and the plot will feel less childish, more warranted.
Also if you liked this book at all definitely give the movie, 9 dead a try. It’s one of my favorites.
One thing I loved about Ten was the initial setup, the setting. An island, cut off from the rest of civilization. A house on a cliff, separated from the rest of the island by a rickety bridge. A group of teens who don’t seem to know each other, but who are all connected by one person – Jessica – who is noticeably absent from her own party. A raging storm. Power outages. Cut phone lines. It was creepy and fantastic, if a little cliched.
Upon entering the house, I struggled to differentiate the cast of characters, as they’re introduced in a flurry of activity. Luckily, Ten casted each character into a traditional horror-film role to make my ability to distinguish each person easier – there was the asshole (Nathan), the jock (Kenny), the prude (Vivian), the slut (Minnie), the slut’s object of affection (Ben), the token black guy (TJ), the almost forgettable best friend (Gunner), the girl who dies before we get to type-cast her (Lori), and the voice of reason that no one listens to (Kumiko). And then there’s the female lead, Meg, who stands out in no way, except you somehow know that she’s going to survive because she doesn’t have a stereotypical role to fill.
Once you get past Ten’s characters, which I had hoped were cast in such traditional horror-film roles as some kind of obvious joke for my – the readers – benefit before throwing me for a complete loop by not using those roles to define the characters, you realize the plot is also following a string of horror movie cliches. As people are killed, each character reveals some flaw, or acts in some insufferable manner, just begging for them to be offed for their awful behaviour. At each turn, someone (usually Kumiko) points out the obvious solution (like sticking together) before the rest of the group decides that the obvious solution makes no sense, and does the action that every horror-film buff knows will lead to imminent disaster (like running upstairs when you realize there’s a killer in your house). Of course, Meg and TJ are the two characters who you realize are going to be around for a while, as they seem to be the only ones determined to solve the mystery of the killer. The others are content to spoon on the couch, or disappear by themselves until the next murder brings them all back together.
All of this would have been fine, I would have even enjoyed for its irony, if the characters didn’t acknowledge how easily they fit into these horror tropes, before falling into their cliched roles. The first murder is staged as a suicide, which shocks everyone but they are able to write it off as nothing more. The second murder is swept under the rug as a tragic accident, even after Meg finds signs of foul play. By the third murder, everyone is becoming suspect but no one outright admits that there is a murderer on the loose! It was like McNeil was following a checklist of horror tropes, in an effort to cram as much of them as possible into Ten. Suspicions are raised and everyone begins to mistrust everyone else, which they acknowledge is very Lord of the Flies-esque. Check. People continue to be murdered after the group splits up, so the group continues to split up. Check. Details about the killer are slowly revealed to the protagonist, who keeps the clues to herself for fear of scaring the others. Check. The protagonist begins to suspect her romantic interest. Check. The killer delays in killing his last victim so he can have a heart-to-heart tell-all to fill in any holes left in his grand plan. Check. And the entire time, Meg is focused on her feelings for TJ! I just had a hard time entertaining the idea of a budding romance while the bodies piled up around them.
All that being said, Ten wasn’t necessarily an unenjoyable read. I read it in a couple hours, over the course of an evening, so it was obviously very readable. But when I sat down to write about Ten all I could focus on was how predictable the plot was, because it was so formulaic in following stereotypical horror tropes. Even when I had my suspicions about the killer, I knew I would be wrong and that there would be a big twist I couldn’t see coming, because it followed the formula I had come to expect.
I loved the plot of this novel. There's just something about a novel that puts teens on an island and has them trying to stay alive in the face of being picked off by a killer. What better place is there than an island? Especially when being invited to a party and not being scheduled to be picked up for three whole days?
The characters were great. Well all except Minnie. I disliked her from the beginning, I found her to be really whiny and self-centered, thankfully she's not the "main" character because I would have hated this book then. I just could not deal with her. Now Meg on the other hand, I loved! She is the quiet writer who has the greatest comebacks if only she would say them! Plus she has the brains to realise something is seriously wrong. The other characters were great as well, from the know it all to the jock.
This book is told in third person but has a main focus on Meg as she progresses through the story and fights to save herself and the rest of the people in the house. It reveals many of her inner thoughts and feelings.
I loved the way that the author placed the clues and revealed things in a natural progression. I admit I had no clue who the killer was until it was revealed. The ending scenes had my heart racing and my hands flipping the pages so I could find out what was happening and how it would all play out.
The author packed this book with enough suspense to keep me guessing and the action in the novel as the story comes to a close was nerve wracking.
I've watched a few teen slasher movies, but they're not usually my cup of tea. If there's going to be blood then I want there to be a good story and sadly, that's just not usually the case. Ten, however, was completely awesome. Maybe it's because it was in book format instead of movie, but I never thought it to be cheesy. I did, however, squirm and cringe and want to hide under the covers. There was so much blood! Though, I must say that McNeil handles it in as much a tasteful way as can be possible.
The mystery itself was definitely the best part for me. I was right there with Meg frantically trying to fit the pieces together. Though, I did figure most of it out before her, she was never too far behind. Except, you know, in the end I was really rather wrong despite everything. For almost the entire book I had it narrowed down to two people and was totally convinced it was one of them. Yeah, not so much. If you can figure this one out before the reveal, I will totally give you a round of applause.
I know a romance element is pretty normal, but am I really the only one who finds it a little weird that people can build a relationship in the midst of a bloodbath?
The Nutshell: The characters aren't the best, but can you really ask for more from a slasher? I mean, some of the characters are around for no time at all so you can't really expect them to be well-rounded. The mystery, however, is stellar and makes up for any shortcomings. If you're looking for a good teen slasher that will have you paranoid by the end then Ten is definitely your read.
In this tale, the author spins a massive tale of deception, mystery, and horror. Ten teens have gathered together on an island in hopes of having the "most epic house party ever." But, upon arrival things begin to go downhill. There is a torrential downpour and then hours later, someone turns up dead. The teens know something weird is going on and they must put the puzzle together before it proves to be too late.
As I said, at first I wasn't too happy with the writing style. I kind of felt like the author was trying to hard to seem teen-ish, but that small minor detail can be overlooked. Especially since on of her characters is kind of quiet and a little awkward. Maybe she meant to do that....
Also, I'm not sure what it was, but the set up of the story was a bit bland for me. I didn't get hooked until the first kill came into play. That's when the story like jumped off and I was completely sucked in.
Other than those things, I really enjoyed it. Once the first kill car up, everything started coming together. It didn't prove to be as scary as everyone was hyping it up to be, but I know had I actually been in that situation, I would definitely have been scared out of my mind lol
Lastly, that ending more than made up for the bland beginning. First off, the culprit was someone I wasn't expecting. And let me just say, fooling me is a difficult feat. The only things I watch on tv are cop shows and I've pretty much programmed my mind to thinking its the least obvious person. Also, the final scene with the person who did it (the "bonfire") made me like "ZOMG!!!" I was literally reading the pages like this 0_0
All in all, this book more than surprised me. The ending threw me off and it was full of drama, suspense, mystery, and death. The perfect combination for a Halloween read.