Ten by Gretchen McNeil
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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?
I have to make one thing very, very clear: I don’t like horror or scary or thriller type of stories, for the most part. Its just not my cup of tea. I can’t even begin to count the amount of times I went to go see a scary movie with friends in high school, and being asked to leave because another moviegoer complained about me laughing so hard during the movie. I find scary movies/novels hilarious. My boyfriend and I watched the old school Evil Dead the other day, and I just couldn’t stop laughing.
So its not easy for me to jump into a horror novel. BUT I absolutely LOVE Gretchen McNeil; she is a fabulous person, and a seriously inspiring author and I loved her novel, 3:59. I bought Ten when I met her at 3:59 release in Redondo Beach, so I knew I had to dive into it.
And I was pleasantly surprised at how much I LOVED this novel. Maybe these kind of stories are meant to be told in written form, and not in a visual format, because not once did I laugh…at the story. I laughed at the intentional humor, but I was generally addicted to the story, scared of what was going to happen next or who was going to die next, and I know there is NO way I could have read this in the dark.
Gretchen made this book feel so REAL. It felt so much like a movie plot line BUT just so much more real. She had the story thought out so much that each and every step, every small detail added up to an incredibly story and an incredible reveal that I did NOT see coming in the slightest. I kind of pride myself in knowing the “whodunnit” before they reveal it but I didn’t see this at all. When it was revealed, I literally gasped out loud. I couldn’t believe it! A really good scary story will surprise you like that, and this is one of the first to do that!
I was also genuinely scared. The murders that happened in this book were all vicious and scary, and gruesome. I was shocked at all. I think because I don’t really read horror and there isn’t a lot of YA horror, I just wasn’t prepared for it. Every time a person died, I was gasping. I couldn’t believe it, and I was usually fairly grossed out too. Like, really, Gretchen, you killed him/her THAT way? Way to be as gruesome as possible. But it was perfect. Everything about it felt real and disgusting and scary. She had the right amount of thrill and anticipation throughout the entire novel that made it so hard not be scared.
It was also the perfect choice for Halloween week as well. It really put me in a creepy mood and it also made me more likely to dive into scary novels again. I think being able to experience the tension through words instead of visuals worked a lot better for me. I think, since I’m such a visual person, I can see those foreshadowed moments and the hidden clues better in a movie than in a book and so I was completely captivated by this book, from beginning to end.
I can’t wait to read more from Gretchen. Her books have completely impressed me thus far, and she truly is an amazing person. I will add also that I love that she includes diversity like its the easiest thing in the world, because it SHOULD be. Beautiful. Definitely pick up this book.
4 out of 5 stars
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