Book Review

TEN by Gretchen O’Neil

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Having recently read Agatha Christie’s AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, I was excited to dig into TEN by Gretchen McNeil. This book is a YA retelling of the Agatha Christie classic. I picked this one up in a Book Outlet order some time back, so it also fits in with my plan to follow the #readwhatyouown challenge for September!

In TEN, ten teens are invited to the party of a lifetime at a luxury house on an island. The story begins with two best friends, Meg and Minnie as they make their way to the island by ferry for a weekend with no parents, no responsibility and lots of booze and boys and fun. When they get there, their host has called to say she’s running late and the ten teens are left to settle in and get to know each other.

Without much to entertain them on the island, they begin to hunt through the DVDs and find all the cases are empty except for one. When they play it, the message is sinister and vague, but with a definite vengeance theme. There’s a storm outside cutting them off from the outside world and communication seems to be down. Worst yet, the DVD seems to have pushed one of their number to suicide. Soon as more deaths occur, they must follow the clues to determine what is going on and why.

Trigger warnings: violence, suicide, mental illness.

This was a fun retelling, different enough to still have some surprises after reading the original, but a good adaptation for a YA audience and a more modern time! Being YA, there is much more teenage angst, drama and romance than the original, in addition to the general fear of being stuck on an island while everyone around you is being murdered! As the story progresses, more is learned about each of the characters and how they interrelate and this progression flows at a good pace throughout the book.

My reservations with this book had more to do with how the culprit pulled everything off so well. Given that you’re dealing with a cast of teens, having everything go perfectly according to plan does require some suspension of disbelief. The majority of the characters were set up in a way so that you’re not really all that sorry to see them silenced. Admittedly this is part of why this group got singled out to be targets.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun, relatively light read (given the violence and murders) and really well played out. I will be looking to read more more by Gretchen McNeil!

4 thoughts on “TEN by Gretchen O’Neil”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s