Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Blurb: 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. 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 days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on one another, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she ever imagined?

What I thought: Wow. I don't read a lot of horror/ murder mystery books, but I really liked this. SO CREEPY. It was meant to be my Official Halloween Book, but I have the self-control of an invisible cabbage, and I couldn't wait. I opened it last night, and read all the way through in about two hours.
I think what I liked most about it was the scary side. It's a horror story, it's supposed to scare you, and it did that very well. The mystery aspect was pretty good too- you're kept guessing all the way through the book, and then the killer turns out to be the last person I was expecting (I mean, I didn't even suspect them), like pretty much all good murder mystery books.
This isn't exactly a bad point, but it's something I felt could have been improved; it all felt very stereotypically horror story-ish. The situation is exactly what you'd expect- three days on an isolated island, no contact with the outside world, a massive storm, and then people start dying. Nothing spectacular, but definitely creepy. I felt that if it had been a bit more subtle, then it could have been better. Like, all the horror in the book kind of smacks you around the face, it's very obvious- the descriptions of the deaths and bodies (a bit too vivid for me), the oh-no-I-hope-no-one-kills-me side.
The only other problem I had with this book- some of the character's weren't as developed as I hoped, especially Meg and T. J., which was disappointing because they were pretty much the main characters. I think Minnie was written better than Meg; she felt more real (not in a good way) and she made you pity her and hate her at the same time. With Meg, it felt a bit like Gretchen McNeil had taken a name, slapped a few random qualities on it, and then pushed her into this situation. The same with T. J.- although he seemed cool and everything, you never really understood why Meg was in love with him, and that annoyed me. Central male characters in books like this are supposed to be swoon-worthy, and he just wasn't.
However, it really was a very good Halloween Book. If you want something to get you in a Halloween-ish mood, read this. The mystery side is as good as the horror side, so fans of both genres should enjoy it. While not the best technically (there were a couple of wrong details) or in terms of character development and emotion, it really is creepy as hell.

Rate: 6/10

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