Book Chelle

Ten - Gretchen McNeil Review posted on Dark Faerie Tales.I don’t normally read stories that are themed with horror and murder. I tend to dwell on the images and it causes nightmares. But I couldn’t resist reading Gretchen McNeill’s Ten. The cover is gorgeous despite the dark and terrifying theme. The simplicity of the font, the somewhat haze of the island. It brilliantly sets the tone for the book.Ten high school teens travel to Henry Island, off the coast into a vacation island. Meg, along with others have been invited to spend the weekend of partying and other fun shenanigans at White Rock House. What they don’t expect is the horrible weather, the isolation from the rest of society, and murder. In a young adult version of a murder mystery, teens are dying, one by one. The storm worsens conditions and there is no way to seek help. And the only clue they have is a video left by someone unknown, and it’s message: Vengeance is mine.Meg is the frontrunner in Ten, if you will. Formerly one of the popular girls, she fell out when she befriended Minnie. I liked Meg. She had this appeal to her that I can’t fully describe. Meg was easy to relate to. Meg was courageous and brave; obviously the only one with enough gumption to see it through the end. She wasn’t a character that exactly stood out. She was the level-headed one of the group, obviously, but there wasn’t anything quirky or excitable, at least for me.I felt that I didn’t know the characters enough. Except for those who were alive near the end, I didn’t fully connect with the characters killed in the beginning. But for a stand-alone book, it must be hard to make that connection. There was a good array of personalities though. From the spoiled to the brainiac, it was easy to belong. Even if I didn’t completely immerse myself in the group, McNeil allowed me to be a part of what was going on.My senses were alert, my brain processing images both haunting and creepy. Ten played like a horror movie, for the younger crowd. But despite the targeted age group, there were a lot of things that made my skin crawl. I applaud you McNeil. The focus of Ten was more towards the murders than actual set up or world building. I was really intrigued about the island, but didn’t really see much aside from the ferry ride. It made for a great start, but I wanted more.Ten reminds me of Harper’s Island, a show on TV that I adored. Similar premise and very similar outcome. From the first death, I felt that the rest of the deaths were already laid out for the reader. But what I didn’t expect was the pacing. With each murder, a truth was revealed. Puzzle pieces slowly put together that went together with a song.Ten was twisted, feeding to those who love a murder mystery. Murders filled the pages, and one by one I saw McNeil’s creepy imagination. Good, quick read. But please, make sure you have a night light on.