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Ten by Gretchen McNeil

February 13, 2018

It all starts with a shy girl named Meg and her bigger-than-life, popular best friend, Minnie. One day Meg and Minnie get an invitation to a party hosted by one of the most influential girls at their school, Jessica, on her private island. Knowing their parents won’t approve, they sneak away to the party.

Once they sneak away to the ferry and make it to the island, the ferry pulls away and the captain tells them he will pick them up in three days. When Meg and Minnie walk down the dock they spy TJ Fletcher, the boy that both girls have had a crush on for a while. Meg had denied an invitation to the homecoming dance from TJ and told him she was sick because she knew Minnie would never forgive her; that made TJ dislike Meg ever since. They see another guy they don’t recognize. He says that his name is Ben, Jessica’s boyfriend, and he will be on the island with Meg, Minnie, TJ, and the other six teens until Jessica gets back from a cheerleading event the next day.

As Gretchen McNeil continues the novel she adds the twist of the teenagers finding a disc telling them that they have all been guilty of “character assassination.” The book continues and briskly speeds up pace. McNeil starts to add in the horror part of the novel after that. As the teens start dying mysteriously, no one can trust each other. McNeil crafts a strong, fast-paced mystery of suspicion. All the while, she uses great diction that put readers in the moment with Meg and Minnie.

McNeil uses only Meg’s perspective throughout the book, which helped me understand the story better. It also helped me get to know Meg better, since I only had to focus on one point of view. Another strength of having only one character is readers get to see all of the other characters from Meg’s perspective.

The mystery of the killer draws nearer, and there are fewer and fewer teens still alive. The characters have to figure out who’s still alive that might be the killer, or if the murderer is someone that’s already dead. Gretchen McNeil’s Ten is a fast paced book that I can guarantee readers will not be able to put down easily.


Balzer and Bray, 294 pages


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