Thursday, March 27, 2014
Ten teens. Three days. One killer. That's the tagline for Ten by Gretchen McNeil and pretty much sums up the book. Meg and her friend Minnie are going to an isolated island on the coast for a party- an invite only party. One of the popular girls at school has invited them to her parents' house on the island for a weekend of boys, booze and good times. Meg doesn't really want to go, but is there to keep an eye on Minnie, her best friend. Minnie is bipolar and a party girl, and it usually falls to Meg to rein her in when needed and keep her on her meds.
As soon as they arrive on the island things get interesting. It turns out that T.J. was also invited- the same T.J. who invited Meg to Homecoming, and who Minnie is in love with. Awkward. We find out that Meg didn't go to Homecoming because she didn't want to hurt Minnie, and she hasn't spoken to T.J. since. Some of the other guests have arrived as well, but the host of the party and the rest of the invites won't be there until the next day. A storm rolls in (yes, a storm- I know), and it's a doozy. As the partiers settle in and start drinking, some hostilities surface and it turns out some of these people have a history with each other. Fun!
Before long the storm gets worse and murderous things begin to happen. The body count rises and there are clues that someone from their past may be stalking them. Is there someone else on the island- or is the killer one of them? Before the weekend is over, there may be no one left to find out.
Ten was a lot of fun. It's a quick read with suspense that steadily ratchets up and a couple of nasty twists at the end. The big reveal was a bit farfetched for me but I still enjoyed this book a lot. The voices seemed authentically teen and the author touched on themes of acceptance, loyalty and friendship. This gave the story an emotional heft and a surprisingly deep backstory, along with a healthy dose of mayhem. Just be warned- if you read this late at night or during a storm, you may want to have a few extra lights on.