Reviews for Ten

Booklist Reviews 2012 October #1
After years of living on the fringes of the Seattle high-school social scene, Meg and Minnie are finally making a comeback. At an exclusive house party on a remote island with their mutual crush T. J., emotionally fragile Minnie is thrilled, but her protector, introverted writer Meg, is leery, and with good reason. As soon as they meet the other eight guests, things are amiss. The hostess never arrives. The only DVD bears an eerie, foreboding message. The electricity goes out. And then Lori is found hanging from the rafters. As the bodies begin to pile up and clues appear, Meg searches for the killer among them. In the esteemed tradition of teen horror fiction, Ten hits all the high notes: a stormy night, illicit liaisons, cut phone lines, suspicious disappearances, double-crosses, secret histories, and plenty of twists. Though most of the short-lived characters are one-dimensional by necessity, Meg is sympathetic and complex enough to cheer for as she pieces together the nightmare weekend and tries to escape alive. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
Meg and her erratic best friend, Minnie, receive a coveted invitation, but the party quickly turns deadly as one guest after another is gruesomely murdered. The fast-paced Agatha Christie like thriller, overpopulated with characters (alive and dead) sees Meg and her crush, T.J., attempt to keep Minnie stable as Meg pieces together convoluted clues. Somehow, the pieces fit together in the end.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 August #1
A scary gorefest of murder and mayhem, not for the faint of heart. High school best friends Meg and Minnie join a weekend-long, alcohol-infused party on a small island off the coast of Washington. Their parents think they're elsewhere; in fact no one knows they're there except the ferry crew and the other eight attendees. A fierce storm is battering the island, and the power fails, plunging them into darkness and complete isolation from the rest of the world. Then teens start to turn up dead in rather gruesome, vividly depicted ways: hanged, impaled by driftwood (really!), electrocuted, etc. At first, it appears that the deaths could be caused by a bizarre combination of suicide and accident, but as the body count soars, the teens have to choose: Is one of them a serial killer, or is the murderer stalking them from beyond the group? Clues are just amorphous enough to sustain the mystery, and since mistakes are lethal, the suspense is high. Meanwhile, it also becomes obvious that some of the stereotypical teens share relationships that weren't apparent at first, i.e., Meg's far-overworked yearning to pair off with T.J., the handsome guy that unstable Minnie lusts for. For murder-mystery fans, there's more than enough horror and gore to sustain this effort (and several more), making for a breathless read. (Mystery/horror. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 August #2

Agatha Christie meets Gossip Girl when a group of high school students are stranded on an island in McNeil's (Possess) throwback to old-school thrillers. Friends Meg and Minnie are two of 10 disparate teenagers invited to an exclusive party on Henry Island in Washington State, along with Minnie's ex, Gunner, and Meg's former crush, T.J. Things turn sinister when they lose contact with the outside world, and people start dying. As their numbers dwindle, it's soon clear that each teen is there for a purpose, and the killer has an agenda. The tension rises with each symbolically gruesome death, especially as evidence surfaces to implicate one of them as the murderer. Clearly inspired by Christie's Ten Little Indians, but updated to account for modern technology and sensibilities, McNeil's story also has all the hallmarks of a traditional slasher flick, including imprudent sex, gory slayings, and dramatic revelations. The string of deaths means some characters never get much development, and the romantic angle is fairly predictable, but the claustrophobic setting and classic horror feints and twists still do the trick. Ages 13-up. Agent: Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 October

Gr 9 Up--A beach house, 10 teenagers, no parents, and the promise of a weekend-long party: friends Meg and Minnie embrace the exclusive invitation, despite the fact that neither of the girls is close to the host. But a storm is brewing on Henry Island. The wind is howling, the rain is pouring, and the local ferry won't be back until morning. Then people start dying. A creepy DVD warns the teens of their imminent demise, and red hash marks on the wall tally the deaths as the guests' guilty secrets are exposed and they're picked off one by one. In the end, it is up to Meg to save herself and figure out who is killing her friends and why. Though character development and motivation are a bit weak, McNeil's novel nicely parallels Agatha Christie's classic And Then There Were None (originally titled Ten Little Indians in the United States), and is likewise a quick-paced thriller full of half-facts and red herrings that take readers through the twists and turns of a deadly weekend. While it might not be considered an amazing teen mystery, among the numerous adaptations and stories that borrow from Christie's 1939 novel, McNeil's book holds its own.--Jennifer Miskec, Longwood University, Farmville, VA

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VOYA Reviews 2012 August
Meg and Minnie, two best friends, lie to their parents to escape for a weekend of high school partying with boys and booze. The exclusive homes and remoteness of the area turn from appealing to terrifying as a storm blows in knocking out power and any connection with the outside world. Ten high school students are picked off and killed one by one. The story is frightening in parts, yet written in a juvenile fashion which is difficult to understand at times. A fast, scary read that will give readers chills, yet make them pause to reread a section for clarity. This book will appeal to those reading at a lower level who enjoy a good scare.--Juli Henley 3Q 3P J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.