Sunday, July 1, 2012

TEN: review

Title: TEN (or Ten? The first way looks scarier.)
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Genres: thriller, retelling, mystery
Summary: And their doom comes swiftly.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off the from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

I am basing lots of my views on the assumed fact that this is actually a retelling of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None (or Ten Little Indians) because the plot line and everything are just too close to be a coincidence. But if this book is in fact not based off that amazing masterpiece of a novel...then you can pretty much ignore most of my rant.

I'm giving this book a good three-almost-four stars...

The first page hooked me. But when I turned to the next one, and really the whole first three chapters, I wasn't really feelin the love. The two main characters are Meg (the third person narrator) and her best friend Minnie. Those are two very similar names, aren't they? Yes. 
I did not like that one bit. 
Eventually, I could remember the differences between them, who was who, because they have two very different personalities. But it wasn't really a promising start for me. It got better from there, I can happily report.

A few quirks in the writing that I found...almost every time someone dies, someone else says "Oh my God!" (You'd think people would be slightly less surprised after the sixth person dies??) And there are a lot of "um."s. And last, Meg's internal dialog had frequent phrases like "Not so much" at least a dozen times. Just gotta mention that.

I am a huge HUGE fan of And Then There Were None. It's hands down the best and scariest mystery book I've ever read. She was a genius. So the fact that TEN is a retelling of that epic plot, made me a bit apprehensive, but excited all the same. The main characters are teenagers, and there is Facebook mentioned, since this is current day, not the 1930s. There are differences. The main difference is the poem the original is based upon. In various lines, the people in the poem die, and it corresponds with the character deaths in the book. And in other places you see the "essence of the original" here and there. It was sort of fun to try to point those out while reading along.

In TEN, she takes more liberty with that, not basing it off the poem like I'd kind of hoped, but basing it on another type of writing thing, which I can't really say, because that could spoil a few things. I think it was good she changed it, to keep her new story distinctly separate, but the original is better.

There is a lot of teen drama. Mostly that is why my stars are a little lowered. The relationships between the characters are tight, even if it's not at first obvious. Most of the deaths are like "oh no, not my boyfriend! *sob*" so there was a little eye rolling...and the ending was just a TINY BIT too cheesy for me. Ten people did die though. In quite gruesome ways. (The evil side in me is clapping her hands a little.)

Small spoiler, don't worry, you'll be thinking the same thing early on. 
I wish that Minnie died first. Is that mean? I'm sorry, she bugged the bajeezers out of me. What a drama queen!! And that she had to keep the fact that she was bipolar so secretive? Many people have it. Lots of people take meds for it. Go faint already and never get up. Or stab yourself with your eyeliner.
Minnie doesn't die first. But by the end, I liked her slightly more.

To sum up, if you're a fan of AC like me, you might not like TEN. But if you haven't in fact, heard the story before, I promise you will totally love it! For lots of it, I was not sure I liked it, but I kept going, and by the time people started dropping like flies, and I promise I was trying hard to figure out who the killer is! I read the rest right through.

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