Ten Gretchen McNeil Book Review

Clearly, Halloween is in the air y’all. The other week I gobbled up Ten by Gretchen McNeil in about 15 minutes. Actually, that’s hyperbole. HOWEVER, I did manage to actually read Ten on my lunch break and then after work, when usually I spend lunch eating and decompressing, so there is that. The fact of the matter is, Ten managed to hold my attention through a very intense, very busy, very stressful two days and I definitely can appreciate that.

Ten Gretchen McNeil Book Cover

Alright, so if you are awesome chances are you have read And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, which is THE BOMB y’all. If not, that’s okay, but you should TOTALLY read it RIGHT NOW because it’s almost Halloween! Anyways, the plots are very similar. The main character, quiet, snarky Meg gets an invite to an exclusive party on an island. Along with nine other teenagers, she goes to the island for the party because the most popular girl at school is the host. Unfortunately, only one other house on the island is currently being inhabited and that’s all the way on the other side. So, anyways, once at the house they find that it has a satellite, food, beer, and music. Of course, the teens get their party on. Eventually, they come across a homemade DVD which is all about vengeance  and how ten teenagers will pay. THEN one by one each teen starts getting MURDERED. AWWW YEAH.

There are obviously ten central characters in Ten by Gretchen McNeil. Like, I don’t remember the names of all the characters, but the MAIN FOCUS characters are Meg, the main character, Minnie her best friend who is apparently bipolar and off her meds, and TJ, this boy that Meg and Minnie are fighting over. I liked Meg for the most part, but I thought she seemed a bit callous at times and less than kind, because she is very snarky. That’s not to say that being imperfect is bad, it’s not, but I don’t know that I would want to be friends with Meg. Minnie was super annoying and kind of selfish, she very much wanted all of the attention on her and was all about attention from boys. Because I don’t really know a single thing about bipolarity, I won’t comment on that aspect of Minnie’s character. TJ was alright, but at moments kind of super cheesy and overall not very memorable.

If you are looking to have the daylights scared out of you, Ten might do it. There were bits where my pulse was racing. HOWEVER, I did happen to text a blogger friend when I was about 150 pages in to complain about only 2 people being dead so far. I thought the methods of death were pretty gruesome, so if you’re into that (HOLLA scary movies!!), you’ll like this book. Some bits are kind of tame though, and other parts I was like REALLY THIS STRETCHES BELIEVABILITY SO MUCH.

While I find Agatha Christie to be very readable, I thought that Gretchen McNeil did a pretty decent job presenting the story on the level of young adults. Ten is very fast paced and gripping, even though I did not want to become best friends or makeout buddies with the characters. I like that Gretchen McNeil’s prose isn’t bogged down with flowery descriptions or anything, rather the plot takes center stage. Sure, the atmosphere is well done, but there aren’t pages and pages about how it was a dark and stormy night, instead we get RIGHT TO THE ACTION and the point. Frankly, I think actually teenagers will probably appreciate that.

Ten by Gretchen McNeil is definitely a season-appropriate read and totally best read on a dark, rainy day, FOR THE MOOD. However, if I am being 100% honest, I think that it does pale when compared to the great dame of murder mystery, Agatha Christie. I thought, unlike Christie, the ending took the easy way out when it could have gone the full nine yards. In fact, I was kind of expecting a certain ending after reading And Then There Were None, and was let down. BUT, I think that if you come in without preconceived notions and expectations, you might really like Ten by Gretchen McNeil.

Disclosure: Received for review.

Other reviews of Ten by Gretchen McNeil:

Anna Reads – “I decided to lady up and give Ten by Gretchen McNeil a try.

Chick Loves Lit – “Maybe I’m not as much of a wuss as I thought!

Hobbitsies – “It is a perfect creepy thriller for this time of year

The following two tabs change content below.
April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I’ve read a few Christie books, but somehow I haven’t read this one…. I DID just read Ten though and I’d say I was pretty creeped out! As far as horror goes, I’m a total chicken, so the murders were creeping me out, especially once they started bringing in a ghost story into the mix!
    I do agree though – Although the ending actually wasn’t what I expected, I was kind of let down, and I rushed through since it lost a lot of excitement for me after that.
    Great review! Would you mind if I linked your review in mine when it goes live near the end of August? For the Halloween reads I’ve been doing/part of a Halloween feature (“A Fortnight of Fright”), I’ve been linking up review from other bloggers as well.
    Thanks 🙂

  2. This review pretty much aligns with what I’ve seen so far. If you’ve read And Then There Were None, it seems like hers is a bit disappointing. Well, maybe if you didn’t like the writing in And Then There Were None, but who cares about those people?

    I want to read this simply because of the retelling aspect, but I love ATTWN too, and I hated McNeil’s first book. So I just don’t KNOW.

  3. Totes going to read this for the Halloween vibes! GORE. MMM. Except not actually…

  4. Oooh, I’m now even more curious about what goes down in this book. Even though I don’t know ANY of the characters yet, I was trying to think of how this adaptation would be with regards to the ending. The ending of Agatha Christie’s novel was… intense and I couldn’t sleep for nights after reading that. So I’m definitely interested in the fact that it wasn’t what you expected. Now I’m not sure what to expect myself, hahaha. GREAT REVIEW!

  5. Well, I am not awesome because I haven’t read the original Agatha Christie. HOWEVER, I was planning on reading it before allowing myself to pick up Ten. I think I’ll change my plans and read Ten first now, maybe in my ignorance I’ll be able to enjoy it more than you did.

  6. April! I have been waiting on reviews of Ten because it just sounded so good, and while I am a total scaredy cat, I know I *need* to read this and STAT! I think I have seen the movie based on Agatha’s book but if you also like the original, then I want to read that, too!

  7. I’ve seen this book all over but I don’t think I’ve actually read a review. I didn’t really know what it was about! Thanks for the review! Maybe I’ll try to get to it before Halloween! 😀

  8. I’m really excited about this one because And Then There Were None is one of my favourite mystery books (and movies). I think it sounds like a great, modern adaptation that will perhaps even function as an introductory course to the genre and to Agatha Christie herself. I can’t wait to read it!

  9. Well, you’ve convinced me. I’ve out Ten and And Then There Were None on hold. I hope they come in soon. I’m a little nervous that Meg will annoy me and prevent me from really enjoying Ten, but I used to LOVE scary stories. Plus, it is the righ time of year 🙂

  10. I am super reluctant to read Ten for the reasons that you mentioned. I adored And Then There Were None. I don’t want to see the storyline minced and molded to fit a YA audience, especially because Christie’s version is still accessible to any YA readers of today. It’s just so good. After reading your review here, I do think this is something I’ll have to pass.

  11. It seems like if you haven’t read the Christie, you’re far more likely to enjoy this. So I’ll probably pick up TEN before I pick up hers. Then later I can always compare.