When RT's Elissa raved about Ten, the thrilling new YA horror story from Gretchen McNeil about a group of teens who escape to an island for a weekend-long house party — only to find their weekend ruined by a raging storm and a deadly serial killer, we knew it was special. So much so that the book was nominated for September's Seal of Excellence! Today Elissa shares why Ten is a book not to be missed.
How much do I love Gretchen McNeil’s Ten? Let me count the ways. (Spoiler, there are 10 ways.)
1. The setting, a beautiful house on a nearly deserted island off of Seattle, is both drool-worthy (gorgeous mansion on the water) and terrifying (remote as all get out).
2. The homage to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None was a risky move, as that is a beloved classic, but McNeil really sold it. The way the characters are picked off one by one is so darn scary I bet Agatha would be proud.
3. The creepiness. From the first page, McNeil starts littering clues throughout her prose, so you know that things just aren’t quite … right.
4. The scariness. A horror movie aficionado, I don’t scare easily. Ten spooked me on a sunny day!
5. The cover. I mean, is it not cool looking? (And very And Then There Were None reminiscent, eh?)
6. And the tagline! “Ten teens. Three days. One killer.” Oooooh, I have shivers! And I already know what happens!
7. Because Ten is so awesome, it is probably safe to assume that Gretchen McNeil is also awesome. So she gets a spot on the list, and if you want to find out for yourself, you should come meet her at Teen Day in Kansas City, which you can find more info about on the RT Convention page!
8. Part of the fun of Ten is that while, yes, it is a horror novel, it’s also still a YA. So there’s teen drama galore. I mean, not only does Meg have to fend off a killer, she’s also got to deal with her crush on T.J. — the really hot guy her BFF wants, who wants her.
9. And Meg has to worry if T.J.’s a killer. I mean, come on!
10. Ten is great for all nine other reasons, but mostly because it reminds me of Scream, another really smart horror title starring teens. Any book that survives a comparison to my favorite movie? Well that’s a winner in my book!
- Elissa Petruzzi