by Gretchen McNeil
Expected publication date: September 18, 2012
Balzer + Bray
Source: ARC received from the publisher at BEA. Click here for my FTC disclosure.
My summary: When Meg gets dragged along by her best friend Minnie to a weekend house party, she's only marginally excited. Excitement turns to suspicion when the party's host is a no-show, a raging storm knocks out the phone and internet, and one of the nine other party guests suddenly turns up dead. As more bodies pile up, it becomes clear that these ten teens have been lured to the isolated location to be killed off .... one by one.
My take: Rewriting Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None to appeal to the Pretty Little Liars crowd is a genius move. Genius!
Ten cleverly adapts and updates the original book -- in which ten strangers are lured to a deserted island house to be murdered one by one as punishment for past crimes -- with a scenario in which a group of Seattle-area teenagers with loosely interconnected social lives are invited to a house party by a popular cheerleader. Like the movie Scream, Ten features characters who are well-versed in the conventions of teen horror films.
Regular blog readers know that I'm a huge mystery fan, and I loved the fact that Ten is a true mystery, with all the clues laid out for sharp-eyed readers to find. While I guessed a major plot twist -- possibly because I remembered the original book -- I missed one crucial clue and had my eye on the wrong person as the killer.
I'm pretty sure the original book had no romance, so I was happy that as poor Meg tries to keep herself alive, she's distracted to be spending the weekend with a classmate she has a huge crush on -- a guy she ditched as her homecoming date so as not to make Minnie jealous. Minnie and Meg have one of those weird girl frenemy relationships going, which also added a bit of depth to this fast-paced plot.
Ten is a fun, fast-paced read that should keep you guessing up until the end!
Are you a mystery fan? Love scary books? Let me know in comments.