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4.3 82
by Gretchen McNeil

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From Possess author Gretchen McNeil comes this teen horror novel inspired by Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. Perfect for fans of Christopher Pike’s Chain Letter and Lois Duncan’s I Know What You Did Last Summer, Ten will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page!

It was


From Possess author Gretchen McNeil comes this teen horror novel inspired by Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. Perfect for fans of Christopher Pike’s Chain Letter and Lois Duncan’s I Know What You Did Last Summer, Ten will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page!

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie are looking forward to two days of boys, booze, and fun-filled luxury. But what starts out as fun turns twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine. And things only get worse from there.

With a storm raging outside, the teens are cut off from the outside world . . . so when a mysterious killer begins picking them off one by one, there’s no escape. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on one another, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Editorial Reviews

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Don’t expect to put it down once you’ve picked it up.”
Nancy Holder
“Gretchen McNeil’s TEN is my new number one! I jumped at every creaking floorboard in my house and on the page. This is sure to be a teen thriller classic!”
Christopher Pike
“TEN is a real page turner! Gretchen McNeil knows how to plot a thriller: Her setup is flawless and the suspense kept me on the edge of my seat.”
Kimberly Derting
Praise for POSSESS: “With demons, secrets, and a butt-kicking heroine, POSSESS is a whole lotta dark and twisted fun!”
Courtney Allison Moulton
Praise for POSSESS: “”A dark, unique, and intelligent novel with frightening twists around every corner that left me breathless.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Don’t expect to put it down once you’ve picked it up.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Don't expect to put it down once you've picked it up.”
ALA Booklist
Praise for POSSESS: “McNeil strikes a fine balance between outright scares and sarcastic humor…[a] light, entertaining read.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books

“Don’t expect to put it down once you’ve picked it up.”

Publishers Weekly
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.)
VOYA - Juli Henley
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. Reviewer: Juli Henley
School Library Journal
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
Kirkus Reviews
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)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt


By Gretchen McNeil

HarperCollins Publishers

Copyright © 2012 Gretchen McNeil
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-06-211878-3



Minnie's face was deathly pale. She stared straight ahead, eyes fixed on the back of the stained cloth seat, and bit her bottom lip so hard that Meg was afraid she would draw blood. She'd never seen Minnie this seasick.

"Mins, are you okay?"

Minnie dug her fingernails into the seat cushion. "I'm fine."

"You're turning green."

The ferry rolled to the left as a particularly large swell hit them from starboard and Minnie clamped both hands over her mouth. For one tenuous moment, Meg was convinced her best friend was going to hurl right there in the passenger cabin, but as the boat slowly righted itself, Minnie relaxed.

"I'm fine," she repeated, lowering her hands.


Meg rifled through her backpack and pulled out a plastic grocery bag, which Minnie absently took from her outstretched hand. "You don't think it'll be much longer, do you?"

Meg leaned against the cushion and propped her feet up on the facing row of seats. "I think we're almost there."


Meg sighed. "I can't promise when the ferry will arrive, Mins. But according to the schedule, we're almost there, okay?"

"Fine!" Minnie snapped.

Meg recognized the sharpness in Minnie's voice. It usually signaled a rapid change in Minnie's mood, which happened all too frequently these days, especially when she stopped taking her antidepressants.

Instead of asking about her meds, which would just lead to an argument, Meg tried to get Minnie to think about something else. "Remember when your parents invited me to Friday Harbor?" Meg said. It had been the summer before high school, the first time Meg had been invited on vacation with Minnie's family. A hint of a smile broke the corner of Minnie's mouth. "You were so sick."


"You puked all over the bathroom in that ferry."

Meg laughed. "I thought your mom was going to throw me overboard."

"Me too." Minnie giggled.

Not one of Meg's favorite memories, but maybe it would keep Minnie's mind off her churning stomach. "And you weren't sick at all. So I'm sure you'll be fine 'til we get to Henry Island."

Minnie shook her head. "But that was summer. When the water's calm." Minnie gestured toward the double-paned window. "Not like this."

"Good point."

Meg gazed outside. The rain had died down for the moment - erratic water trails no longer zipped diagonally across the pane - but the wind, if anything, had intensified. It howled past the cabin, whipping from ahead, then slamming into the sides of the ferry with a force that seemed almost supernatural.

Minnie leaned her head against Meg's shoulder. "Maybe we shouldn't have come."

Meg couldn't suppress a laugh. "It's a bit late for that."

"I know, but ..."

"But what? This party is all you've talked about since we got the invites on Tuesday. I haven't seen you this excited about anything since your dad gave you an Amex card for your birthday." Minnie sat up straight. "Jessica Lawrence invited us to her house party. That's not an invitation you turn down, but ..." She sighed deeply. "I don't know. It's not like we're friends."

"You used to be," Meg said without thinking.

"Well, that was before -" Minnie stopped herself, but Meg knew what she was going to say: before you. "That was a long time ago," Minnie said instead.

The unspoken words hung in the air like stale cigarette smoke. Meg had been the reason for Minnie's fall from grace in the greater Seattle junior high social scene. They both knew it, but it was a touchy subject and one they rarely discussed. Minnie turned her head to the window and stared out into the darkening afternoon, and Meg instantly regretted even alluding to her friend's former closeness with Jessica.

To distract herself, Meg pulled a copy of the Facebook invite out of her backpack and read it over for the bazillionth time.

Shhh! Don't Spread the Word!

WHAT: Epic house party

WHEN: Presidents' Day weekend

WHERE: White Rock House on Henry Island

WHY: Because if you miss this party you'll regret it forever

Fully stocked house all to ourselves for three days. Like spring break in February! We've got special ferries set up and everything!!!!

But keep it quiet. We don't want just anybody showing up. Can't wait to see you there!


Meg never felt comfortable at those kinds of parties; most of the time she just wanted to disappear into the wallpaper and pray that no one noticed her. But Minnie had been so excited. It was like an olive branch from the popular crowd. Meg couldn't say no. With any luck, she could find some quiet time alone, maybe wander the beaches by herself, find an isolated spot with her journal or her laptop and get some writing done.

A gust blasted the side of the ferry, rattling the cabin window. Meg sighed. Or maybe write in an isolated spot indoors? Like a broom closet or something? Stupid storm.

"Hey, I don't want you spending the whole weekend in front of your laptop," Minnie said from out of the blue.

Meg started. Was she really that predictable? "Um, okay." The plastic bag rustled as Minnie tightened her grip. "You're going to have fun this weekend if it kills me."

Meg bit her lip. "I have plenty of fun."

"You're kidding, right?"

Now it was Meg's turn to be annoyed. "Mins, what are you talking about?"

Minnie sighed dramatically. "You used to be fun. Remember?

We'd do crazy stuff. Now you're like ..."

Meg shifted in her seat. "Like what?"

"Like boring."

"I'm not boring."

Minnie snorted.

"Besides, we could've had fun at home. And not, you know, lied to our parents and gone to a house party on an island in the middle of nowhere."

Minnie threw up her hands. "It's not the middle of nowhere. Half of Seattle has summer homes on the San Juan Islands. And we were not going to tell our parents." Minnie finished with an emphatic nod of her head. "Especially not after that body was found in Everett this morning. Daddy would never have let me go." Meg shuddered. She'd seen the report on the news, the charred remains of a body found in the locker room of their rival school, Mariner High. It was a gruesome murder and so far the body hadn't been identified.

"The last thing I need this weekend," Minnie continued, "is Daddy dropping in to check up on me. That would ruin everything." "Yeah, I guess you're right." Despite the remoteness of the island, Meg couldn't help but agree that Minnie's dad showing up at the party wasn't out of the realm of possibility.

Minnie placed her hand over Meg's and squeezed. "Look, we're going to have fun this weekend. We need it. Okay?"

Meg forced a smile. Minnie was right. There had been such a strain between them the last few months. First Meg's acceptance at UCLA, which Minnie interpreted as Meg abandoning her, then Minnie's struggles with her new medications. And of course the Homecoming night debacle ...

Stop it, Meg said to herself. She needed to put that night out of her mind. It was over and done. And in a few months she'd never see him again anyway.

Without warning, the dull roar of the engines diminished and Meg felt the ferry slow. A second later, a scruffy-faced deckhand in an orange rain slicker shoved his head inside the cabin. "Henry Island. We'll be docked in a few."

Minnie sprang to her feet. "Finally!" She pulled her overnight wheelie and two small shoulder bags out of the luggage bin, then threw on her coat, glancing over her shoulder as she bounded out on deck. "Try to remember this is a party. Party equals fun."

Meg sighed. Party equals fun. Woo hoo. Yay. Party.

With a deep breath, Meg shouldered her backpack and followed Minnie out on deck.

Excerpted from Ten by Gretchen McNeil. Copyright © 2012 by Gretchen McNeil. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Nancy Holder

“Gretchen McNeil’s TEN is my new number one! I jumped at every creaking floorboard in my house and on the page. This is sure to be a teen thriller classic!”

Christopher Pike

“TEN is a real page turner! Gretchen McNeil knows how to plot a thriller: Her setup is flawless and the suspense kept me on the edge of my seat.”

Meet the Author

Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, a writer, and a clown. She is also the author of Get Even as well as Ten, which was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, and an ALA Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth and was nominated for Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012 by Romantic Times. Gretchen blogs with the Enchanted Inkpot and is a founding member of the vlog group the YARebels.

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Ten 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 82 reviews.
Twilightsdance More than 1 year ago
Yes this gets 5 trees that should stand for Outfreaklingstanding! Its no surprise either that it would be that awesome. Gretchen captured my interest in her writing when I read Possess by her last year and she has just seal the deal and can count on me as a long time reader of her work now. Ten is Gretchen's MO, she writes horror/mystery/suspense/thriller like no one else does. Forget biting your nails while reading, you are checking your doors and locking all windows and hiding under covers when you have one of Gretchen's books in your hands. Gretchen can give horror films a run for their money. First I'm going to give you TEN reason why this book is Badass: The suspense level is out of this world The scenery of where it takes place is perfect The characters do DIE Its Bloody Believe it or not, it has some LOL moments The story is VIVID You wont be able to predict the ending One swoon-worthy guy Excellent cover Gretchen McNeil wrote it!!! Ten is the story of 10 teens headed off to a party on Henry Island for 3 days. Meg is the main protagonist we follow along, she has her best friend with her when they jump on the ferry to head to this island. At this party they know will be T.J., the swoon-worthy hottie from school. Meg has been crazy for him, but has kept it under wraps since Minnie her BFF likes him too. No one knows that these teens are going to spend 3 days all alone. So when they all finally get there and see everyone staying the weekend, its a really random group of people. Not everyone even goes to the same school. Well that doesn't stop the party from starting, which includes a DVD they find that says play me. Hmm not sure about you but I personally would not have touched that DVD. The tape gets played and the message is: "Vengeance IS MINE" and well if this doesn't scare the crap out of you then you might be crazy. The countdown has begun! One by one the teens start to die pretty horrifically. There is no way off the island and a really bad storm has knock power and communications off. Who will survive this weekend? Is the killer amongst them or someone lurking on the island? When you pick up a copy of TEN, grab a really comfy blanket, a really bright light and your detective hat and immerse yourself in this thriller. I recommend it to everyone, even if horror isn't your thing. Enjoy!!! - Yara
SpeedyReadSA More than 1 year ago
One of the best mysteries I have ever read. Reminds me of the old black and white movie "And Then There Were None". Very entertaining. Needs to be a movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Teenage slasher movie meets agatha christie. Enjoyed it more than I thought I would. If you want and nice little scary tale with a basic who done it premiss, this book is for you. A bit gory but not overboard.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has had me on th edge of my seat the entire time. It was soooo good!! I didn't really want to read it at first but I just fell in love with it... I recommend this to eeevvvveeerrryyyooonnnneeee!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've heard so many bad things about this book but this book blew me away. I didn't want to stop reading. Its an amazing book that kept me with it through the whole book!
terferj 9 months ago
OMG, I loved this. Just imagine every good teen horror movie meshed together and had a baby, you would get this story. I found it to be very fast paced, creepy, thrilling, gruesome, and a good revenge story. I liked how it kept me guessing who was killing everyone until it was finally revealed (I thought it was this person in the beginning but the story kept changing my mind). Bravo. I liked Meg. I found her likeable and if I was to be put in her shoes, I’d probably do the same things she did. The other characters I found were written where I was glad when their time with death came. So wrong of me but oh well, I was entertained. And what interesting deaths they had and how it came to be that way. That ending. Wow. I need more stories like this in my life. Hahaha.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a definate must read. Its intense and keeps you on your toes throughout almost the whole book! I definatly recommend to teens looking for a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It has it all, the creepy killer, the mystery, the romance...Its definatly not a book for those who are looking for something light and fun to read but its still really really really good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kizabee More than 1 year ago
Great, quick entertaining read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing! Keeps you on your toes the whole time. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A nice, quick read. It kept my attention the whole way through. I didn't guess the killer but wasn't given enough clues to do so...
blbrady More than 1 year ago
Great YA mystery read. 
COBauer More than 1 year ago
Speaking as someone who grew up reading Agatha Christie, this book flipping rocks! TEN is a fantastic modern homage to AND THEN THERE WERE NONE. Gretchen McNeil is a master of suspense with a delightfully dark and creepy sense of humor. The pacing and the build-up were spot on. She managed to throw in a romance without it feeling too contrived. I couldn't wait to figure out who the murderer was and I have to say I was genuinely surprised. Absolutely brilliant! TEN is definitely one of those books I could read again and again. Read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good, but mnot great. Not worth ten bucks tho
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was annoyed by the stupidity of the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book with a great ending. Short and sweet so you dont get bored half way through. Keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. A must read!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perfect thriller, literally couldnt put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wasnt sure what i was getting myself into this time. Just like to read stories about things that are (unfortunately) about real life. People out there really do stuff like this everyday around the world. The author did a great job of making me want to keep turning the pages its a real cliff hanger of a story. Worth readingfor sure!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldnt really care about the characters very much, but i enjoed this take on the classic agatha christie plot
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm usually good at guessing the killer in these type of books but the plot twist definitely got me in this one! Fast, entertaining read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keeps you guessing the whole time. i thought I knew and then it completely suprised me. Definitely worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story was a little predictable but the ending was not. Good read but quick.