Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Posted July 24, 2018 by Una in Listen Up!, Mystery-Suspense Fiction, YA Literature Tags: , , , , ,

Audiobook Review: Ten

Author: Gretchen McNeil
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Audio Listening Speed: 1.5x
Series: Standalone
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Source: Tantor Audio

Ten is a delightfully suspenseful, young adult mystery that seems inspired by Agatha Christie.  I am a fan of Agatha Christie murder mysteries and could not pass up a new version.  Though the novel has many similarities, the young adult element along with the few unique twists and turn, creates a modern day version of And Then There Were None.

Summoned to a long weekend party at an isolated island off the Washington State coastline, Meg is not nearly excited for this exclusive house party.  Minnie and Meg, though best friends, are opposites.  As the story unfolds, Meg is more than just a friend to Minnie, she is in many ways her enabler as Minnie tries to live the popular girl lifestyle while battling bipolar disorder.  But quiet and introverted Meg is a compliment to Minnie’s extroverted personality.  However, Meg has long lived with the worst betrayal, she has been secretly in love with TJ – Minnie’s biggest crush.  Meg has resigned herself to being Minnie’s friend, but is counting down when she will attend UCLA for its writing program.  Not only is the writing program outstanding, it will allow her to break free of the binds of Minnie’s suffocating friendship.  

TJ is the popular football player with the scholarship to UW.  Though he goes through girlfriends, he and Meg were always friends.  However, Meg is shocked to see that TJ and his best friend Gunner are also at the party.  Meg’s worried that lying to her parents about their location this weekend may not be the worst thing this weekend.  She hasn’t spoken to TJ since the disastrous Homecoming Dance.  TJ had asked her to the dance and Meg was thrilled.  But when Minnie confronted her about the rumors, she called TJ that morning to cancel. She pretended to be sick and did not go.  

Though there is some teenage angst, Ten was gripping not only as a murder mystery, but as a coming-of-age novel.  Meg has always hidden behind Minnie as her support.  But TJ sees past it to the unhealthy relationship that it is.  However, Meg won’t do anything to hurt her best friend.  Though as the body count climbs, Meg worries that her friendship with Minnie isn’t what it appears.  Just like in Christie’s novel, the survivors start pointing fingers at each other as the culprit.  The murderer is determined, Machiavellian, and without mercy.  However, his identity was difficult to pin down – at least for me.  I enjoyed listening intently as the story unraveled.  Especially as the motive became apparent – it did not turn out as I expected.

Ms. Gilbert did an excellent job of capturing Meg’s personality and her inner struggle.  She portrayed such emotion in her narration that I felt as I was truly in the story.  I’ve enjoyed her narration on other series (notably Ms. Frost’s Night Huntress series).  It was like reconnecting to an old friend as I listened.  I look forward to another novel narrated by Ms. Gilbert.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.  If you enjoy classic murder mysteries, especially reimagined Agatha Christie, Ten is definitely for you.  This is a gripping and engrossing young adult murder mystery – perfect for mature junior high school and older.  Make your enjoyment soar and listen to it in audiobook format.

My Ratings:
Story: A-
Narrator: A
Overall: A

Review copy provided by Tantor Audio.

About the Book:

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?