Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Club Discussion: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Provisions and Paperbacks, my IRL book club, recently read Ten by Gretchen McNeil. As I said in my previous post (you can read it here), I want to share some thoughts and ideas brought up during the book club and bring my blog readers into the discussion.

Not yet, but there will be spoilers. You have been warned.

Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Published on Sept. 18, 2012 by Balzer +Bray
294 pages

Don't spread the word!
Three-day weekend. House party.
White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.


Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine? (from Goodreads)

There will be spoilers. You have been warned.

Here are some thoughts shared during our book club discussion after reading Ten:
  • NO ONE suspected who the killer was from the very beginning. It was a huge shock to everyone.
  • When I first read the synopsis, Ten sounded like this 1980's movie April Fool's Day that I watched all the time. As I was reading the story of the characters getting killed off one by one, I thought it was like the movie and it was all a joke. I was trying to figure out the lengths that someone would go to to pull off these pranks. It was difficult to believe that these characters were getting killed. I'm glad that I am not alone in this, another book club member thought the same thing.
  • Lori's overreaction to the DVD made it seem like it was going to be a murder-mystery type weekend - a who-done-it, but not really did it, similar to Clue
  • When Meg and T.J. went to the boat house, I couldn't get a clear image of the setting that was described with the steep cliff and stairs
  •  One reader was so scared and one night she woke up from a nightmare after reading Ten
  • a few readers were happy when Vivian was killed because she was annoying, bossy, and a know-it-all (as if that is a reason to be killed)
  • Clues to characters vulnerabilities: Minnie bipolar, Minnie and Meg's co-dependence, Ben's allergies
 Questions raised while reading:
  • Was Claire really dead?
  • Was Jessica murdered and would her dead body pop up at the end?
  •  Wonder if it was necessary to make Minnie bipolar? 
  • Would it have been scarier if it was written from the first-person?
Figuring out the killer:
  • thinking it was T.J., right after one of the times he called Meg "Baby" - this was one of the first signs of affection displayed toward her after the whole Homecoming incident, some other times when he was separated from Meg - when he went back to the house to get the lamps/flashlights
  • thinking it was Minnie - off and on throughout, of course I contributed her exaggerated reactions to "the prank", but it was when she was reading the final page of the journal that I thought it was her because she could have made up anything to convince Meg that T.J. was the killer - Meg didn't know what was on the page, so it could've been anything.
  • thinking Minnie was in ca-hoots with someone - when she "inspected" the room that Ben's dead body was in
  • We never thought it was Vivian, Nathan, or Kenny- it seemed obvious that they weren't - they felt just like filler characters
  • Even though it isn't 1st person, the events are viewed from Meg's perspective, so then I started to question if she was an unreliable narrator 
  • one book club member thought Claire's ghost was killing the people on the island
This was  a great book club selection.  It was fast paced and easy to get caught up in the story. The story has a lot of twists and turns and offered a lot for the discussion. I just wish that I didn't know about the movie April Fool's Day. I think that if I didn't think it was all I joke, this story would have scared me to death. 

I'd like to invite anyone to join in on the discussion and share your thoughts on TEN!! Just leave your thoughts in the comments! Thanks

Up next for Provisions and Paperbacks

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