Top Ten
Ryan McCullough and Gabby Hart are the unlikeliest of friends. Introverted, anxious Gabby would rather do literally anything than go to a party. Ryan is a star hockey player who can get any girl he wants—and does, frequently. But against all odds, they became not only friends, but each other’s favorite person. Now, as they face high school graduation, they can’t help but take a moment to reminisce and, in their signature tradition, make a top ten list—counting down the top ten moments of their friendship: 10. Where to begin? Maybe the night we met.9. Then there was our awkward phase.8. When you were in love with me but never told me…7. Those five months we stopped talking were the hardest of my life.6. Through terrible fights…5. And emotional makeups.4. You were there for me when I got my heart broken.3. …but at times, you were also the one breaking it.2. Above all, you helped me make sense of the world.1. Now, as we head off to college—how am I possibly going to live without you?

Top Ten Details

TitleTop Ten
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 3rd, 2017
PublisherBalzer + Bray
ISBN-139780062418302
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Top Ten Review

  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
    January 1, 1970
    I've never read a Katie Contugo book before but I was happy to try it out when I received an ARC from the HarperCollins Canada Frenzy Presents event, and it was an enjoyable read! Cute, fun, and refreshing. The ending took me by surprise, but definitely in a pleasant way. I will say though, I had a lot of trouble with connecting to the characters and the storyline I think partially due to the episodic format of the story.
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  • Cait • A Page with a View
    January 1, 1970
    Release date: October 3, 2017DNF. I think a lot of people might like this as a light summer story, but I didn't care enough about the characters to finish it. Gabby and Ryan have been best friends throughout high school. They sleep together at the start of the story and then get in a fight over whether it meant anything. Then the story jumps back to freshman year and shows their history. The writing is fine but it was definitely hard to get into anything when I didn't have a strong sense of the Release date: October 3, 2017DNF. I think a lot of people might like this as a light summer story, but I didn't care enough about the characters to finish it. Gabby and Ryan have been best friends throughout high school. They sleep together at the start of the story and then get in a fight over whether it meant anything. Then the story jumps back to freshman year and shows their history. The writing is fine but it was definitely hard to get into anything when I didn't have a strong sense of the characters or particularly like them. They seemed more like the idea of a typical high school character instead of actual people. And having them get together right at the start sort of killed any suspense.I guess the story itself just seemed like a LOT of other YA books... so nothing new to keep my interest (but still something fans of those other books might enjoy). Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.
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  • Nikki (Book Allure)
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy from HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.I’m not sure how to go about this review because I was confused 80% of the time so I’ll break it down with what I expected vs what I got from this book.What I expected:1.A light romance read that will make me feel fuzzy. I wanted a light read that will make me squeal and smile really big whenever I thought about it.2. Best friend to lovers trope. As much as I prefer hate to love, I found myself anticipating Gabby I received a copy from HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.I’m not sure how to go about this review because I was confused 80% of the time so I’ll break it down with what I expected vs what I got from this book.What I expected:1.A light romance read that will make me feel fuzzy. I wanted a light read that will make me squeal and smile really big whenever I thought about it.2. Best friend to lovers trope. As much as I prefer hate to love, I found myself anticipating Gabby and Ryan’s friendship blossoming into romance.3. Seeing each character mature and grow as they transition from high school to college.4. Supportive friendships. WE NEED TO STOP GLORIFYING TOXICITY AND START PROMOTING SUPPORTIVE WHOLESOME RELATIONSHIPS!5. An accurate depiction of what it’s like to be in a close guy-girl friendship.These are pretty light expectations, right? So let me tell you what the book actually offered me.What I got:1. A confusing timeline. I know this was not written in a linear manner, but holy hell I didn’t expect to thrown around the past and present to the point that I suffered from whiplash.2. A toxic friendship. A supportive friendship? No. They fight, and fight, and fight, a n d f i g h t. It was so disheartening to see that the author wrote about such a toxic friendship in continuity. I would have appreciated a little bickering here and there, but Gabby and Ryan kept fighting about everything nearly every chapter once we get past a certain point in the book.3. A bisexual main character! I was totally not expecting this but it was a twist I really liked! The exploration of sexuality was well-written and it was refreshing to see this.4. True to life situations. As great as it is for best friends to be in love with each other, it’s not the same case when they’re too scared to even tell the other what happened. Unlike other books where both people stay single until they find ~each other~, we see these main characters drift and get into relationships with other people. Again, another point for something refreshing to see.5. Mental illnesses. To be specific, anxiety. So I’m typing this down maybe as a trigger warning because it is very prominent in the plot. It’s actually an important plot point in the life of one of the main characters.6. An anti-climactic ending. After the hell they–I–went through while reading the book, I expected a bombastic spectacle of an ending. Unfortunately, it did not deliver. I wanted to like the book, I really did. However, I can’t deny that my confusion with the timeline coupled with the frustrating characters made this reading experience not as good as I hoped. I’m only giving this 2.5 stars. Definitely not going into my Top Ten Favorite Books.Top Ten is set to be released on 3 October 2017.Review originally posted on https://bookallure.com/2017/09/28/top...
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  • Tina
    January 1, 1970
    I won this through a First-Reads Giveaway. I so wanted to like this book. The write-up seemed promising. I hadn't read a YA in awhile and was ready for a light (maybe at times dramatic-love story.) I'm sorry but I did not really feel the "love" in this book. I couldn't get into the characters very much. I did not like Gabby at all and Ryan was just ok. I'm not even sure I'd call this a true "romance." I did not care for the sub plot romances. I did not like the ending at all. No pay-off. I'm giv I won this through a First-Reads Giveaway. I so wanted to like this book. The write-up seemed promising. I hadn't read a YA in awhile and was ready for a light (maybe at times dramatic-love story.) I'm sorry but I did not really feel the "love" in this book. I couldn't get into the characters very much. I did not like Gabby at all and Ryan was just ok. I'm not even sure I'd call this a true "romance." I did not care for the sub plot romances. I did not like the ending at all. No pay-off. I'm giving this a 2 star rating because the first chapter seemed to capture my attention and there was so much promise with the love story and writing. One of my favourite types of storylines is the best friends turned to lovers...only this did not pan out the way I wanted it to.
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    Katie Cotugno’s books always have a way of surprising me. She develops these realistic and flawed individuals and we follow them through their daily lives. We see the beauty, tragedy, and monotony of their lives and get to experience it along side them. Top Ten is another solid installment that showcases the importance of friendship, what it means when that friend becomes more, and what happens if it doesn’t work out. Things I Liked :There was this overwhelming nostalgic feeling, while being so Katie Cotugno’s books always have a way of surprising me. She develops these realistic and flawed individuals and we follow them through their daily lives. We see the beauty, tragedy, and monotony of their lives and get to experience it along side them. Top Ten is another solid installment that showcases the importance of friendship, what it means when that friend becomes more, and what happens if it doesn’t work out. Things I Liked :There was this overwhelming nostalgic feeling, while being so incredibly realistic, that made reading the story incredibly easy. It was nice looking back and reminiscing about Gabby and Ryan’s friendship with them as we see some of the more pivotal moments of their high school experience.There were some surprises that I was not expecting. I loved how Gabby and Ryan’s relationship develops. It seems so organic, because we have followed them all this time and come to really know them. For me the absolute highlight of this book was the friendship in Gabby and Ryan’s relationship is so open and honest. They have one of the most genuine friendship I’ve seen in a long time. You couldn’t help but root for them and wish them all the happiness. Things I Didn’t Like :I wasn’t the biggest fan of how time was framed. I really like that the story was bookended, but in between there was a lot of back and forth and could get confusing. Especially with the second-half of the school year coming before the first-half.Overall this was a really satisfying and unique contemporary. I loved the focus on friendship and it’s importance. And how friendship are just as important as romantic relationship, and can be more meaningful. Gabby and Ryan’s story was beautiful and heartbreaking and loving. I expect nothing less from Katie Cotugno.
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  • YA and Wine
    January 1, 1970
    I really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't connect with it unfortunately. There were too many timelines going on at the same time, and it became very confusing. I felt like because of the constantly shifting timeline, there ended up being some loose threads that were never resolved. The current timeline for Ryan and Gabby also ended up feeling pretty rushed and just not fully fleshed out. I really enjoyed the characters and thought this had a great premise, the style just wasn't for I really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't connect with it unfortunately. There were too many timelines going on at the same time, and it became very confusing. I felt like because of the constantly shifting timeline, there ended up being some loose threads that were never resolved. The current timeline for Ryan and Gabby also ended up feeling pretty rushed and just not fully fleshed out. I really enjoyed the characters and thought this had a great premise, the style just wasn't for me personally.
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  • Deimaris ☾
    January 1, 1970
    *An arc of this book was sent to me by the publisher HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.*Top Ten is a book set out to release on October 3, 2017. It follows the story of Ryan and Gabby, two very different best friends that at certain points of their friendship spark up feelings for each other. These two make a list of the Top ten moments of their relationship based on their four years at high school, changing from dual points of view and guiding us through their past an *An arc of this book was sent to me by the publisher HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.*Top Ten is a book set out to release on October 3, 2017. It follows the story of Ryan and Gabby, two very different best friends that at certain points of their friendship spark up feelings for each other. These two make a list of the Top ten moments of their relationship based on their four years at high school, changing from dual points of view and guiding us through their past and present.Sadly, I did not finish it mid way through. I really wanted to like this book but I was highly disappointed. I did not care for the characters at all, they were boring, their conversations were bland, and I just didn't like them. The story intrigued me but never really pulled me in or made me care for it. The plot was okay, I felt bored by it at least 90% of the time, I had to push myself to read it and I did not enjoy it what so ever. The writing style didn't speak out to me either and I really couldn't pull myself to do it, I felt miserable reading it. Don't know if I'll ever pick it up again, I know many other people will love it but this just wasn't my cup of tea.
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  • Alexis (TheSlothReader)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5I think Top Ten was a very interesting introduction to Cotugno. It was told in an episodic format that I personally really enjoyed. It alternates between the four years that the two main characters have been friends. I didn't find it as confusing as others did and personally thought it served the type of story really well.I also loved some of the topics and diversity that were included in this story. Gabby has severe anxiety and identifies as bisexual. Considering those were two things I can 3.5I think Top Ten was a very interesting introduction to Cotugno. It was told in an episodic format that I personally really enjoyed. It alternates between the four years that the two main characters have been friends. I didn't find it as confusing as others did and personally thought it served the type of story really well.I also loved some of the topics and diversity that were included in this story. Gabby has severe anxiety and identifies as bisexual. Considering those were two things I can comment on, I felt both were handled really well. Gabby mentions several times feeling anxious about things that shouldn't make her anxious and experiencing panic attacks in places she shouldn't and I found those comments so relatable. I also liked that it was never a big deal to the characters in the story that Gabby was bisexual and had on page romantic and sexual relations with both a woman and a man.Ryan, the other main character dealt with a lot of other topics, including having an absent parent and also suffering from sports related injuries. I liked both of these storylines for Ryan and found them realistic. I can't comment on sports related injuries, but I can comment on having a parent like Ryan's and I felt it was handled quite well.All of that being said, I didn't really like Gabby or Ryan, nor did I like their friendship. The have a major fight nearly every chapter and often the arguments were completely handled wrong on both sides. The two characters were so different, and despite that being part of the novel, I never could understand why Gabby and Ryan were friends. I never really wanted to cheer on Gabby or Ryan because I thought they just weren't a good fit for each other.I did enjoy the ending and how it went in a direction I didn't expect, but appreciated. I'd have enjoyed this book a lot more had Gabby and Ryan not been so rude and unfair to everyone all around them, all the time.
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  • Ava
    January 1, 1970
    This is a case of "it's not you, it's me", because this just wasn't a "me" book - but I do recommend it for the following reasons:- bi protagonist with anxiety!- cute contemporary story- accurate representation of high school- the! best! family! - focus on sports (hockey)- unique method of storytelling (dual point of view, told throughout four years of high school) - very fast readWhy did I not like it? Let's see. - I had no love for either of the main characters, or any of the characters, for t This is a case of "it's not you, it's me", because this just wasn't a "me" book - but I do recommend it for the following reasons:- bi protagonist with anxiety!- cute contemporary story- accurate representation of high school- the! best! family! - focus on sports (hockey)- unique method of storytelling (dual point of view, told throughout four years of high school) - very fast readWhy did I not like it? Let's see. - I had no love for either of the main characters, or any of the characters, for that matter- I wasn't a fan of the writing style- there was nothing about it that stood out to me as special, and nothing I loved about itIf it appeals to you, GO READ TOP TEN. It didn't work for me, but it might for you.
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  • Andi (Andi's ABCs)
    January 1, 1970
    Just a perfect real life book. Review to come way closer to release date.
  • Jenna
    January 1, 1970
    This review also appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for providing a review copy of the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.Top Ten is a novel that exceeded all of my expectations. I was not a fan of Katie Cotugno’s 99 Days at all (in fact, I pretty much hated it) so I tried to go into Top Ten with an open mind and ended up really enjoying it. It’s also no secret that I love the ‘friends to more’ trope so that probably explains some This review also appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for providing a review copy of the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.Top Ten is a novel that exceeded all of my expectations. I was not a fan of Katie Cotugno’s 99 Days at all (in fact, I pretty much hated it) so I tried to go into Top Ten with an open mind and ended up really enjoying it. It’s also no secret that I love the ‘friends to more’ trope so that probably explains some things :). Here are ten things you should know about the novel:1. FRIENDSHIP STORYWhile this book is marketed as a “can a boy and girl be best friends without being more?” story, the novel was much more focused on the friendship aspect than the romance, which I really appreciated. The novel starts off with the possibility of the main characters, Gabby and Ryan, becoming more than just friends but then spends the majority of it taking us back to the past and exploring their friendship and how they ended up where they are now. I really enjoyed their friendship immensely and thought that their characters worked perfectly together. It was definitely a relationship that I wanted to read more about.2. LIKEABLE CHARACTERSThis is an important point for me. It’s no secret that the characters make or break the story for me when it comes to contemporaries and I thought both Gabby and Ryan were relatable and interesting. I found it easy to connect with them and the dual perspectives in the novel really allowed me to get into their heads. I also liked that Gabby and Ryan’s characters were really different and seeing how their friendship came together despite their differences made the novel even more interesting.3. DIVERSITYGabby is bisexual and this was explored quite well in the novel. I also liked that the novel was really sex-positive and the author wasn’t afraid to go there. Gabby also has social anxiety and I thought this came through in the novel. I’m not sure that I was explored as much as it should have been and I felt like the author rushed through some things that I would’ve liked to have seen a bit more of.4. TEN CHAPTERSThe novel is split into ten chapters to go along with the title of the book, with Gabby and Ryan’s perspectives changing throughout each chapter. Each of the ten chapters represented a certain period of their lives and I really liked this format. The first and last chapters of the book were set in the present during the summer after their senior year and the other chapters explored their earlier high school years. What I wasn’t a fan of was that these chapters in the middle weren’t chronological. The story would jump from the spring of their junior year to the winter of their junior year, which led to a lot of confusion… and let’s be real, I really don’t pay attention to chapter headings.5. CHARACTERS WITH REAL PROBLEMSI loved that the book explored a lot of real problems that teenagers often face. I liked that there was a lot of focus on college and the problems and difficulties that can come with that, including being separated from loved ones, having to rely on sports scholarships to afford college, and being too anxious to try out new experiences.6. FAMILIES THAT ARE PRESENTI absolutely loved Gabby’s family. I thought they were so quirky but also just a normal family. They play together Monopoly every Friday night and her dad makes a new party-pleasing appetiser from his book of 1001 recipes. I also really liked Ryan’s family and how the dysfunction of it contrasted with Gabby’s.7. A LITTLE RUSHED AT THE ENDI thought that the book was really well-paced for the majority of it. But the last 50 pages of the book felt extremely rushed and I think some of the issues were resolved a bit too quickly. I wanted to savour the ending a little bit more but the novel ended pretty abruptly.8. UNEXPECTED ENDINGThe novel answers the question of whether a boy and a girl can just be friends, but it might not end the way that you’d expect.9. BEAUTIFUL WRITINGI was much too filled with rage at the plot of 99 Days that I didn’t really get to take in the writing. But the writing style of Top Ten really blew me away. There was just something so easy about the way that it flowed and I absolutely flew through the book (when I was actually reading it and not rolling around in my slump).10. THIRD PERSON OMNISCIENTThis probably explains why I loved the writing so much. Third person omniscient will always be my favourite narrative style.
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  • Olivia (The Candid Cover)
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come!
  • Alexa
    January 1, 1970
    Here's the thing about TOP TEN - It's a quieter contemporary that is about two people who are important to each other and some of the most significant moments of their relationship and lives. In true Cotugno fashion, it certainly managed to weave in those complicated, imperfect characters and feelings and I appreciated that a fair bit. I do wish I'd been a touch more invested in the characters, but I still liked it overall.
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  • Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide/Novelly Yours)
    January 1, 1970
    Friends-to-more, you say? NEED IT
  • Thamy
    January 1, 1970
    This started okay, then it wasn't, but it eventually recovered. So I'm rating this 2,5 stars, rounding up 3 because it was well written and I understood the (good) message intended. Still, it got close to a 2. In other words, it gets better, just not that much.This book is about Gabby and Ryan's friendship as told in a non linear manner, listing the top-ten moments through four years from when they met in freshmen year until the present, after they sleep together (this is not a spoiler, it's the This started okay, then it wasn't, but it eventually recovered. So I'm rating this 2,5 stars, rounding up 3 because it was well written and I understood the (good) message intended. Still, it got close to a 2. In other words, it gets better, just not that much.This book is about Gabby and Ryan's friendship as told in a non linear manner, listing the top-ten moments through four years from when they met in freshmen year until the present, after they sleep together (this is not a spoiler, it's the first thing the book shows).While I liked the idea of a non-linear story, I didn't enjoy the execution, as I couldn't see the reason behind the order chosen. In the end, it only confused me with each time skip. I think the author intended to build mysteries but failed in teasing us about them. The story would close a chapter with them not so good with each other, then open next they weren't speaking for months. That gap didn't really feel like a big "what happened", so I simply filled it with imagination instead of waiting. When the next chapter went back to why they had stopped talking, proving my imagination wrong, first I didn't care why because I had a good theory; second, this why wasn't any plot twist worthy of waiting. Still, the major problem was just of pacing. I think the whole first half of the book was just too ordinary. Too many cliches together, telling another YA story about the popular guy falling for the weird wallflower. To make things worse, we already knew it all from the first chapter, as it happens in the future. We knew where they were going and we could imagine where they came from, then the book takes just dragged, showing that all. I confess I considered dropping this read but insisted because this was well written and quick to read.Ryan was the big perk in the book. He is very cute and charismatic, a great book boyfriend. Gabby was a little all over the place, she'd be brave sometimes and do what she had to and then she'd have panic attacks. I'm not saying it's hard to believe she exists, because I think she was quite real. But I had problems understanding her. Also, she's bissexual. Sorry, I had to just throw that information there because that's how I felt. The fact was thrown in there and never made any difference to the story, it just made Gabby even more confusing to me. I love LGBT reads, I think diversity adds a lot to a book, but in this case it felt a bit like queerbaiting. That said, I loved her other romantic interest, Shay. She was a fun character that made me smile whenever she showed up and how it didn't feel like a boring triangle.Gabby's struggle against anxiety got a good conclusion but it could have received better treatment along the story. Sometimes, it was like the author just repeated the information without progressing—even if this plot did have progression, it dissolved and disappeared. Still, I'd say this and Ryan's need to please his jerk of a father were the highlights. Great themes to be discussed in a group, like book clubs.As easy to read as I've said this was, it's also very easy to just give up. The real issues disappears in the middle of too-much-of-the-same in the first half and we just really feel involved much later; even then, it wasn't as much to say this was worth it.It's not a bad book, it's just not rewarding enough. I remember that upon reading the summary I hoped for cute, and it's not really. I'd say slower readers could have a problem. If you've already started, know that it's more than it seems but only a little more.Honest review based on an ARC provided by Edelweiss. Many thanks to the publisher for this opportunity.
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  • Nia •ShadesOfPaper•
    January 1, 1970
    You can find this review and others on my blog http://www.shades0fpaper.wordpress.com “I’m not kidding, though; I do really like those lists. I make them in my head sometimes, if I’m bored or whatever.”“You do, huh? Like what?”“Top 10 things about this party,” he said immediately. Okay, I honestly don’t know how to describe my experience reading this book. I read another Katie Cotugno’s novel this year, and even though it wasn’t my favourite read in the world, it was a very light and easy one, You can find this review and others on my blog http://www.shades0fpaper.wordpress.com “I’m not kidding, though; I do really like those lists. I make them in my head sometimes, if I’m bored or whatever.”“You do, huh? Like what?”“Top 10 things about this party,” he said immediately. Okay, I honestly don’t know how to describe my experience reading this book. I read another Katie Cotugno’s novel this year, and even though it wasn’t my favourite read in the world, it was a very light and easy one, so this one has been on my most anticipated releases of this year ever since I knew about it, for the same reasons, so I can’t thank the publisher enough for giving me an ARC of the book, because this was exactly what I needed.For the ones of you who don’t know I’m in a MAYOR reading slump. Don’t know why, but lately it’s been quite hard for me to pick something up. And this novel was perfect for my situation, so despite not loving it, it did exactly its job. It made me read, have fun and enjoy my time. “She’d made the mistake of thinking that just because this friendship was important, to her – was most important, even – it was important to him, too. She’d been wrong.” Now one thing I couldn’t help but notice was the mayor use (and when I say mayor I’m not exaggerating) of the word “like”. The writing was not that great, but maaan, there were more than 20 “likes” in twenty pages, so I did notice. There were other words used quite frequently throughout the story, but that one was the most prominent. So yeah, I found the writing a bit meh.HOWEVER, I was really happy to see our main character Gabby was bisexual and had anxiety. It was something I didn’t expect and adored, beause I myself deal with anxiety and had dealt social anxiety in the past. So extra kudos to that. AND NOT ONLY THAT BUT there was a very cute f/f relationship, and let me tell you they were adorable together.The friendship between our two protagonists, Ryan and Gabby was something quite interesting to read. At the beginning I wasn’t really sure about it, because I wasn’t a very big fan of either of them, and so I found it quite hard sometimes to follow their story, but it was a nice friendship to read about. It had a lot of drama, but I was all about it, so I didn’t care about that. “They were friends. Good friends. Real friends, no matter what Michelle seemed to think. But that was all.” There was also some great family representations, which IS GREAT AND I ADORED. I don’t usually come across very supportive families in YA, so this has to be cherished, because Gabby’s family loved her so much and that was shown throughout the story.I would say, though, that the way the story was written was quite confusing, and sometimes I didn’t actually know what was happening or how old they were, and I kept forgetting things as I kept reading, and I didn’t like that fact that much. And that affected me on how I visioned those characters and their decisions.So overall, even though I had a few problems with the writing and the structure of the novel, it was really light and fast paced, and I enjoyed it a bit more than the other story I read by her, Fireworks.I recieved an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.
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  • Samantha Sim
    January 1, 1970
    Review can also be found here: https://samanthascw.wordpress.com/201...I finished this book in a sitting (actually two sittings) and I really enjoyed it, but not for the typical reasons you’d think it was for. Yes, like any other YA novel, it was cute and swoon-worthy and I loved that part of it, but mainly, I loved the book for the topics that were discussed in it.First up, this book gets points for the mental health spotlight. One of the main characters, Gabby, suffers from social anxiety and Review can also be found here: https://samanthascw.wordpress.com/201...I finished this book in a sitting (actually two sittings) and I really enjoyed it, but not for the typical reasons you’d think it was for. Yes, like any other YA novel, it was cute and swoon-worthy and I loved that part of it, but mainly, I loved the book for the topics that were discussed in it.First up, this book gets points for the mental health spotlight. One of the main characters, Gabby, suffers from social anxiety and because of that, I was able to sympathize and relate to her a lot. Her reluctance to socialize and crippling self-doubt were, unfortunately, very familiar to me, and that’s part of what made me love this book as much as I do. I’m just glad that Katie Cotugno decided to shine a light on mental illness.The other main character in Top Ten, Ryan, is a hockey player who has had several concussions in a short span of time, which opened up the discussion of how far one should go to pursue sports. Is it worth risking one’s health for it? What are the chances of one succeeding if one decides to make a career out of it? This topic is especially relevant to me as I have siblings who are passionate about the sports they’re playing and often dream of playing professionally. So, in my family, this topic has been brought up multiple times and we’ve had debates on whether or not it would be worth it in the long run, whether they have what it takes to survive among their competitors, so on and so forth. My favourite thing about this discussion in Top Ten is the part where Ryan was told that sports doesn’t define him as a person, because this is exactly what my mum has been trying to get my siblings to understand since Day One. Just because you’re good in something doesn’t mean that it’s the only thing you’re good at. I could go on and on about this, but that’s content for another blog post.Another thing I like about Top Ten is that it reflects reality. None of that ‘happy ever after’ bullshit that doesn’t even last half of the time. I appreciate the fact that the prevalent issue of domestic abuse was brought up in the book. It was shown that abuse does not only mean physically hitting someone, that it can happen very subtly and that the victims might not even aware of it, just because they’re so used to it. This is an important issue to talk about, in my opinion, especially in a YA novel.The ending (which I will not reveal, because spoilers) also painted a pretty accurate picture of real life – to me, anyway. I know that a lot of people were upset over the ending and that it ruined the entire book for them, but to me, that’s how life works. Not everything has a fairytale ending, and you know what? That’s completely fine.The only complaint I have about this book is the timeline of the plot. Because the book is essentially a Top Ten list of Gabby and Ryan’s lives together over 4 years, stories are told in chunks based on their Top Ten moments instead of in chronological order. That threw me off, especially since I’m personally unfamiliar with American school years, but hey, I’ve also read reviews where people loved the format of the story so who knows, you might be one of them.I was sent an ARC upon request via Edelweiss in exchange for a review. Special thanks to Edelweiss, Balzer + Bray, HarperCollins, and Katie Cotugno. This is my honest review.
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  • Kayla (Kdrewkthebookworm)
    January 1, 1970
    *4.25 Stars*Prior to sinking into this book, I had heard a lot about Katie Cotugno and her light, fun books. Eager to find out what makes everyone rave about her stories, I requested Top Ten right away when I saw it on Indigo's ARC newsletter.After having read this, I can totally see why people love her writing so much. I adored this book! Although it may not have been the most original of story topics, the two protagonists were fantastically written and the plot sailed very smoothly.To summariz *4.25 Stars*Prior to sinking into this book, I had heard a lot about Katie Cotugno and her light, fun books. Eager to find out what makes everyone rave about her stories, I requested Top Ten right away when I saw it on Indigo's ARC newsletter.After having read this, I can totally see why people love her writing so much. I adored this book! Although it may not have been the most original of story topics, the two protagonists were fantastically written and the plot sailed very smoothly.To summarize the plot of this story, Top Ten follows the perspectives of two very different teens named Gabby and Ryan. Despite how different they are from each other, they still found each other and became best friends- going no further than that. Since they are about to graduate and their time together is running out, the two decide to look back on their friendship using a list of the top ten things that represent it.I can finally say that there was a multi-POV book that I truly enjoyed! Though the POVs were represented in third-person, they were definitely omniscient and full of depth.I found myself easily able to see myself in Gabby- like me, she was introverted, intuitive, and shy. She suffered from a bit of social anxiety, but as I am not a doctor, I can't say much about the way it was represented. The story does come from an author who suffers from it herself, though, so that is a good thing. Oh- and did I mention the fact that she was also bisexual? Two points for diversity!I absolutely adored Ryan as well! I loved how he stayed positive, triumphant, and eager to always have a good time. He never wanted to stop playing hockey despite all of his concussions, and this makes him a great role model!I loved the premise of this story as well, even in spite of it not being the most unique. There was almost NO romance between Gabby and Ryan- they stayed as friends and friends only. I am so thankful to have finally read a book with a boy and a girl just remaining friendly without a romantic relationship blooming between them. We really don't see those enough in the YA genre. I also adored the top ten list format of this book- I myself love writing lists of all kinds of stuff. It was a win-win!To sum it all up, Top Ten belongs within the top ten books on your TBRs. It was phenomenally written, and the characters and the plot were excellently created as well. The one thing that draws it back from getting 5 stars, though, is the fact that the morals were not very profound, but with that aside, I'd absolutely, 100% recommend this book to readers looking for a refreshing contemporary featuring a boy and a girl as friends- and nothing more than that.*I received an advanced reader copy of this book via Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review.*
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  • Inah (The Bibliophile Confessions)
    January 1, 1970
    I wish I could love this book more. It's a good premise but the characters lack depth. The writing is okay. It's weird that the non linear narrative didn't work out for me this time, because I usually love them in books. However, I really loved the ending!
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  • Jaime Arkin
    January 1, 1970
  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
    January 1, 1970
    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight I read this book in one day. In fact, I kept reading chapters on my phone every chance I got, because it was so good. So let us discuss! The Things I Loved: Such a realistic portrayal of how different people anticipate the college situation. So many books present characters who all just want college to come ASAP, there's no worry about it, it's all positive. But hi, that isn't life. I You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight I read this book in one day. In fact, I kept reading chapters on my phone every chance I got, because it was so good. So let us discuss! The Things I Loved: Such a realistic portrayal of how different people anticipate the college situation. So many books present characters who all just want college to come ASAP, there's no worry about it, it's all positive. But hi, that isn't life. I was freaking terrified about college. So it's nice to see that portrayed so realistically in a main character. Also a realistic portrayal of anxiety. I could absolutely relate to some of Gabby's anxieties, and even those that I couldn't relate to seemed very well portrayed. Sex positive. I... don't think this requires an explanation? But also, Gabby is bisexual and sex is handled positively across the board. Family is a big focus. Gabby's family especially was so awesome. And the great thing is, her family's closeness wasn't something to be made fun of; Ryan liked their closeness too and wanted to be a part of it. I shipped the thing so damn much. I just adore the friends-to-lovers trope, okay? And they were just so damn cute together. As friends, certainly, and I wanted it to be more too. The timeline jumping format really worked for me. This probably isn't true for everyone, but I loved that the story jumped around from time to time while still feeling very cohesive to me. Not all books can or should pull this off, but it really worked for this book. I just flat out loved the story. The characters were relatable, I enjoyed seeing the important, stand out moments of their high school lives, and I loved reading with the knowledge that soon they'd be moving on to their next life adventures. The only downside: I wanted a little more from the ending.  I'm starting to think that's just how the author rolls, but it's still difficult for me as a reader. Bottom Line: I loved the concept of looking back on high school highs and lows, and I adored the characters' stories, both as their own people and their friendship together.*Copy provided for review
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  • Kristin
    January 1, 1970
    Top Ten is a book about an unlikely friendship between two teens. Gabby has some major social anxiety that is so bad it pretty much cripples her and Ryan is a hockey star/social butterfly. Even though these two run in two completely different circles, and have two completely different personalities, they are the best of friends. Top Ten is the story of their top ten moments throughout their friendship.I was so excited to read Top Ten. It just sounded like such an adorable read and I'd been wanti Top Ten is a book about an unlikely friendship between two teens. Gabby has some major social anxiety that is so bad it pretty much cripples her and Ryan is a hockey star/social butterfly. Even though these two run in two completely different circles, and have two completely different personalities, they are the best of friends. Top Ten is the story of their top ten moments throughout their friendship.I was so excited to read Top Ten. It just sounded like such an adorable read and I'd been wanting something to give me the warm and fuzzies. Except, this book didn't do it for me. The characters were annoying to the point where I almost put this book down on so many occasions. Gabby is an absolute brat. She's always putting others down and making people feel bad instead of addressing what the real issue is, herself. I mean, she finally attends one of Ryan's hockey games and she ends up playing on her phone the whole time. I honestly don't know how Ryan could have been friends with her. These two should not have been friends. Their personalities were not compatible at all. The story jumped all over the place. Which I get since this is a top ten list and things aren't necessarily going to fall into chronological order, but to go from them being the best of friends to not even knowing each other in the span of a chapter threw me off. I was always trying to get my bearings when a new chapter started because things just jumped around too much.The characters themselves were very flat. I just didn't find myself caring about them... at all. I honestly just couldn't latch onto anything with this one. Their friendship seemed forced and was always filled with drama and fighting, Gabby's relationship with that girl (I can't even remember her name) seemed like it was just thrown in there so that the story had a bisexual character for diversity, and I don't even think her or Ryan's medical conditions were ever fully fleshed out. Top Ten had potential to be an adorable YA read but it fell flat for me. There was no depth, no character development, and no real reason why these two were even friends to begin with. This would have been a great way to bring mental illness and even sports related brain injuries to the forefront but it barely even scratched the surface on them. It would have been great if Gabby's relationship with that girl (I STILL can't remember her name) was more hashed out and believable. I was so looking forward to this story and I'm so bummed that it didn't work out.
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  • Kim at Divergent Gryffindor
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 3.5 At the beginning of this book, I actually hated it because it sounded juvenile for people who are already going to college. In the first chapter, the conversation did not go smoothly and there were so many breaks for every speech that my head was already swimming by the time the chapter concluded. However, and thank goodness for this, it slowly warmed up to me - the speech improved and they sounded less juvenile towards the middle of the book. Additionally, I also really didn' Actual rating: 3.5 At the beginning of this book, I actually hated it because it sounded juvenile for people who are already going to college. In the first chapter, the conversation did not go smoothly and there were so many breaks for every speech that my head was already swimming by the time the chapter concluded. However, and thank goodness for this, it slowly warmed up to me - the speech improved and they sounded less juvenile towards the middle of the book. Additionally, I also really didn't like how the story was formatted, wherein it's not in chronological time order. The story lists down the top 10 moments of the two main characters' friendship, and although the idea of the top 10 is what drew me to the book in the first place, I didn't like that it was not in chronological order. It made it confusing for me to piece together the story during the first few chapters. On another note, what I really liked about this book is how their friendship developed. The friendship of the two main characters is not a typical one - Ryan is a jock, while Gabby is a shy person with anxiety. I like how they constantly reassured each other about each other, and that they always had each other's backs even though there were things they didn't agree on. I also like that (view spoiler)[ eventually they just decided to stay friends. I'm glad that they made the decision with full knowledge, knowing that they tried dating and just decided that being friends is better. (hide spoiler)]I also really loved the family dynamics of the Harts. They're not a perfect family and there are many misunderstandings, but I'm glad that they always have each other's backs no matter what, even though how they show it may not always be ideal and may be misinterpreted.Overall, I didn't really like this book as much as I thought I would have, but then there were certain aspects that really stood out despite the bad beginning.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5 starsTop Ten is a Young Adult contemporary novel.It is told in alternating 3rd person POVs and takes place in a northern suburb of New York City.The narrators are Ryan and Gabby. The book starts on the day of their high school graduation. The book is a Top Ten list of moments in high school. Each chapter is one thing from the top ten list. The book goes back and forth in time as each thing on the list happens at a different point in high school.It took me a long time to get into this book. 3.5/5 starsTop Ten is a Young Adult contemporary novel.It is told in alternating 3rd person POVs and takes place in a northern suburb of New York City.The narrators are Ryan and Gabby. The book starts on the day of their high school graduation. The book is a Top Ten list of moments in high school. Each chapter is one thing from the top ten list. The book goes back and forth in time as each thing on the list happens at a different point in high school.It took me a long time to get into this book. The format did not work for me at all. The first chapter takes place the day of their high school graduation. Some things happen that day that interested me. But then we don't get back to that time period until 80% into the book (the last 2 chapters). I hated that the story jumped all over the place. Yes, it was somewhat interesting to see Ryan and Gabby's friendship in previous years. But it was confusing that the chapters were not in chronological order.Ryan was a high school hockey star. He was extremely popular and loved to party. Gabby was a shy loner who hated going out. The interesting things about her were 1) she had a fairly bad case of social anxiety/with panic attacks and 2) she was bisexual. I thought that her anxiety was extremely interesting. It was a key part of the story and it added a lot to the story. I thought that the fact that she was bisexual was interesting. Although it was not what I was expecting in a cute YA romance. And I definitely think that this should have been mentioned when promoting the book.The book is about Ryan and Gabby's friendship, them dating other people, and them potentially wanting to date each other.The story definitely improved for me once we caught up to the first chapter. However, I didn't really get the book that I was expecting. I wanted a cute YA romance. But instead it was more about them as friends.Thanks to edelweiss and Balzer + Bray for allowing me to read this book.
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  • Kate (Beyond Bookish)
    January 1, 1970
    My first Katie Cotugno book! I really enjoyed the writing. The author really takes the issue of mental illness (namely anxiety and panic attacks) and really crafts a very interesting, realistic and often bittersweet story of friendship that is really important. But just as a disclaimer: If you are going into this novel with expectation of a "friends-to-more" romance you most likely will be disappointed. However, regardless of that, Gabby and Ryan's complex dynamic is really worth the read. I rea My first Katie Cotugno book! I really enjoyed the writing. The author really takes the issue of mental illness (namely anxiety and panic attacks) and really crafts a very interesting, realistic and often bittersweet story of friendship that is really important. But just as a disclaimer: If you are going into this novel with expectation of a "friends-to-more" romance you most likely will be disappointed. However, regardless of that, Gabby and Ryan's complex dynamic is really worth the read. I really enjoyed this and hope to get to Katie's other books very soon! :)P.S.: If you enjoyed Trouble by Non Pratt you should pick this up! While not a direct readalike, many of the emotions evoked in this novel about love and friendship are very similar
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  • Shawn
    January 1, 1970
    I did not finish this book at 30%. I really hate to leave a book unfinished, but I was super confused as I was reading. I thought maybe after the first two chapters I'd understand what was going on, but that wasn't the case. I had a hard time liking Gabby as a character... she was very rude and condescending. I liked Ryan, but he wasn't enough for me to push through. I think maybe if the first chapter had been at the end of the book, I would have been more into seeing if they got together. It ju I did not finish this book at 30%. I really hate to leave a book unfinished, but I was super confused as I was reading. I thought maybe after the first two chapters I'd understand what was going on, but that wasn't the case. I had a hard time liking Gabby as a character... she was very rude and condescending. I liked Ryan, but he wasn't enough for me to push through. I think maybe if the first chapter had been at the end of the book, I would have been more into seeing if they got together. It just isn't the book for me right now.I received this as an ARC free from the Publisher on Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sam Kozbial
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 4.5 StarsI really loved this one, but you know, endings. Full review to follow BLOG | INSTAGRAM | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
  • Krystle
    January 1, 1970
    This story has a good basis, but seems to fall flat and didn't keep my attention. However, I let my sister (who is 10years younger than me) read my ARC copy and she loved it. Telling me that is was very true to life and that she will be buying it once it becomes available.
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  • Amanda Quain
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book in about three hours that I DEFINITELY should have been working but it was so good I couldn't stop. It was wondrous, with swoons and feels and hockey and anxiety and just buy this as soon as it comes out, k? You won't be disappointed.
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  • Deborah
    January 1, 1970
    Maybe 2.5 starsThe order the list was presented in was really distracting and didn't help the story, or my connection to the characters. Despite that, I did enjoy the story, just not quite as much as I had hoped I would.
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