Top Ten by Katie Cotugno

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 t...

Title:Top Ten
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Top Ten Reviews

  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    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.

    :

    There was this overwhelming

    , 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.

    :

    There was this overwhelming

    , 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

    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

    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.

    :

    I wasn’t the biggest fan of how

    . 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.

  • Alexis  (TheSlothReader)

    3.5

    I 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

    3.5

    I 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.

  • Cait • A Page with a View

    DNF. 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

    DNF. 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.

  • Sarah

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

    This was a YA contemporary story about two best friends.

    Gabby was quite a quiet girl, and she really struggled with her anxiety. Ryan was a lot more outgoing and popular, and I could see why Gabby couldn’t understand why he wanted to hang out with her.

    The storyline in this was about Gabby and Ryan being friends, and then being more than friends. The story did jump around a little bit time-wise, which was a

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

    This was a YA contemporary story about two best friends.

    Gabby was quite a quiet girl, and she really struggled with her anxiety. Ryan was a lot more outgoing and popular, and I could see why Gabby couldn’t understand why he wanted to hang out with her.

    The storyline in this was about Gabby and Ryan being friends, and then being more than friends. The story did jump around a little bit time-wise, which was a little irritating, but overall it was an enjoyable contemporary story.

    The ending to this was okay, but it wasn’t really the happily ever after that I was expecting.

    6.5 out of 10

  • YA and Wine

    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.

  • Olivia (The Candid Cover)

    3.5 Stars

    Top Ten is exactly what is sounds like—a nostalgic recap of a four year friendship told in a top ten list format. This story is realistic and contains two opposite main characters. The non-sequential writing style is inventive, but does get a bit hard to follow. I still enjoyed the story, and it truly is an emotional rollercoaster.

    This book recaps the friendship of two teens about to head off to college. It focuses on their top ten moments, some good and some bad, but all of which defin

    3.5 Stars

    Top Ten is exactly what is sounds like—a nostalgic recap of a four year friendship told in a top ten list format. This story is realistic and contains two opposite main characters. The non-sequential writing style is inventive, but does get a bit hard to follow. I still enjoyed the story, and it truly is an emotional rollercoaster.

    This book recaps the friendship of two teens about to head off to college. It focuses on their top ten moments, some good and some bad, but all of which define their relationship. It is so entertaining watching Gabby and Ryan’s relationship develop and experiencing their best moments along with them. Top Ten has everything—a bisexual main character with anxiety, her friend who plays hockey, and an amazing family. For those looking for a cute and realistic story with representation, I would definitely recommend this one.

    Gabby and Ryan are both ideal characters for this story. Gabby is more introverted and suffers with anxiety while Ryan is on the wilder side. They are both so different, but their friendship works out. I really enjoyed how the book actually focuses on their friendship, and there isn’t much romance between them. I personally preferred Gabby’s character, since Ryan’s recklessness got a bit frustrating sometimes, but Ryan also had his moments. The story is told in multiple points of view, so the reader is able to experience both characters equally.

    The way Top Ten is written is super unique, but I can see how it can turn some people away. Since the story is told as a top ten list, the plot isn’t chronological. As a reader, I had to be super aware of the year before starting each chapter. For me, it was a bit confusing at first, but I got used to it. I’m still not quite sure how I feel about this format, since it is creative, but hard to follow at times. I would have preferred chronological order, but I guess the story wouldn’t be the same.

    Top Ten is an original story featuring the top ten moments of a friendship. I enjoyed the main characters’ opposite personalities and how realistic they are. The format of this book is unconventional, which is interesting, but also a bit confusing at times. I still found the book to be enjoyable, and classic Katie Cotugno.

  • Tina

    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.

  • Nikki (Book Allure)

    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.

    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’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.

    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.

    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.

    is set to be released on 3 October 2017.

    Review originally posted on

  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)

    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.

  • Tanya (Girl Plus Books)

    I feel like I just lived through four years of the trials and tribulations of high school with Gabby and Ryan. And I mean that in both the best and worst ways possible (because whoever said high school is the best time of your life is a terrible liar). These two characters had me wanting to hug them, wanting to shake some sense into them, and most of all just wanting them to find their way and be happy.

    With each chapter visiting a pivotal time in their friendship, Top Ten delves into the ups an

    I feel like I just lived through four years of the trials and tribulations of high school with Gabby and Ryan. And I mean that in both the best and worst ways possible (because whoever said high school is the best time of your life is a terrible liar). These two characters had me wanting to hug them, wanting to shake some sense into them, and most of all just wanting them to find their way and be happy.

    With each chapter visiting a pivotal time in their friendship, Top Ten delves into the ups and downs of Ryan and Gabby’s ever-evolving relationship. On the surface, Ryan, easy-going and popular, and Gabby, anxious and shy, are unlikely friends. But in each other they find someone they can truly be themselves with.

    I related to Gabby to a ridiculous degree and it was sometimes almost painful to watch as she tried to navigate her daily life while dealing with varying levels of anxiety. She chafed against being told to “just try” doing the very things that sent her into a panic and yet still sometimes made the effort (usually with disastrous results). From best friend Ryan, to her girlfriend Shay, to her family, Gabby struggled with not being enough for those around her.

    Outwardly Ryan was a carefree character who had it all – a gifted hockey player, friends, girls, parties. But Ryan struggled with not only his own insecurities – outside of hockey did he have anything to offer? – but also to please his volatile father whose love and attention felt conditional.

    I simply loved the relationship between these two characters. Loved it. Their friendship was the real deal. They were (usually) brutally honest with each other. They called each out. They broke each other’s hearts. They were one another’s touchstone. It wasn’t always smooth sailing – far from it – but when it came down to it, they shared a connection that stood the test of time.

    From freshman year to the summer after graduation, through parties and girlfriends, friends and family, Cotugno brings to life two characters who are each other’s Most Important Person – and defines what truly means for Gabby and Ryan.

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