ARC, Book Reviews

Top 10 by Katie Cotugno | ARC Review

Title: Top 10

Author: Katie Cotugno

Series: N/A

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance, LGBTQ+

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication date: October 2nd, 2017

Pages: 320

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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?

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“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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