Top Ten by Katie Cotugno

Thoughts at a glance: *** (I liked it)

Summary: Gabby and Ryan are an unlikely pair of best friends--Gabby is a loner who gets panic attacks and prefers to stay home and play Monopoly with her family on the weekends, while Ryan is a popular hockey player who loves to party and probably can't even remember all the girls he's hooked up with. And yet, they've somehow managed to stay best friends since they first met freshman year, going bowling and making Top Ten lists about everything under the sun.

Now they've just graduated, and their separation for college is looming just over the horizon. As we count down their Top Ten moments of their friendship, Gabby and Ryan need to confront their feelings and decide if they really want to be something more.


Thoughts: It's pretty timely that this book popped into my awareness today, because I was literally just this morning thinking about how I love making lists of Top Fives or Top Tens or whatever, and it's probably because I hugely, hugely loved the movie (and book) High Fidelity when I was a young adult myself. I immediately purchased this book and devoured it.

It's a quick read, because it's total fluff, but it's pretty good fluff. I appreciated the attention and the gravity devoted to Gabby's sexuality (she's bi) and her social anxiety, as well as Ryan's issues with his father and his concussion problems as a hockey player. I mean... look, I've read a TON of full-grown-adult romances, and among them, I've read quite a few that involve hockey players and other athletes who might sustain life-threatening injuries. I have never read a single one who treats its main characters (male and female) with such care and nuance. Usually, they are the hot chick and the hot dude, and there's some sort of ridiculous happy Disney ending where everything is fine and suddenly they have no problems anymore.

This book is "pretty good fluff" because it's realistic. Sure, there are lots of cute, adorable moments, but there are also a lot of frustrating moments and missed opportunities, and both Gabby and Ryan are complex, flawed, loveable creatures, and by the time I got to the ending, I wasn't even sure what I was rooting for anymore. (And I say that in a good way.) I'm not going to say that this was a life-changing read, but I definitely enjoyed it, and I'm glad I read it. It was sweet, it was fun, it was even sad (because who can forget how much it hurts to fight with your best friend?), and it was pretty well-done. I liked it.

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