Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
This weeks topic is Books I LOVED with fewer than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads.
These are my top ten and they are in no kind of order.
Which books made your list?
Unnatural Deeds- Cyn Balog
Some secrets are worth killing to protect.
Victoria Zell doesn’t fit in, not that she cares what anyone thinks. She and her homeschooled boyfriend, Andrew, are inseparable. All they need is each other. That is, until Zachary Zimmerman joins her homeroom. Within an hour of meeting, he convinces good-girl Vic to cut class. And she can’t get enough of that rush.
Despite Vic’s loyalty to Andrew, she finds her life slowly entwining with Z’s. Soon she’s lying to everyone she knows and breaking all the rules to be with Z. She can’t get enough of him—or unraveling the stories of the family he’s determined to keep hidden.
Except Z’s not the only one with a past. Straight-laced Vic is hiding her own secrets…secrets that are about to destroy everything in her path.
Die Young With Me- Rob Rufus
The true story of a teenager diagnosed with cancer and how music was the one thing that helped him get through his darkest days.
Punk’s not dead in rural West Virginia. In fact, it blares constantly from the basement of Rob and Nat Rufus—identical twin brothers with spiked hair, black leather jackets, and the most kick-ass record collection in Appalachia. To them, school (and pretty much everything else) sucks. But what can you expect when you’re the only punks in town?
When the brothers start their own band, their lives begin to change: they meet friends, they attract girls, and they finally get invited to join a national tour and get out of their rat box little town.
But their plans are cut short when Rob is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that has already progressed to Stage Four. Not only are his dreams of punk rock stardom completely shredded, there is a very real threat that this is one battle that can’t be won.
While Rob suffers through nightmarish treatments and debilitating surgery, Nat continues on their band’s road to success alone. But as Rob’s life diverges from his brother’s, he learns to find strength within himself and through his music.
Naked ’76- Kevin Brooks
London, 1976: A summer of creation, destruction, and blistering heat.
Lili Garcia stands at the edge of London’s growling punk scene, playing bass with Naked, one of city’s wildest bands. The group’s success has only strained things between Lili and Curtis Ray, her cool, rebellious boyfriend and band mate. A born rock star, Curtis Ray’s got it all: talent, charisma, and hunger for excess.
As the year rushes on, Lili meets William Bonney—a guitarist from Northern Ireland known as “Billy the Kid.” William is as reserved as Curtis Ray is loud, haunted by the life he left behind, but he’s every bit as brilliant a musician. In a scene full of spit, violence, and feedback, William’s quiet confidence moves Lili to search for what she really wants. But the secrets of William’s past could mean danger for both of them…
Where Did You Sleep Last Night- Lynn Crosbie
Lynn Crosbie’s new novel is a fantastical love story about a teenage girl who embarks on a relationship with the dead spirit of Kurt Cobain.
Evelyn Gray is a miserable sixteen-year-old girl from Carnation, Washington, who is in love with Kurt Cobain. When Evelyn is taken to the hospital after a drug overdose, Cobain’s spirit reanimates itself in the body of a young man who is convalescing in the bed next to her.
Evelyn and the man — now named Celine Black — escape the hospital and run off together, determined to become famous. They find the musical success they seek, but despite their mutual devotion, they are tormented by their passion and jealousy. As their fame grows, their relationship becomes more excessive and an episode of sexual violence explodes into a shocking murder.
This is a highly original work of haute fan fiction, written in Crosbie’s poetic and emotionally evocative prose.
The Nerdy and the Dirty- B.T. Gottfred
Pen Lupo is sick and tired of hiding who she is. On the outside, Pen is popular, quiet, and deferential to her boyfriend. On the inside, however, Pen is honest, opinionated—and not quite sure that she’s like other girls. Do they have urges like she does?
His classmates may consider him a nerd, but Benedict Pendleton knows he’s destined for great things. All he has to do is find a worthy girlfriend, and his social station will be secured. Sure, Benedict is different–but that’s what he likes about himself.
When fate intervenes, both Pen and Benedict end up at the same vacation resort for winter break. Despite their differences, the two are drawn together. But is there such a thing as happily ever after for a nympho and a nerd?
Feel Me Fall- James Morris
Secrets and survival in the Amazon
Emily Duran is the sole survivor of a plane crash that left her and her teenage friends stranded and alone in the jungles of the Amazon. Lost and losing hope, they struggle against the elements, and each other. With their familiar pecking order no longer in place, a new order emerges, filled with power struggles, betrayals, secrets and lies. Emily must explain why she’s the last left alive.
But can she carry the burden of the past?
Discover the gripping new adventure novel that explores who we are when no one is watching, and how far we’ll go in order to survive.
The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky- Summer Heacock
A humorous novel about a cupcake shop owner with a physical ailment that’s kept her from having sex for two years, and the desperate antics that ensue as she tries to overcome it.
Having sex wasn’t a big priority while Kat Carmichael’s successful cupcake shop was taking off. But when she realizes that it’s been nearly two years since she and her boyfriend, Ryan, have been intimate, she makes a pact to break her dry spell-and cure her vaginismus, a muscular condition that can make sex physically impossible.
Out of guilt, Kat calls for a break in her relationship with Ryan, so that he can see other people while she attempts to fix the issue on her own. She throws herself into physical therapy, but soon discovers her solo mission is more complicated than she anticipated. Fortunately, Ben Cleary, the shop’s best (looking) customer, is also a physical therapist, and volunteers to help out.
As time goes on, however, the boundaries Ben and Kat have set between friendship and love quickly become blurred, leaving her more confused than ever about what to hang on to and what to let go.
Rosie Coloured Glasses- Brianna Wolfson
Sometimes even all the love in the world is not enough to save someone.
Willow Thorpe knows friction… The friction between her parents, Rosie and Rex. The friction inside herself as she tries to navigate two worlds since their divorce.
But life has not always been like this.
When Rosie and Rex first met, theirs was an attraction of opposites. Rosie lived life for those heightened moments when love reveals its true secrets. Rex lived life safely, by the rules. Common sense would say theirs was a union not meant to last, but it was genuine love.
Now Willow just wants to be with Rosie, to bask in her mother’s outsize glow and, she thinks, protection. Because Rosie is the only person who can make Willow feel totally alive and completely loved.
But as Willow and Rosie and Rex try harder and harder to stay connected as a family, Rosie’s manic tornado of love continues to sweep up everyone in sight, ultimately to heartbreaking results.
The Falling Between Us- Ash Parsons
All-consuming fame and fortune prove too much for a teen popstar who suddenly goes missing–Eddie and the Cruisers for the Justin Bieber era.
After 15-year-old Joshua Blackbird posts a performance of an original song on YouTube, he becomes an overnight sensation, catapulting to the dizzying heights of celebrity. Joshua is plucked from his middle-of-nowhere small town to pursue a pop star career complete with million-dollar record deals, international tours with sold-out crowds, and a diehard following who call themselves “Birdies.” But it’s not long before the never-blinking eye of fame begins weighing this bird down–the constant hunger of managers, record execs, paparazzi, even family, all leeching onto him. Then there is the staged romance with a teen pop princess and the unsettling fear brought on by a stalker. Everyone reaching out, determined to grab their piece of stardom, forgetting that an actual person–a kid nonetheless–is on the other side their grasp. It’s all too much.
Until, that is, Joshua Blackbird disappears. Was it a suicide? An accident?
Narrated from the perspective of Joshua’s girlfriend from home, Roxie, The Falling Between Us presents every wannabe teen heartthrob’s dream come true . . . only to realize it is a nightmare.
Nightingale- Amy Lukavics
At seventeen, June Hardie is everything a young woman in 1951 shouldn’t be–independent, rebellious, a dreamer. June longs to travel, to attend college and to write the dark science fiction stories that consume her waking hours. But her parents only care about making June a better young woman. Her mother grooms her to be a perfect little homemaker while her father pushes her to marry his business partner’s domineering son. When June resists, her whole world is shattered–suburbia isn’t the only prison for different women.
June’s parents commit her to Burrow Place Asylum, aka the Institution. With its sickening conditions, terrifying staff and brutal “medical treatments,” the Institution preys on June’s darkest secrets and deepest fears. And she’s not alone. The Institution terrorizes June’s fragile roommate, Eleanor, and the other women locked away within its crumbling walls. Those who dare speak up disappear…or worse. Trapped between a gruesome reality and increasingly sinister hallucinations, June isn’t sure where her nightmares end and real life begins. But she does know one thing: in order to survive, she must destroy the Institution before it finally claims them all.