Top Ten Clues You're CluelessFeatured
The big difference here is that where Ask Again Later was primarily a romance, I’d say that Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless is more of a personal journey/friendship-focused book. There is a romance and it’s quite sweet, but there’s not really all that much time spent on it. What the novels share are Czukas’ vibrant writing and the fluffy fun. Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless reminded me a lot of Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo. Both center on girls who work in grocery stores and nurture what they believe to be hopeless crushes. The thing is that Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless is what I was hoping for when I read Buzo’s novel. They share a lot of aspects, but this one’s fun and the characters aren’t upsetting.
Chloe appealed to me right away. She’s a list-maker, which is something I identify with, though I’m not as list-focused as Chloe is. Her lists vary from the practical to the downright silly, which I love. Normally, I would be irritated to have a list interrupt the narrative and perhaps even skip it, but that was never the case here. Chloe’s a shy girl, but she’s really funny in the lists and her narration. She just doesn’t really show that side of herself much.
On Christmas Eve, one of Chloe’s goals is to learn more about her coworkers. There are six of them 18 and under, and she’s aiming to, if not make friends, at least have acquaintance. Well, actually, she wants to make one VERY good friend in Tyson, who’s nerd cute all the way. Very much approve of Tyson. Anyway, there’s this mystery plot line because charity Christmas money donated in the store has been stolen. Le gasp! And the younglings have been accused of the theft.
Until the police arrive, the six teens are shut up in the grocery store with a supervisor checking on them occasionally. The Breakfast Club is a really great comparison. The archetypes aren’t the same, but the way they grow close to each other despite their differences throughout the afternoon very much is. For various reasons, they all basically kept their distance. By being shut up together, they confront incorrect assumptions and give people a chance to surprise them.
The characters are a fun group. Obviously I like Chloe and her determination to solve the mystery only made her cuter. Tyson’s a great guy, but also sort of the one we learn the least about, unfortunately. Actually, come to think of it, the character building isn’t the strongest in this one. They’re not cardboard, but they’re not quite three dimensional either. I suspect that’s because there are six characters to establish and the books under 300 pages. The character I’m most torn on is Sammi: on the one hand, I love that she’s confident in her skin and sticks to her own style and doesn’t mind if that means people call her a lesbian, but also I wish that there had been an LGBT+ character. I’d have been all over Zaina and Sammi crushing on each other instead of what happens. I do really like Micah though, who shows homeschooling in a really good light. Also, the kissing scenes are great.
The Final Verdict:
Though I think Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless could have benefited from a bit more length, I’m happy with what I got. It was light and funny and everything I needed after a dark, sob-making read.
Chloe, who has a bit of an obsession with making lists, gets to work the early shift at her local grocery store (on Christmas Eve, of course). When the donation box is opened only to discover about $70, when there should be close to $10,000, Chloe and her fellow teenage coworkers get the blame placed on them. They get to spend their Christmas Eve in the "jail" waiting for the police to show up, which may take awhile...
After reading Ask Again Later, which is by the same author, I really wanted to read some more cuteness! Ask Again Later was such an amazing, adorable read and that was exactly what I was expecting from Top Ten Clues! Was I disappointed? No, I was not. This book still has adorableness, just a bit less than Ask Again Later. Now, to be honest, while I was expecting adorable-ness in this book, and I did get that, I was also expecting some mystery involvement.
I know, I know, weird, but based on the fact that the teens were being accused of stealing $10,000, I thought that there would be some kind of "Who Done It?!" And there was mystery involved, a very predictable one, since it's kind of obvious from the start Who Done It! But I had no problem with the predictability of the mystery, since the money being stolen was not the focus. Actually, the story was about all of the teenager coworkers hanging out and becoming friends (sort of). This was a much more entertaining storyline than just a Who Done It and I really enjoyed seeing it! And,another plus, the characters were so quirky!
I keep raving about how cute and fun this book was, because it is indeed cute and fun, but now it's time for me to point out what was wrong with this book. Bad wording there, THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS BOOK! I loved it! But I did have one issue and that is the fact that this was a candy book. A candy book is basically a book that is so enjoyable while reading it, but it doesn't do anything substantial. It doesn't change my way of thinking, it doesn't knock my socks off, it was just an awesome, fun read. Kind of like a piece of candy.
This was a very enjoyable read! If you are feeling down, I highly recommend picking up this book (or Ask Again Later) because it will definitely put you in a good mood!
On another note, I will be on the lookout for any other books that Liz Czukas writes!
This book was a lot of fun to read. It was fast, the whole book took place within around 9-10 hours, it was playful, the lists Chloe made were amusing, it was just a lot of fun and entertaining. Having worked retail in high school on Christmas Eve, I could easily relate to a lot of what Chloe was going through with the stressed out bosses, pushy customers, strange customers, and just general chaos. I liked that she and her fellow teens still managed a few stolen fun moments during their shift.
Chloe was very likeable for me. Her reaction to things, her frustrations, the weird things she would notice about customers, her lists, all those things made her feel like she could have easily been one of my co-workers in high school. Her interactions with her co-workers were amusing and awkward. She felt believable to me.
All the characters were great. They were diverse and had distinct personalities so it was easy to separate them instead of them blending together. It would be hard for me to chose a favourite since all of them had moments and things about them that I really liked. I make no secret about loving when misfit characters come together to form a bond and that was definitely present in this book. It had a Breakfast Club vibe to it, taking place in one day, authority figure thinking they're all delinquents, finding ways to amuse themselves. It all added up to me being very entertained.
There were moments in the plot that had me shaking my head, not in frustration, but because I could easily believe events unfolding in the same way. Money goes missing and the blame automatically goes to the teens working there, working with someone day after day and knowing so little about them, not telling your co-workers about a health issue because you think they'll treat you differently. These were things I could see happening in real life.
This is likely a book I'll pick up again just to re-read certain parts of it after a long day because I know it'll amuse me.
This book started great, I laughed out loud so many times right in the first chapter but them it turned kind of boring, I mean there was things happening but I really didn't cared about it and them more towards the end (like the last 50 pages or so) the book started again to be more interesting - so yeah mixed feelings about this one.
I think the point that more let me down was the characters, this is a contemporary novel so if I don't care about the characters I will not care about the story. So my main problem was that it took the entire book for me to get sympathizing with the characters, not that they're bad characters or anything is just... This book is small and the story passes only in like one day, so it's hard to get really attached to this people.
But in the end this is a gush, cute story about completely opposed people bonding after being obligated to spend time together and it was fun while it lasted but it will be completely forgotten between others books.