ARC Review: Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless

toptenTitle: Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless
Author: Liz Czukas
Rating: 3-3.5 stars
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Add to Goodreads

Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day

5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market

4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi

3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm

2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)

1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000

Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.

Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless is such an adorable, quick read, I can’t imagine anyone could ever regret picking it up. It’s about a girl, Chloe, who has an easier time making lists and being stuck inside her own head than making friends and connecting with others. She also has a form of diabetes, which she keeps from most people because she doesn’t want them to treat her any differently. I’m now convinced that Liz Czukas writes the best narrators, because I fell in love with Heart’s voice in Ask Again Later, and the same happened with Chloe. She is witty, a bit shy, clever, and totally engaging. I could have read her voice for hours and hours. I also think she experiences such tremendous growth in this book, realizing that her preconceived notions about others are just as misplaced as those about her. The story takes place entirely on Christmas Eve, perfect for the type of message and group dynamic the author is going for, and it’s set within the walls of Chloe’s workplace, her local grocery store. When a large sum of charity money goes missing, Chloe and her fellow young co-workers are held at the store until the thief is found. This sets the stage for Chloe to finally interact with her crush – Tyson – and befriend the co-workers she’s been too shy to approach in the past.

Top Ten Clues You’ll Want To Read This Book:

1. You like The Breakfast Club movie.
*It’s an easy comparison to make. Five characters who couldn’t be more different are stuck together until they’re released by the higher-ups. Sure they can get along okay, but what do they really know about each other beyond the stereotypes and what their appearances suggest? Even though this is a tale as old as time, so-to-speak, it’s still an incredibly important message for today’s teens, about looking beneath the surface and not judging others before knowing them. I love how Chloe and her co-workers slowly get to know one another, whether it’s having surprisingly serious discussions in the break room or completely goofing off around the grocery store. By the end of the night, the can actually call themselves friends, and it’s awesome.

2. You like books with a diverse cast of characters.
*Seriously, so many different personalities and backgrounds in this group. There’s of course Chloe, a shy red-head and book nerd who also has diabetes. Tyson, her crush, is African American, and her co-worker, Zaina, is from the Middle East. Then there’s Micah, the home school kid who is super intelligent and sweet, and Gabe, the rich and athletic one who will surprise you later on. My favorite, though, is Sammie. Having been in foster care, she’s rough around the edges and likes to dress like a tomboy, but don’t let her sharp exterior fool you. That girl nearly broke my heart. The best part of the book is seeing these characters open up and reveal themselves. It’s not an easy thing for teenagers to do, and their individual “confessions” tugged on my heart strings.

3. You make lists. All the time.
*I could totally relate to Chloe because I am such a list-maker. If I ever feel overwhelmed, I make lists. If I’m feeling stress or confused, I make lists. If I’m going shopping, I make lists. There’s something about that type of organization that calms me. I’m not as bad as Chloe, but it made it easier to connect with her.

4. You find light-hearted, fluffy books enjoyable to read.
*This book is fluff personified, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Enough said.

5. You like a cute romance that doesn’t dominate the plot.
*So, this is actually the main reason I didn’t rate the book higher. I have to admit, I was expecting a much higher swoon factor! Ask Again Later has one of my favorite ships this year, but there are so few sweet interactions between Tyson and Chloe. I needed more! But if you like just a small dose of romance, that’s what you’ll get here.

6. You’ve always wanted to be pushed around in a grocery cart by your crush.
*Don’t deny it.

7. You’ve always wanted to have a race in an empty grocery store.
*See number 6. These kids get into quite a few shenanigans, and it’s awesome fun.

8. You like holiday stories.
*The book is set during Christmas Eve, and while the holiday isn’t hugely important to the plot, it still goes along nicely with the overall message.

9. You like characters and relationships that develop throughout the book.
*I love it when characters take me by surprise, and that’s what happens here. None of them are the same people the reader (and Chloe) thinks they are at the beginning of the book, and it’s wonderful to see our perception of them change. There were two or three characters I didn’t care for at first, but by the end I would have called them friend right alongside Chloe.

10. A small side of mystery and crime-solving never hurts.
*You may be able to figure out “who done it” really early, but it’s a fun subplot and brings everything together at the end.

It’s true that I didn’t love this like I did Ask Again Later, and it’s hard for me not to compare since I consider the latter one of my favorite debuts. Top Ten Clues has the same cutesy fluffiness that I will always devour like cotton candy, but I missed a heavier romantic element. Ya’ll know how much I like my swoon. Still, it’s such a fun, entertaining book, and the characters are diverse, equally likable, and have their own distinct personalities and complexity. The things those kids get up to… I definitely recommend this one if you have a couple of hours to spare and are in the mood for a feel good story!

***Special thanks to Katie @ Polished Page Turners for lending me her ARC copy!***

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

15 thoughts on “ARC Review: Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless

  1. Ha! I love the format you used for this review, Danielle. Unfortunately, why I like all those things you’ve mentioned, I wasn’t particularly impressed by this book. I think my expectations were way too high based on the author’s first book which I adored. And the romance in this was such a let-down! :(
    I’m glad you liked it overall, Danielle. Lovely review!

  2. Amazing review Danielle. <3 I'm glad you enjoyed this book :) But aw. I'm sorry it wasn't as good as you wanted it to be :( I'm still not really reading this genre, lol, so this isn't a book for me ;p but I do think it looks pretty cute. I hope the next book this author writes will be more amazing for you. <3 thank you for sharing about it :)

  3. Eek! I loved Ask Again Later way more than I expected to, and this one has been high on my list too. I love making lists (and pretty much the rest of your clues apply to me) so I should probably get going on this one!

  4. I love how you set up this review, Danielle! Yes, it was very much like The Breakfast Club, but TTCYC was so much more fluffier heh. I really enjoyed this one as well, and I love how its releasing just in time for the Christmas holidays when this book was set.

    Lovely review, girl! <33

  5. Awww, this definitely sounds super cute! Aimee reviewed it recently and liked it a lot, too, which I find really promising, because she can be fussy and if she likes it, I’m likely to like it, too :D Plus, a diverse cast is always a bonus. I love it when other kinds of characters is explored because there is so many kinds of people in the world out there that are waiting to be written. Love your review, Danielle!

    Faye at The Social Potato

  6. This does sound really cute, but I have to admit, I like more romance when I read contemporaries. I do love The Breakfast Club, though, and light and fluffy is always good so I’m sure I’ll read this one at some point. Great review!

  7. Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless was the first Czukas book I read, and I thought it was really cute! I love that you broke your review down into a top ten list ;) But seriously, in spite of being fluff, Top Ten Clues was also a really heartwarming, fun tale. I enjoyed reading about everyone’s shenanigans!

  8. I love lists! And of course I want to be pushed around in a grocery cart by my crush ;) While I didn’t LOVEEE Ask Again Later as much as everyone else, it was still a solid 3 star read for me, so I intent on picking up Top Ten Clues at some point – when I am in the mood for another light fluffy contemporary – maybe close to the holiday if I can swing it (although my Winter TBR is getting out of control!)

  9. Super fun review! This book hadn’t sparked my interest at all yet (because of the cover, I won’t lie) but you have me curious! I love a good fluffy, easy read in my back pocket for those times just after long books or particularly heavy or disappointing reads. This book sounds perfect to keep on my to-read list for THOSE circumstances! I haven’t read Ask Again Later – since you mention that you liked it better than this one, I’ll probably stick to this one for my first read to lessen the chance of being disappointed. Thanks so much for sharing about this book, Danielle! I loved reading your thoughts (:

  10. I want to read this so bad! I just bought Ask Again Later from BookOutlet on Black Friday and I can’t wait to start. Sounds right up my street!

  11. Okay, this will be a complete rundown commentary on your review. :)

    Omg, I’m going to cry! It takes place over only a DAY and on Christmas Eve? I’m having Rent flashbacks! Mainly due to the Christmas Eve part. I LOVE stories that take place over only a few hours to a day. Like, LOVE them.

    The workplace environment reminds me of Empire Records, which I haven’t seen in full.

    I adore The Breakfast Club! Like, I love it.

    I love a diverse ensemble cast of characters. Like, I love them.

    I like lists too!

    I like light-hearted reads.

    I LOVE romance that isn’t the main plot of a book.

    I love holiday stories.

    I love character development!

    I also love a dose of mystery with my novels!

    Must. Resist. Buying. Must. Resist. Buying.

    You totally don’t help me with not buying this book. ;) That’s a good thing by the way. I’ve been tossing it up in the air on whether or not to buy this and Ask Again Later. Even though I’m already on the waiting list (#1 of course) to get it at the library when they get it but…I don’t want to wait! Oh decisions…. I’ll wait until I get my gift card! Problem solved, oh wait, I was supposed to buy something else with that. Oh well!

    This is a great review! Sorry about the tangent I went on.

  12. LOVE her writing! You’re right, her romance in her debut is awesome and I would like just as much romance in her second novel but the whole concept and diversity of characters and mystery element is wonderful!

    Lovely review :)

Leave a Comment