Review: Top Ten Clues You're Clueless by Liz Czukas

Friday, 10 July 2015
Top Ten Clues You're Clueless, by Liz Czukas
Publication: December 9, 2014, by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 289
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed

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.

My Thoughts: 

Cute, fabulous, adorable... and did I mention "cute?" Those are the three words that come to mind when I picture the cover and title of Liz Czukas's late-2014 novel. I just can't get enough of it and the way it made me feel! When you pick it up, you certainly won't be able to read anything else quite like it for ages. If you ask me about the cutest chick-lit I've read lately, I'll let you know the name of this one and beg you to go out and purchase it. Your bookshelf certainly will thank you for a copy, and it's the perfect read that you'll finish in one luxurious sitting, trust me. 

Top Ten Clues You're Clueless took a spin on the average boy-meets-girl and girl-loves-boy-from-afar setting... in a grocery store, taken place in the timespan of one day—Christmas Eve, the busiest day of the year for the Goodfoods (reminds me of Goodreads, LOL) supermarket. It's not easy writing about the different grocery sections like produce, meat and all, where Czukas certainly needed to do a lot of research on the broad subject. After reading her acknowledgments, it's awesome to see how she based the crew and store off of one she actually knows personally. And lists? Yeah, those are certainly unique in a novel.
What a gorgeous cover! I love how it looks like Ask Again Later.
Again, as I mentioned the GoodFoods market, this is where Chloe works. She's a teen who has diabetes and is supposed to be working at Christmas Eve, where she writes lists to help her get through her day. Except this day... she tries to get herself to actually speak to her co-workers and find something new about them. Not to mention the fact that Tyson, a cute guy, is on her eye and she might even like him. When mystery strikes and everyone discovers that a box filled with money going to charity is stolen (at least, most of the money is) the high-school teenage crew try to still have fun on this crazy day and discover challenges in between.

Please don't expect the mystery in this case to be like something where Sherlock Holmes will need to step into. No. It's a case that would probably appear on the news as a small story with expectations for things to get worse by the second. It's a real-life situation, not some tragic murder where everyone is questioned in the store. It's contemporary-romance fiction, which adds another 10 awesome points to my charter of granting this book a great rating. You like a little mystery added into the problem but having the main character not being the one to solve it? Yes, I think I like myself a bit of that as well. You see, I don't even classify it as mystery, but I'm letting you know that it's present. There's so much more to this glorious story than that, relating to all of their lives!

Poor characters. Wah.
So I'm thinking of making a list here. Let's do it. Top Four Reasons Why Czukas rules the YA chick-lit world:

1. Easy Romance That Takes Some Time To Brew: Chloe and Tyson were adorable. You can't even state that they had an insta-love relationship because they knew each other before the book's events even took place. Chloe kept going into fucking questioning when all of the signs were there! Talk about jealousy when a girl has an accent, my friends. But hey, I wouldn't even blame her because Tyson is such a cute guy who is friendly to everyone (like Micah was) and he wanted to be nice to every single person.

2. Each character has a distinctive personality and all have their own issues: Gabe has trouble with his decision to go to college and all of that. Micah is more of an introvert, but such a great person, and his homeschooling kind of disrupts his chance of shining and making more friends. Chloe has trouble with her love life and dealing with her diabetes at times. Tyson? Well, he's a character that surely could've been more improved on, we needed to know more about him. And Sammi? Total bad chick, I was getting afraid that she was holding something more like anorexia. Oh my, thank goodness no. They're like The Breakfast Club characters, only in a grocery store, riding in carts to find turkey slices. No joke.

3. Diversity, duh: Tyson had skin like chocolate, which Chloe described in her perspective. Chick-lits these days are just so prone to only stick to one culture or such, but this was a distinct decision to follow and Czukas did a perfect job at hiding the diversity in the shadows, but not making a big deal out of it that it was even there. Hooray for that, I paid so much attention to it.

4. Great, fast-paced plots: You can honestly finish this book in two hours straight. It's such an easy read to get by with and you'll adore it. I couldn't ask for a better experience, and you'll definitely be stuck thinking about it night and day, just don't make the whole situation too hard on yourself, it all plays out to be super positive by the end, trust me.

Top Two Reasons Why This Didn't Turn Out to Be a Five-Star Read:

1. The ending: Um. Predictability? Check. Happiness? Check. It was predictable, and there were no jaw-dropping moments, sadly. I recommend looking onto the bright side of things when it's all over, so your mood can make everything look better. Huh. Guess what happened between Tyson and Chloe? You got it stuck in your head, yep.

2. Chloe's perspective: You'll already guess what I might say but one word to describe it was: no confidence whatsoever. This ruined a lot of it for me and I wish that her diabetes and who she was made her stronger, but she kept putting herself down and it made me really upset. Where's our cheery contemporary protagonist?

Okay. You'll love this, I loved this, the whole book community will just find this to be a book that's not clueless on messing around with readers's personalities at all. I giggled, snickered, laughed and even shed a few inside tears, feeling sympathy for Chloe and her story. I actually really want to go and apply for a job at the grocery store now, hoping that I wouldn't be caught in a crazy mystery like the GoodFoods crew had. Brace yourself for wondrous lists, and you'll find yourself beginning to make them to get through your day!

What do you specifically think of lists? Do you use them? What other books have been written using them?

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