Author: Liz Czukas
Publication: December 9th 2014, HarperTeen
Format: e-ARC, 304 pages
Source: Publisher, THANKS HARPERTEEN!
Buy it on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | The Book Depository | Kobo | National Book Store / Fully Booked (PH)
Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000Chloe 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.
I honestly thought I was going to get bored while reading this book but it proved me wrong by giving me typical teenagers with unique personalities. Top Ten Clues You're Clueless is like reliving The Breakfast Club all over again.
The story starts with Chloe Novak going through the day with a list. She is obsessed with listing things from what she has observed, to things she needs to buy, etc. Everything for her could be listed and she is comfortable that way. It's Christmas Eve and Chloe has to work at the GoodFoods Market when money was stolen and she and her co-workers get accused of stealing it. It is then that everyone starts to bond and know each other a lot better than they had before.
I found every single character in this book adorable (well except Mr. Solomon. He's kind of a douche). I mean, just with Tyson! He's sweet and nice and ugh! I can gobble him up. He's also a very good voice of reason. Then there's Gabe who seems like a douche but becomes the type of guy you'd end up liking when you get to know him. Zaina is the girl you wish wouldn't exist because she seems too perfect and beautiful, who is nice but has her frustrations and flaws, and you realize she's human too. Micah, the resident nerd is kind, weird and just someone you wish would get life even if he actually knows every single thing in the universe. And finally, there is Sammi, the life of the party, the bad girl/rockstar who you thought you could hate but you secretly adore because she's actually cool and she doesn't give a rat's ass about anything. Bring them all together in a situation where they are forced to stay in and mingle with each other, and you got yourself a peek at their problems, queries and quirks.
The book focuses on how certain interactions with these characters come by. For example, Chloe gets too frazzled around Tyson because she has a major crush on him or that Gabe and Sammi are a total OTP but they clearly just like to banter with each other. It's just so cute when these things happen. AND ON CHRISTMAS EVE TOO! Especially with Gabe and Sammi! UGH!!!!
We are introduced with chapters that have lists in them, mostly Chloe's Top Tens, depending on the situation they are in or how a certain member of her posse personifies themselves. The novel allows the characters to open up to each other even if they do work together in the same place. They end up understanding each other further and to work out their differences. There are some weird ways on how they do though, like with cleaning the whole store, which you might think is actually boring, although reading it was actually fun. It felt like I was with them in it too. And it definitely opened up a lot of good drama in it too.
The novel also tackles the problem of who actually stole the money. I'll leave that to your capable hands guys. It could be one of them. *whistles and walks away*
Anyway, Liz Czukas delivers characters that are light but with backgrounds that give meaning to their actions. She has wrote a unique way of introducing her main character to us, through her obsession with lists and observations and how in a way, it became beneficial to their pursuit of the truth. Though the concept of teenagers getting to know each other more isn't new at all to the young adult genre, Top Ten Clues You're Clueless provides a refreshing view of how stereotyping works and how friendships can be discovered in the most unusual of situations.
May there be more novels that are refreshing and light but could deliver on being interesting enough for a reader to stay put and read it. And this novel, for me, did not leave itself clueless to that.
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