Books · Reviews

Christmas Review – Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless (Spoiler-Free)

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Hey guys, and welcome to another Christmas Review! 🙂 What have you been up to?

So I recently finished Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas and I have to say I was not impressed. Sigh. Anyway, here’s my review of it.

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Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless

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Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) on Christmas Eve 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.

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God, I really wanted to love this one! It just screamed “cute fluffy Christmas contemporary” at me and the cover is just adorable… Plus, a girl who loves making lists? I thought we’d be best friends!

Unfortunately, this book is a bit too much talk and not enough action. Literally.

There were times where I felt nothing was happening. The characters simply sat together throwing around conjectures that made no sense whatsoever, stretching an already impossibly long moment as if to fill up pages. And even when they were actually doing something, it never seemed to really influence the plot at all. Just a bunch of teenagers being teenagers. Which could have been great fun, had it been properly executed.

Instead, it was just boring.

Like many others, I went into this story thinking it would be like a reinvented, modern The Breakfast Club. And it was a feeble attempt at that, except without the charm, heartache and uniqueness this classic is able to bring into the table.

Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless felt very juvenile and made me think, not for the very first time: “I might be getting too old for this.” Seriously, this book made me realize I might just not be able to handle certain young adult stories anymore!

Chloe, for instance, was such a bland protagonist (even if I did like her). She was more of a passive bystander, narrating the lives of other much more interesting people going through her life. Her crush on her coworker Tyson was sweet but I never really felt any chemistry between them – if anything, and despite her best efforts to tell the reader otherwise, he came off as more of a player than anything else.

All the other kids were equally likable but insipid. Not to mention insanely stereotypical (props to the author for admitting it right there and then, though).

Also, I’m tired of convenient circumstances playing a big role on how the story will unfold. Coincidences are one thing, and I am completely on board with them. But when you see things coming a mile away, after being previously mentioned and played around with in a very unsubtle manner, you know something’s wrong.

Look, I get it. This is supposed to be a cute little contemporary about some kids from distinct backgrounds and with distinct personalities, coming together to sort out their differences. In a festive sort of way. But I just didn’t feel the whole companionship thing? Or why it mattered? And it was just super predictable?

I know I sound like an old Grinch right now, and I’m sorry. But I feel like I have been cheated. Like I was promised something wonderful and came out empty handed!

On the bright side, though, I have to say I laughed quite a bit. I felt the author portrayed teenagers and what goes on in a supermarket in a realistic fashion. The story was also not focused on the romance (as opposed to what one might think from the blurb) which I appreciated.

There were some interesting parts here and there, including dialogue, and many cute moments to live for, too. I just wish they had been more abundant and meaningful. I felt like I knew what the author was going for, yet it never quite worked.

Overall, an okay read if you have nothing else at hand and are in the mood for something quick and Christmasy. Otherwise, skip it.

 

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~ Check out my previous Christmas Reviews ~

Thank you so much for reading and until next time!

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Yay, third Christmas Review! Have you ever read Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless? Please let me know your thoughts below 。^‿^ 。

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61 thoughts on “Christmas Review – Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless (Spoiler-Free)

  1. I can’t stand it when novels are written like screenplays — know the genre you’re writing in! It’s one of my pet peeves. Sorry this one wasn’t great for you. Hopefully you’re onto a better book! Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It wasn’t really the case with this one, although I *could* see it turning into a Hallmark movie (which doesn’t help its case, I’m aware 😂 ) It just wasn’t super deep and was a very quick read. Fun in places, for sure, but nothing memorable? YA contemporaries really need to step up their game, in my opinion.
      Thank you so much, and I hope so too! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really, really love the design you made for these posts. I don’t know how you managed it, but it looks seriously amazing!
    Too bad this book wasn’t what you expected it to be. A boring book or movie is something that at times can’t be helped, but it’s still annoying when it happens. Luckily it isn’t Christmas yet, so hopefully you will be able to read some better novels to put you into the Christmas spirit. Either way, you still managed to write a truly amazing and terrific post for it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aw, thank you! That means a lot ❤ 🙂
      Yeah, it was fun in places but so cheesy and unmemorable… I needed something a bit more substantial, you know?
      Yup, gotta think on the bright side 😂 My Christmas TBR will be my lifesaver (hopefully).
      Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

              1. Oh my God, you guys are so sweet! ❤ ❤ ❤ C'mon now… You are both so amazing as well and I love every single one of your posts! How could anyone not?
                I feel the luckiest for having you as blogging friends ^_^ And I'm blushing madly over here now 😂

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  3. From the blurb this one seems like a perfect Christmas read (and there aren’t many contemporary books set over Christmas) it’s just a shame this book was such a let down for you. 🙂 There have been books I’ve read that have made me feel like I’m too old for the YA genre but for every one of them there are plenty more that remind me why I love the genre so much. Hopefully the next book you pick up will be that for you Sophie.
    Also I get what you mean about this being a cute contemporary about kids coming together from different backgrounds but if you don’t feel the companionship doesn’t that kind of defeat the whole purpose of the idea of these kids coming together.
    Still great review Sophie, I really hope the next book you pick up is a better read than this one was for you! 🙂 ❤️

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    1. I know, it’s super hard to find any Christmasy books 😦 I was so glad to have found this one because it sounded so good yet it completely failed me…
      Same here! It’s not that it bothers me, I just feel very unsatisfied about it. You know?
      Right? It was a very cool concept, even if it is a bit overdone, and I was looking forward to some major Breakfast Club vibes, but I didn’t get any. It felt like the author just skimmed the surface. I mean, yeah, Chloe found out stuff about her coworkers but it’s all just boring facts. Nothing unusual, nothing really that interesting or shocking. It was a very underwhelming experience. It didn’t do much for me at all.
      Thank you so much, Beth ❤ I'm glad you were able to enjoy reading this, despite it not being a very positive review hahaha
      Thanks, I hope so too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Guess there just needs to be more books written around Christmas. It seems especially with contemporaries they’re all set during the summer instead.
        I’ve never even seen the Breakfast Club, so I can’t say if it’s an overdone concept but I love the whole “group of misfits come together” trope, so I don’t mind it as much as long as there’s decent character development which it doesn’t seem like there was here. Yeah there needs to be some good reveals, something interesting even if it’s not shocking. 🙂
        That’s all right! 😀 ❤️ Ha, yeah sometimes negative reviews are more fun to read and write than positive ones! 🙂

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        1. Yeah, you’re totally right! And I love a summer contemporary just as much as the next person but really, there needs to be more Christmas books 😂
          TBC is kind of old so it might not appeal to everyone… But I just love that about it, you know? Plus, it felt so honest in comparison to all other movies coming out at the same time (although it’s still pretty cheesy, I like that about it too 😛 )
          There were some reveals in this but nothing especially interesting, no. And I’m sure you’d figure the main one out pretty quickly, from what I’ve seen some people say.
          I sure hope it was the case with this one! ^^ I love reading negative reviews as well hahaha So long as they retain some respectability and are not just mindless bashing.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s nice to have a bit of variety every now and again right? 🙂
            I’ve heard good things about it, can’t really say it’s my film so I may never see it but I guess it’s a classic for a reason right?
            Yeah there needs to be some kind of interesting reveal if you want to remember the story. Guess that wasn’t the case with this one. 🙂

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  4. I can assure you that I also sometimes feel “too old for this” while reading some YA…and I’m 15 so if this ain’t for me then who’s it for. So don’t feel too bad.

    I am so sad that there aren’t more GOOD books that take place on Christmas. The wasted potential of baking and family time.

    Anyway this at least made for a funny review ❤!

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    1. Hahaha well, that makes me feel tons better, to be honest 😂 Not that it bothers me too much (I’m 25, by the way), I just don’t like wasting my time, is all. And to feel like YA is on an epic downfall makes me a bit sad, too.
      I think age is very relative, I mean, you can be super old and still have a very open, youthful mind. And you can be 15 and be super mature. So it’s basically just numbers.
      I knoooowww! It took me ages to find the ones I have on my TBR and they’re nothing too special. I’m thinking the contemporaries might actually be pretty crappy and only the classics will be able to restore some faith in the Christmas spirit. We’ll see.
      Thanks, I’m glad you were able to enjoy it! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Awww! You know, I have been trying to add to my holiday reads TBR and I had no idea that this book has a Christmas setting. The cover certainly doesn’t give that vibe. I am sorry that it didn’t have the wow factor that you were hoping for. Sometimes the holiday contemporaries can be a little underwhelming. I hope that the next one you pick up is more enjoyable. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me neither! Because the blurb doesn’t actually mention it being Christmas Eve, I just picked it up from going through some lists people had compiled. And that’s the only reason I picked it up, to be honest 😂 I was in dire need of a cute Christmas contemporary to read this month. But unfortunately, it didn’t work out too well in my favor.
      I agree. From experience, there was never one that really spoke to me or was anything but skin deep. And I guess that’s pretty much the point – to be light and fun and enjoyable – but this one couldn’t even do that.
      Thank you, let’s hope so! 🙂 ❤

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  6. OH Sophie, I love your choice of book today… because it reminded me that I have this book on my TBR, it has been sitting there for the past… few years or something and I completely forgot about it until just now hahaha.
    I’m so sorry to hear this didn’t work out for you, though :/ I get it, cute contemporaries are a lot of fun to read, even if they are predictable, but there… with bland characters like that and a slow book where nothing happens for a while… that’s too bad, it sounded like a promising book :/ thanks for the review!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha oh well, you weren’t actually missing much 😂 Are you still planning to read it, after reading my not-so-positive review?
      I’m all for cute, light, fun contemporaries, especially if they’re set in the holiday season, but this one was just so blah. Nothing remotely interesting happened at all and the only reason I enjoyed it was because of some cool dialogue and scenes. Which is definitely not enough.
      It did sound super promising but I guess it just wasn’t for me :/ Thank you so much for reading, Marie ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure… I think I’ll keep it on the TBR, in case I have nothing else to read and am looking for something not too complicated sometime, haha 🙂
        you’re so welcome! ❤ ❤

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    1. I knooooww 😭 I think some contemporary authors feel like they don’t have to try as hard because their books are supposed to be light and fun but that’s so not true! It’s actually pretty insulting to contemporary (and especially YA) fans. Ugh, authors, do better!

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  7. Darn that’s a real shame, because this did look really cute and fluffy, but I’ve also had moments where I’ve thought “I’m getting too old for this” so I can really relate. But at the same time I never liked bland characters or romance that lacked chemistry- so it could also be the book 😉 And yeah I totally agree- I’m not a fan of convenient circumstances to make the plot work. And don’t worry you don’t sound like a grinch! Shame this wasn’t for you. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, right? It was just soooo promising! A total waste of a great plot/cover/title :/
      Hahaha I’m hoping it was the book… I don’t want to think I’m actually getting too old for YA 😂 😂 I’m curious, though, what was the one book that most made you feel like that?
      Phew, that’s reassuring because as soon as I finished the review and revised it I was like “man, this sounded way too negative!”
      But then again, there was not a lot of positive to work with, so… Hm.
      Thank you so much ❤ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah yes I totally get what you mean!!

        hhaha I get that- I don’t want to feel like that either- but I think I just have to be realllly careful about not picking up anything cliche at the moment, cos that’s when I start to feel old 😂😂 I think the one recently that made me feel that way was Glass Sword and King’s Cage. But quite a while ago it was Killables. Just cos they felt so meh.
        hehe don’t worry- I think it was really fair!
        You’re welcome! ❤ 🙂

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  8. I actually love that you are now in that “Am I too old for YA” phase. I got into that phase super quick when I started blogging. I just knew it wasn’t going to be my playground too long or even too often. I’m super picky about the YA I read now (super rare too, as you might have noticed hahah)

    Sorry to hear how disappointing this was, but a good rant like this is good for the soul. 😉 I definitely hope that you won’t run into another book that has basically nothing that happens. I wonder how you even managed to finish it? Do you ever DNF books? Hahahah

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You love that? You love that?! Why, you little sadist 😂 😂 😂 It’s no fun feeling like that! Hahaha
      Oh yeah, I think I’m getting way too picky too… Especially contemporaries. When it comes to fantasy, it’s a bit easier for me to enjoy. And yeah, I’ve seen you’re not a fan of it, no 😛
      Hahaha I don’t usually go on rants because I’m not sure how people will respond to them… Although I do feel like ranting A LOT. This was one of those books where there just wasn’t a lot of positives to work with so I couldn’t really do much other than complain about it… *sigh* I agree, though, it’s quite the cathartic experience!
      You know what, I don’t know 😂 😂 I think I’m a bit OCD when it comes to reading. I’ll either want to finish a book because I want to know how bad it really is OR because I need to know if it’ll get better. And I won’t rest until I find out. Regardless, they’re both awful decisions and I should just DNF the freaking book on the spot. But if it makes you feel better, I end up skimming most of it by the end? 😂

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  9. I don’t recognize this title. Did someone recommend it to you? Sorry you didn’t enjoyed this read. The title & cover is cute. It’s funny how some YA titles are on the edge of New Adult and some titles are at the edge of middle grade haha too bad this one didn’t FYI so you would know to skip the read 😊 On Goodreads someone said ACOMAF is on the edge of erotica. I still need to read that book to give my own opinion. Anyway, awesome review even when it’s on the negative side 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found it on the Christmas lists on Goodreads I think. I hadn’t seen it around much before.
      I think this one was definitely leaning towards MG hahaha Which is not always bad, it just didn’t work in this case.
      I think ACOMAF is indeed NA, despite earlier marketing. The series definitely includes explicit content at one point, from what I’ve seen, so not suitable for teenagers. I don’t mind that at all, as long as it’s tastefully written. I don’t care for trashy writing. Though I heard Maas files under the latter category 😂
      Thank you so much, Jasmine! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi! I’m sorry you didn’t like it, but I agree with you. I read this book a couple of years ago and I was ready to fall in love with it: a main character who love lists, Christmas setting and a cute cover. I was just half in love and then… meh. I gave it three stars because I enjoyed the reading, in the end, and I hadn’t a lot of problems with Chloe and her crush, I liked them, even if I was expecting sooooo much more!

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    1. Yes, absolutely! It’s not that it was bad, it simply felt like it wasn’t trying *at all*. I mean, there was just so much that could have been done to improve the story (the writing was fine) and characters, yet the author didn’t take any of those opportunities. It was mostly a very average read. Nothing about it really made me feel like this was a special kind of book, which is a shame because there was a lot of potential in there.
      Thank you so much for reading, Susy! ❤ 🙂

      Like

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