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.
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.
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.
Thank you so much for reading and until next time!