on December 9, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Illness
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.
I’ve been sitting on this review of Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless for a while. Partly because I’m super busy with school + internship + work, but also partly because I’ve been trying to mull over my thoughts.
You see, I was very excited about this book. The main character, Chloe, has type 1 diabetes. Like I do. This is something I haven’t yet seen in YA literature, like, anywhere. I was diagnosed at 17, so in the prime of my teenage years, and it flipped my life upside down. I kept it secret for months because I was ashamed to be associated with that word: diabetes. There’s such an ugly stigma to it that breaks my heart a little. Reading a book with a MC with type-1 diabetes would have been life-changing for me.
So, like I said, I was very excited for this book. Let’s talk about it, shall we?
Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless is a very cute, contemporary YA romance. It’s the story of Chloe, who works in this grocery store, and it all takes place throughout one day. So it’s very quick, fun, and light. It kind of reminded me of the show Superstore (which is why you’re now being graced with an abundance of Superstore gifs), which I love, so it has that going for it. And when the workers get blamed for stealing some petty cash, Chloe works to find the truth. So it also has a mystery element, which is a fun twist.
It takes place during the Christmas season (which was win I read it, so it was perfect), but it’s not that Christmas-y. Not like one of those Hallmark movies. It’s just the background setting.
Chloe is a really fun, spunky character. She makes lists always, and she has that perfectly imperfect crush on that boy. Who is POC! I just remembered that. But we’ve all experienced that kind of crush that you feel like you have to keep secret—especially in high school.
Overall, it was a very cute, straightforward (albeit slightly predictable) book that I think you should check out if you like YA contemporaries. It’s a fast and fluffy read that you’ll probably enjoy.
The Representation of T1 Diabetes
I also wanted to talk about how type 1 diabetes is represented here, since I have particular knowledge when it comes to that. Basically, if you didn’t know, type 1 diabetes happens when your body kills all the beta cells in your pancreas, which are the cells that produce insulin to convert food to energy. It’s a genetic disorder and has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. So basically we have to give ourselves the insulin manually that your body does automatically. And it can be very hard. My blood sugar swings a lot sometimes, from high to low, which is dangerous and takes a heavy toll on my body. So now the book:
Chloe is described as a brittle diabetic, which means that her body is even more susceptible to blood sugar swings and her diabetes is very hard to control. And I love that Czukas gave her diabetes, and I love that the diabetes is not the main topic of the book. She’s a normal girl with normal troubles…just with a few more added on because of her diabetes.
That being said, I got a little annoyed at Chloe throughout the book because, for being a lifelong diabetic, she wasn’t treating her body very well. She skipped multiple snacks and regular blood sugar checks, and she worked all day. She missed lunch, too. Which is already bad if you’re a t1 diabetic because your insulin is working through you all day, and she’d definitely go low. Especially because she’s a brittle diabetic. She’s had diabetes since she was a young girl, and I just think she would’ve known better than to ignore it View Spoiler »and let it get to a detrimentally low level, like what happens at the end. « Hide Spoiler
BUT I think it does a very good job of spreading awareness, which is so important. And I love how her friends reacted to her; it was really endearing. Because diabetes is around us, and I still have friends who avoid the topic because they feel like it’s not okay to talk about. NEWSFLASH: I am 100% open to talking about it. I want to talk about it, to help others understand. So if you have questions, ask.
Overall, this was a fun book, and I’m so happy to have found a book with a type-1 diabetic character like me in it. It even kind of inspired me with this idea for a YA book with a t1 diabetic (it’s still in the works in my brain). So you should read it, and let me know what you think!