Title: Paper or Plastic
Author: Vivi Barnes
Release date: 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
About the Book:
Welcome to SmartMart, where crime pays minimum wage...
Busted. Alexis Dubois just got caught shoplifting a cheap tube of lipstick at the local SmartMart. She doesn’t know what’s worse—disappointing her overbearing beauty-pageant-obsessed mother for the zillionth time…or her punishment. Because Lex is forced to spend her summer working at the store, where the only thing stranger than the staff is the customers.
Now Lex is stuck in the bizarro world of big-box retail. Coupon cutters, jerk customers, and learning exactly what a “Code B” really is (ew). And for added awkwardness, her new supervisor is the totally cute—and completely below her social sphere—Noah Grayson. Trying to balance her out-of-control mother, her starting spot on the school softball team, and her secret crush on the school geek makes for one crazy summer. But ultimately, could the worst store in the world be the best thing that ever happened to her?
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About the Author:
Vivi Barnes is the author of Olivia Twisted and the upcoming release, Paper or Plastic. She was raised on a farm in East Texas where her theater-loving mom and cowboy dad gave her a unique perspective on life. Now living in the magic and sunshine of Orlando, Florida, she divides her time writing, working, goofing off with her husband and three kids, and avoiding dirty dishes.
Paper or Plastic is an adorable, fast read that I ate up in one sitting.
I wasn't sure how I was going to like this book, as the lead character Lex annoyed me at the beginning. Maybe it's because I worked in high school, but her I'm-above-this attitude rubbed me wrong- but she changes so much throughout this book that soon I'd forgotten my annoyances with her. She's passionate about what she wants and I appreciated that there was no love triangle, just a relatable struggle between clashing friends/crushes that I think we've all felt at least once.
I thought the characters were all really well described. There's a lot of people in this cast, but I was never left confused. There were some characters I absolutely loved, like her grandmother and Noah. Yes, definitely a lot of Noah. He was kind and a little broody and outcast-y with a little rebellious side and it made a perfect combination for me. I liked seeing him and Lex develop individually as characters, but also how they changed towards one another.
And then there were characters I hated (that I was supposed to dislike so well played, Barnes). Her mother at the beginning is a nightmare, and some of her "friends" and co-workers... Don't get me started.
This book didn't take me more than a few hours to read because I was genuinely enjoying myself. It's well-paced with a fair amount of drama and a nice sense of humor that I wasn't expecting, but I did snicker out loud to myself a few times over the course of the book.
I also liked how real, in a sense, that this book was. This is going to sound weird, but I like that this book didn't shy away from the occasional swear. Teens swear. In contemporary YA it just seems weird when characters aren't allowed to swear in the book because at least in my high school, no one spoke that purely. I also like the way texts were presented- it was the older characters who used the "leet speak" as opposed to the younger ones. That made me happy, because literally the only people I know who text like that are my mother and grandmother.
Honestly, I was bummed when I was out of pages. I hadn't realized I'd read it so fast and I definitely wanted more of
Thanks so much to YA Bound Book Tours for my copy in exchange for my copy in exchange for my honest review.
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