Paper or Plastic by Vivi Barnes
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publication date: February 3, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Format: eARC, 352 pages
How I got it: From the publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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 things stranger than the staff are 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 adorably geeky—Noah Grayson. Trying to balance her out-of-control mother, her pitching position on the softball team, and her secret crush on the school geek makes for one crazy summer. But ultimately, could the worst job in the world be the best thing that ever happened to her?
Paper or Plastic was just the cute, light and enjoyable read I hoped it would be when I decided to read it. After a couple heavier books, it was just what I needed to read as a bit of a palate cleanser.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to enjoy books where the entitled learn a valuable life lesson. It’s not a new theme in books and movies. Regardless, it’s one I enjoy time and time again, especially when I can connect to the characters and the author makes it their own. While I’ll admit I had a difficult time connecting to Lex in the beginning of the story, by the end I was definitely singing her praises. She was far too snobby and beside herself in the beginning of the book. After some time working at the SmartMart, expanding her horizons by working with (and getting to know) people different than those she generally hangs out with, she begins to undergo a transformation. Where she was once dismissive of the people outside her circle of (not-so-nice) friends, she begins to appreciate the other people who have entered her life since she started this job. Noah might be the catalyst for this transformation, but he’s not the only new friend she makes.
Noah was adorable. Of course, I’ve always had a thing for the geeky underdog. A respectful manager-in-training during the day and an underage bartender at night, he was sweet with an unexpected edge. He also has quite a questionable home life and bears more responsibility for his family than a kid of his age should. These were all the things that made him even more appealing to me. Of course, Lex was familiar with Noah from an incident with her friends at school, but it wasn’t until they started working together that each of them began to see another side of the person they thought they knew. They started to become friends, but that inevitably led to more. They were cute and sweet together and it was easy to root for them.
Paper or Plastic hit on a little bit of everything: friends, family and love. It definitely had humor and more than a couple “aww” moments. It was a light, quick read that left me smiling at the end.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.