Book Review: Paper or Plastic by Vivi Barnes

by - 4:08:00 PM

Title: Paper or Plastic
Author: Vivi Barnes
Pages: 352
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: 03 February 2015

From Goodreads: "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?"

Thank you to Entangled Teen for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for review!

Paper or Plastic is a wonderful contemporary that follows Lex and her summer working at SmartMart, the same store that she just shoplifted a tube of cheap lipstick from. Despite the job being boring, Lex is delighted to find out that she has a hot manager named Noah Grayon. Too bad he's the enemy of her best friend, Bryce. Through trying to balance work, softball, her pageant obsessed mother, and her new secret crush, working at SmartMart is turning out to be one crazy summer job.

I absolutely adored this book! There were so many quirky, fun characters that I loved getting to read about, and Lex was certainly a wonderful main character to follow. I really enjoyed getting to know her on more than just a surface level and learning about her passion for softball and her dream of being on an Olympic softball team one day. She was funny, sassy, and really seemed to care about all of the friendships that she made with people. Noah was also really cute, in the shy, nerdy kid way. He was so faithful to his friends and his relationship with his little sister was absolutely adorable.

Along with Lex and Noah, there was quite a cast of characters that worked at SmartMart. While they may not have been main characters, I certainly believe that they all added their own little elements of fun and quirk to the story. Ruthie was the spastic, energetic greeter who was always smiling and happy to see each customer that walked into the store. Bessie was the grandmotherly type that tried to look after every employee and make sure they were happy. There was also Jake, the former clown and store prankster, and Roxanne, who was constantly rude but still added to the SmartMart crew. I think that Paper or Plastic is a very character-driven story, and all of this unique characters really made the reading experience that much better.

What I enjoyed so much about this book was that it wasn't just a happy, fun contemporary. There were several serious moments, such as Noah's home issues and even a tornado coming through Florida. But I liked that it wasn't just a cheesy romance-filled book, although there was plenty of romance between Lex and Noah! With all of the various parts of this book combined, Vivi Barnes was able to spin a lovable book that I would definitely read multiple times! It has a great end-of-summer feeling to it that I feel was a perfect pickup for this time of year and I just fell so in love with the whole thing.

With a super cute plot and very interesting and fun characters, Paper or Plastic is the perfect pickup for anyone looking for an end-of-summer contemporary. The writing is so easy to get lost in and it's just a really fun read that is sure to keep you hooked. Be sure to pick up Paper or Plastic by Vivi Barnes and get ready to learn exactly what a "Code B" is!

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