Saturday, March 7, 2015

Review: Paper or Plastic by Vivi Barnes

Paper or Plastic 

By Vivi Barnes

Blurb: 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?

Genres: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: February 3, 2015

Series: N/A

Pages: 352

My Rating: 4 stars

When I saw the synopsis for this book, my interest was piqued. Imagine working at a dingy store that everyone makes fun of because you stole something from there. I'd absolutely hate that. I was in the mood for something cute, so I downloaded it and began to read.

I loved it. This book is so fluffy and adorable I honestly can't even stand it. And yet it isn'talways fluffy and adorable; it starts to get more serious later. It was just a treat to read all together. 

I couldn't help but feel bad for Lex. She has an overbearing mother, a too-perfect sister, and she loves baseball, but that might get taken away from her due to this job. I can't relate to literally any of these things, and yet I loved her. I felt like I would react a lot like her if I were in her shoes. I loved how she went from absolutely hating Smart Mart to really liking it; her character growth over the course of this book was really awesome. 

Her relationship with Noah didn't start off like your typical YA Romance; they had to overcome the fact that Lex's best friend hates Noah because of something that happened their freshman year. Lex has to decide how she's going to handle her growing feelings for Noah without upsetting the rest of her friends; it was interesting to see how she handled it. 

For the most part, the romance wasn't overly sappy either. There was one part where she imagines Noah's sister as their child and they are married, but she realizes how stupid that sounds (so did I, Lex, so did I) and pushes it out of her head. Other than that, I didn't find them to be annoying together, which is good.

There are an interesting cast of characters that work at Smart Mart with Lex that make the book even more interesting. Roxanne is a bitter lady who hates Lex for no good reason; Ruthie is the sweet mentally handicapped girl who Lex befriends while working; Bessie is the nice old lady that helps Lex at her job when she is just starting. They were all well developed characters in their own right, rather than just being background characters. 

After reading this, wow, I am just going to take special care to treat people who work at stores like this super politely, because the things Lexi has to deal with would probably make me quit after a week. There's rude customers, rude coworkers, lots of barf (it was gross) and a lot of other headaches. I liked that the story didn't just focus on Lex and Noah, but also on Lex's daily life at the store.

There's also other things that we learn about; the ridiculousness of Lex's sister's beauty pageants (a.k.a why I refuse to watch Toddlers and Tiaras) and Noah's backstory. It's not something I'll get into the details of, for spoiler's sake, but it definitely sheds some light onto Noah's character.

The ending was kind of shocking, because it was so different than the previous parts of the story. It added a bit of adrenaline to an otherwise really tame story. It was a bit dramatic, but nothing over the top, and overall I liked it.

Paper and Plastic is a fun realistic romance that definitely sheds some new light on working at places like Walmart. This book was go good it got me into a contemporary kick, which has basically never happened to me before. I'd recommend it!

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