Title: Paper or Plastic
Author: Vivi Barnes
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: February 3, 2015
Genres: General Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
From the publisher—
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?
Sometimes you need a book that is just, well, pleasing, for lack of a better word, and Paper or Plastic was that book for me. For a variety of reasons, life has been rather stressful recently and this book proved to be an oasis at a time when I could truly appreciate it.
Lex’s summer is a delight to watch and she and her fellow characters are so appealing. I recently finished a book in which I disliked, even hated, almost every single character but that is certainly not the case here. Lex is a fairly typical teenager, like so many who are just decent people. How can you not like a girl who’s into softball and actually enjoys playing the game with disadvantaged kids? Noah, not to mention Grandma, Bessie, Syd and the irrepressible Ruthie are each appealing in one way or another and even the annoying folks in Lex’s life, including her mom and little sister, are much like the annoying family members you and I might very well have.
Lex’s misdeed and the resultant punishment are a perfect foil for this girl, who already has a head on her shoulders, to grow up a little more and come to appreciate people and situations that she might not have in the past. They also help her cope with a very real problem, the encroaching Alzheimer’s that is affecting her beloved grandmother.
One last thing I’ll mention is the relationship between Lex and the delectable Noah. Noah is not perfect, any more than Lex is, and there are issues that get in the way but Ms. Barnes lets their feelings grow naturally—thank heavens for no insta-love!
All in all, Paper or Plastic is fun and engaging and a slice of life and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with Lex & Company.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, February 2015.
About the Author
Vivi Barnes is the author of Olivia Twisted and the recent 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. www.vivibarnes.com
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