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Review: Paper or Plastic by Vivi Barnes

by - 4:45 PM

Paper or Plastic by Vivi Barnes
Publishers: Entangled: Teen
Published: February 3rd, 2015
Pages: 352

Welcome to SmartMart, where crime pays minimum wage…

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?

I first picked this up because of the cover. It seemed like a really cute photo and I used to work in a grocery store so I thought this setting would be really interesting to read for me and I was right! I admit I am not a fan of contemp lit. It always seem to cheesy, cliche and boring to me, but this caught my eye right away. 

While this is one of the big "Mart" stores it wasn't something I could EXACTLY relate to, but I do know what it's like dealing with crappy customers, couponers, and having to say "paper or plastic" all the freaking time. It was just enough contemporary to relate to lots of teens and young adults who most often work in retail, but also had enough real life "hard" stuff to deal with that would leave the more mature readers caught in a trance. 

Needless to say I didn't get my job the way Alexis "Lexus" did, but it was no less crappy (the job I mean.)  I really liked how Alexis and Noah, while on different "sides" of the retail employee spectrum can really relate to each other, and to the readers. It was nice to read about a couple that really had to learn to like each other instead of love at first sight insert gaggy love fest here. 

I adore how this is a cuter story, but it's not all fluff. It deals with real issues in a way that makes them accessible and relate-able to all readers, which I appreciated not only because I felt closer to the characters, but I got to read a story that was real and gritty while not having a panic attack over the issues in the story that I dealt with in real life.

Needless to say I really like the stories and the characters - a great, quick summer read! Bring this one with you to the beach! 

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