Author: Vivi Barnes
Publisher: Entangled Teen
From: the Publisher
Add to: Goodreads
Order a copy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK, Kobo
Synopsis: 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 thing stranger than the staff is 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 completely below her social sphere—Noah Grayson. Trying to balance her out-of-control mother, her starting spot on the school softball team, and her secret crush on the school geek makes for one crazy summer. But ultimately, could the worst store in the world be the best thing that ever happened to her?
Review: 4 Stars - Paper or Plastic is a Young Adult title from author Vivi Barnes. It’s a story that’ll pull at your heart one half of the book and the other you’ll find yourself smiling and sometimes even laughing out loud.
When high school student Alexis shoplifts, she finds herself in a situation. One that puts her right in the middle of what just might be one of the worst out comes she could even think of. She knows she got off easy, but doesn’t know how she’s going to deal with working at SmartMart over the summer to pay for her crime.
From the beginning of the book right through the end we watch as Alexis struggles at home, at her new position at SmartMart and with her friends. She starts to see things differently which is one of the things I loved about this book – you really, truly see the changes from who she is at the beginning of the book right through to the end. She’s a pretty spot on female teen character and I felt for her from beginning to end.
With SmartMart comes social outcast Noah – who actually wronged Alexis’ best friend years ago so she knows even talking with him just might put a wrench in her relationship with her friends. However how is she supposed to stay away when she’s starting to think he’s pretty cute?
The story itself is pretty great. I liked the issues that BOTH of these main characters’ face and how they work through them… or not and the consequences that they must navigate during this time in their lives. And these characters were fun to get to know and their story is so much bigger than just a “teen romance” that I didn’t expect. I had no idea the much larger issues that Barnes had her characters face and as mentioned above, half the time I the story was so light hearted and the other half was series that the author was able to give readers a pretty wonderful balance between the two.
There was a few things that I felt weren’t addressed. A few things I felt that could have been explained better and I almost feel as if this title was left a bit open ended. Would I like to find out what happens next for this High School students? Yes, I wouldn’t say no to a sequel… just no idea if that’s even in the works.
In the end I loved this book. It had everything that I’d look for in a great YA story. I highly recommend this book to readers who look for contemporary titles with strong characters and great writing. Enjoy!
About the Author:
Vivi Barnes is the author of Olivia Twisted and the upcoming 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
Find Vivi Online:
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