Review: Paper or Plastic by Vivi Barnes

Posted February 15, 2015 by valeranne in Reviews / 9 Comments

Review: Paper or Plastic by Vivi Barnes

Paper or Plastic

by Vivi Barnes
Published on February 3rd, 2015
by Entangled Teen
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

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?

3.5 Stars

Technically I would rate this 3.25 out of 5 stars and now that the technicalities are out of the way, I really liked this book! I know what you’re thinking: if you liked it so much, why the low rating? Fair question, it comes down to rereadability in comparison with other books, I guess. If I wanted to read a swoony book (basically every day of my life), I just don’t think I’d reach for this, I would probably grab one of my many swoontastic books from my collection. So basically, it wasn’t the best but I really did enjoy it!

Now, on to the review! Lex is a popular softball player who idiotically lets her friend talk her into stealing lipstick from SmartMart. While her friend’s mom gets her out of any punishment, Lex’s mom works out a deal with the manager for her to work at SmartMart in the summer to learn some responsibility. SmartMart is known for its crazies (like Wal-Mart) and Lex wants nothing to do with them or the store. We get to understand Lex in this book and one of her biggest issues is perception, she worries about how people perceive her and how they perceive the people she surrounds herself with. I thought it was really understandable, especially for a high schooler, and it made me like the love interest even more.

Enter Noah Grayson. Noah is essentially a social pariah at school, known by the masses as the guy who ratted out Bryce, Lex’s best friend and baseball superstar, for vandalizing a rival school’s property. I loved how different Noah is from Lex, he doesn’t see the point in worrying what others think and he calls out Lex on multiple occasions for it. I really loved them together. I thought it was interesting that Noah was such a pariah that Lex didn’t even recognize him at first; she’s tuned him out as a person that she couldn’t recognize the guy with a new haircut. As you can imagine, the majority of the humans aren’t particularly fond of Lex and Noah together. Drama ensues, naturally.

As for the minor characters, I didn’t like them. Like any of them. Maybe they weren’t developed enough or something but I could care less about everyone except for Lex and Noah.

Since it’s a romance book (and I love my swoons), there were some swoons, not the best I’ve ever read but some notable swoons definitely.

Some of the circumstances were outlandish but that’s to be expected. For the most part, I enjoy outlandish scenarios and Vivi wrote some fun scenes. 

Overall, I really liked this book; it was a quick, fun, contemporary with a sweet romance.


About Vivi Barnes

Vivi Barnes 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.

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9 responses to “Review: Paper or Plastic by Vivi Barnes

  1. I almost grabbed this one for review, but held off just because I already had so many. I’m glad to know what you liked and what you had issues with though, so if I ever do pick it up I have an idea going in. I am all about strong secondary characters, so it’s disappointing to see you didn’t like any of them in this one. Otherwise, it sounds like this was a cute one, but I know the feeling, as I’ve read many cute contemporaries that aren’t very memorable later on.

    Jessica@Lovin' Los Libros recently posted: Review: Driven by Fate by Tessa Bailey
    • I agree! That’s exactly how I feel about this book, I really enjoyed it but it won’t stick. It’s so HARD! I just stress and then I go into technicalities. There are only half stars but some books need quarter stars! It’s just hard to sum up a book in a value.

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