ARC Review: Paper or Plastic

Paper or Plastic
Paper or Plastic by Vivi Barnes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Release date: February 3, 2015

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?

On the surface, Paper or Plastic seems like a generic contemporary novel – boy meets girl, love happens, drama and happy ending. But this one is more a coming-of-age story of Lex, who has been a good daughter, student etc, but doesn’t look outward. She has her life planned out – or, at least, her summer. But when an impulse to show up her mom leads to her engaging in petty theft, she is forced to work at the same supermarket as a lesson for her mistakes. The place where she works has characters varying from her shy senior from school, a grandma-like person, a prankster old man, a vivacious young woman and a slightly abrasive co-worker who hates her type.

Since I already mentioned what the plot is about, I think I’ll touch upon the ways this book stood out. Lex, first of all, has to learn that everybody has problems/secrets of their own, and that hearsay is not always the truth. Appearances can be deceptive and even the happiest people can be sad at heart. Central theme-wise, it is kinda all over the place but what maybe the gist is that even what you think is a bad incident or bad time could actually be good for you; it could help you grow as a person. The writing was good and the characters had layers of complexity. That being said, I was kinda meh about the book. It was good but nothing that makes me go ‘wow’. So, 3.5 stars for this one.

Received an ARC from Entangled Teen via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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