Paper or Plastic
Author: Vivi Barnes
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Released: February 3, 2015
Review Source: Entangled Teen
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?
While I loved the cover of this book, the real-life people mixed in with artwork, and I loved the plot of the book...I just couldn't quite get into it. First, the cover fits perfectly with other contemporary romances in the teen field right now, so it would look really nice with the others on the shelf. However, I had some issues with the dialogue feeling a little fake at times and the relationship between the characters felt a little off at times.
What I loved about the story was the premise. A rich girl who gets in trouble and now has to work to pay it off or it will show up on her record. She isn't happy to be working at SmartMart, which reminds me a lot of Walmart, because it's not the coolest place to work. Insert cute, geeky boy into the mix and you have a romance that shouldn't happen, but you want it to happen. There were times in the book where I reminisced with times from when I was in high school. I knew at an early age that I wasn't a "bad boy" girl...I was a "geek boy" girl, so I was in love with Noah myself. I found myself blushing over the young love feeling.
I feel that the relationships Alexis had with her "friends" wasn't real enough for me. From the very beginning I wasn't happy with the dialogue interactions between them. Also, there were times where the conversations with her mom felt a little fake to me. She's supposed to be a good girl who only did one thing wrong, so I would've expected their relationship to be a little different.
Overall, I thought this was a cute Contemporary Romance that my middle schoolers would love. I think it would be good for seventh and up because of some of the scenes. I look forward to reading more from this author!