Skip to content

New Release Review: PAPER OR PLASTIC by Vivi Barnes

If only my first on-the-job summer romance had held a candle to this one…

Paper or Plastic
by Vivi Barnes

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?



Such a fun story! Watching Lex grow up over the course of her summer made for a real feel-good YA romance. Even though not everything she encounters is positive–facing the harsh reality of her grandmother’s condition, for instance, and learning the truth about a long-ago incident and one of her best friends–she manages to make the right decisions, even when it’s difficult. Well, she does eventually, anyway. 😉

I really enjoyed Ms. Barnes’ style of writing, even when the glimpses into childhood beauty pageants had me cringing. (Loved the Disney princess names, though–cute touch!) Lex and Noah were likable characters, and so easy to root for. I would have liked to have seen how they kept their relationship going into September, but understand why the book ended when it did. (cough, cough–sequel!–cough)

Lex’s experiences at SmartMart gave me total flashbacks to my first real job (back when we had to ask, “Paper or plastic?” Every. Single. Time…and give as sincere a smile as possible for all those lovely customers who wanted both). Ms. Barnes has obviously worked in retail. She’s got the crazy customers–and the crazier coworkers–down pat. 😉

Mini Moe #2 is definitely going to have to read this one–her mom will hound her mercilessly until she gives in. It’s all for her own good, of course…I know she’ll thank me in the end.

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Published in4 starsA-Book reviewsBOOKS!new releasespotlight
%d bloggers like this: