Book Review: Paper or Plastic by Vivi Barnes

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This review is based on an e-galley provided to me through the website Netgalley.com. This is no way had an effect on my honest review. 

Genre: 

Young Adult, Romance

Pages: 

352

Part of a Series?:

Standalone Novel

Release Date: 

February 3rd, 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author’s Website

GoodReads Summary: 

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?

My Review:

I absolutely ADORE Vivi Barnes. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of her debut novel, Olivia Twisted, which I thought was fresh and fun, and super addicting. You can actually read my review for that here. Naturally when I saw that Vivi was releasing a new book and that it was available on NetGalley, I immediately wanted it and was very excited when I got it!

I’ve worked at two grocery stores in my life, and so I immediately was totally in love with this book. This is the horrors and hilarity of working in retail, and I couldn’t stop laughing. The coupon lady, and the messes all over the place, and cleaning up vomit or poop or whatever because a customer left it behind, employee drama, all of that is so familiar, especially since this was my first job ever when I was 18 years old, right around my high school graduation. It all felt so familiar and fun. It made me remember my first job both fondly and gratitude that I’m not still there. But Vivi gets the whole thing completely right and its just plain fun.

I also super enjoyed it because of the fun between Lex and Noah. My ex boyfriend (of 6.5 years) and I met when we both worked at Albertsons, my first job, so that was also fun as well. We had a good parting of ways, so it was fun to remember our relationship fondly while also remembering how it felt to fall in love over a cash register, basically. Haha. It was very very familiar to me so I immediately connected to that story.

But you guys don’t just want to hear the personal connections I had to the story! You want to know if YOU should read it. And the answer to that is: definitely! Its SO fun. SO SO fun. I laughed so much while reading this, and even if you’ve never worked in this particular situation, if you’ve ever worked with people, period, you know exactly what this is like and its just hilarious. It feels familiar, and it makes you think of every crappy job you’ve ever had. The antics of the store, the customers, the zany employees that Lex works with and also the awesome ones as well, the work crush that you inevitably always have…it was all fantastic to read, and just super fun.

But what I really loved about this book was the relationship between the characters. Lex and her relationship with her parents and sister, and especially her grandmother. That was incredible, especially since Lex’s grandmother is sick and you have to watch that through her eyes and its incredibly difficult. Watching Lex struggle to bond with her mother, because they have such different interests. Its great to see the relationship build between Lex and Noah, especially learning all the stuff that Noah goes through in his own personal life. And I especially love the relationships that Lex builds with her fellow coworkers whether they’re a little odd or a bit older than her, its just beautiful. That’s what makes it such a strong book: the relationships, and the real human quality that the book has!

Rating: 

4 out of 5 stars

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