Paper or Plastic by Vivi Barnes
This e-galley was provided by Entangled: Teen and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: 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?
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Paper or Plastic was an entertaining read but it had quite a few problems that I think could've easily been smoothed out in editing. Let me list my main problems with the book.
1) The delusional parents trope. Lex's mom hates that her daughter plays softball, is obsessed with pageants and her younger daughter Aurora, and is overbearing. Lex's dad, while somewhat present, seems more absentee than parental.
2) There was way too much telling and not enough showing. Lex would skip days in the narrative, which is fine, but then she'd tell us what had happened during training, or at work, or whatever.
3) I'm very sick of characters declaring they're in love after only really talking to each other for a few months. Sure, Lex and Noah knew each other at high school but not very well. Not well enough to likely have feelings for each other before they became coworkers. It's ok for characters to just be "in like."
Other than that, Noah and Lex's relationship was cute. I liked the SmartMart dynamics, although best coworker dynamics goes to the crew in Top Ten Clues You're Clueless. I would've liked to see Lex's softball skills in action just a little bit more because she talked the talk a lot but didn't exactly walk the walk.
Everything was fairly clean. I don't recall too much foul language.
The Verdict: Not as good as I hoped. Still worth a read, perhaps.
Will I be adding this book to my library?: It's unlikely.