Blog Tour - Paper or Plastic by @ViviBarnes ~ Brianna's Review + #Giveaway (@entangledteen @nereydag1003)
*I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review.*
When I saw the synopsis for this book, I knew i had to read it. It seemed quirky and fun, with a secret romance. Upon actually reading this book, I found out that there was so much more to it.
The protagonist and narrator of this book was Lex. She started out this book very different from how she was in the end. Lex was always loyal to her friends, but upon getting her job at SmartMart, she started learning things about herself, and other people. It was great to see her become even more compassionate, and I loved watching as Lex learned to get to know someone before judging them. I didn’t like her at first, but by the end of the novel, she was a relatable and admirable character.
There were an interesting group of side characters. There was Lex’s pageant-obsessed mother, who I didn’t like very much at the start of this novel. She seemed shallow, and like she favored her younger daughter who participated in beauty pageants. But like Lex, she did change for the better in the end. There was also Lex’s grandmother, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. I really loved the relationship between her and Lex, because it was so relatable. It was nice to see that Lex did have family support, but it was very sad to watch as her grandmother’s health and mind declined. Then, there was Lex’s friends, Syd, Bryce, and Court. I wasn’t quite sure why Lex and Court were friends, because Court just seemed like a bad influence, but she ended up being a good friend. Syd was likable, because she was truly supportive of Lex. And as for Bryce, I liked how he helped Lex out, but by the end of the novel, I didn’t find him quite so nice. Next, there was Ruthie, one of Lex’s fellow SmartMart employees. I loved her character, because she really helped Lex be less judgmental, and it was nice to see the inclusion of someone like that. Finally, there was Noah, Lex’s love interest. He was the real star of the book, at least in terms of the side characters. His backstory was deep and complex, and his actions just made him even more likable. Noah was dedicated to his family, had big dreams, and would do whatever he had to to protect the people he cared about. He and Lex were a great couple.
The plot of this novel was fun, full of romance, and also quite interesting. It followed Lex as she was caught shoplifting with Court, and then was forced to work at SmartMart. Through this event, Lex came into contact with Noah, and all the other quirky SmartMart cast. I loved that this showed Lex how to be a better person. Aside from this, though, there were family issues on both Lex and Noah’s sides, and it just made the novel all the more real.
In the end, I really liked this book. There was great and believable character growth, a quirky cast of characters, and real-life family issues. It wasn’t a hard read, but it did mix the emotional with the fun quite well. I really recommend this book if you like contemporary young adult, that also involved real-life issues.
Vivi Barnes is the author of Olivia Twisted and the upcoming release, Paper or Plastic. She was raised on a farm in East Texas where her theater-loving mom and cowboy dad gave her a unique perspective on life. Now living in the magic and sunshine of Orlando, Florida, she divides her time writing, working, goofing off with her husband and three kids, and avoiding dirty dishes. www.vivibarnes.com