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Peek Inside Paper or Plastic

Busted. Lexie Dubois just got caught shoplifting a cheap tube of lipstick at the SmartMart. And her punishment is spending her summer working at the weird cheap-o store, where the only thing stranger than customers are the staff. Coupon cutters, jerk customers, and learning exactly what a “Code B” really is (ew). And for added awkwardness, her new supervisor is the very cute—and least popular guy in school—Noah Grayson. And this summer, she'll learn there's a whole lot more to SmartMart than she ever imagined...

Paper or Plastic

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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?


"An enjoyable read with enough emotional turmoil and sweet romantic moments to satisfy the YA crowd." --Kirkus Reviews

"Oh this book! What a delightful little thing Paper or Plastic was! I enjoyed every minute of it and had butterflies in my tummy by the end." --Nick, Goodreads

"I loved this book! It was so much fun and romance-y and surprising and just enjoyable. I definitely recommend it for those days when you want a quick romance to get you through the cold days." --Lori, Goodreads

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781622665266
Release Date: Feb 3, 2015
Page Count: 320
Imprint: teen
Genre: contemporary, young adult
Tropes: forced proximity

Select Featured Reviews

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By Liz April 29, 2015

I received a copy of this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

So, rich girl steals some lipstick and has to work at the place she stole it from for the summer. YA Contemporary isn't something that is brand new or comes up with new, revolutionary storylines, but it does push what you ...more

By Lindsey March 22, 2015

[3.5 Stars]
I received this from Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review. ...more

Oh this book! What a delightful little thing Paper or Plastic was! I enjoyed every minute of it and had butterflies in my tummy by the end.

I initially had some serious doubts about Alexis, our protagonist. She was caught shoplifting and in exchange for not reporting the case, the supermarket owner a ...more

By Lori February 04, 2015

I loved this book! It was so much fun and romance-y and surprising and just enjoyable. I definitely recommend it for those days when you want a quick romance to get you through the cold days. Lex, the main character, was a bit off-putting in the beginning with her entitlement and bratty attitude but ...more

By Danni March 20, 2015

That was quite the ending. I thought the twist would be different but I'm glad it didn't turn out the way I thought it would. And thought the twist was good it came out of nowhere? And it was a little rushed at times. But overall 4.5 stars. A review will come on my channel sometime soon. ...more

By Meredith February 04, 2015

Paper or Plastic was amazing, adorable and unputdownable! No, seriously, I read it in four hours! And I only put it down once to take care of the dog and do dinner! The characters in this book were all incredible and realistic and they all tugged at my heartstrings. Pair all that with Vivi Barnes' i ...more

By Sara January 26, 2015

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, ...more

By Jackie (Jackie's Book World) February 03, 2015

***Review can also be found at Jackie's Book World*** :)

Rating: 4.5/5

Paper or Plastic was just a cute romantic read that will leave you wanting for more.

From the very start I was intrigued with the synopsis, it sounded very promising, and it did not disappoint at all. Every single character ...more

By Michelle February 11, 2015

**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs:** 

Paper Or plastic is a story about a teenage girl that gets caught shoplifting with her friend and as a punishment, she has to work at the SmartMart, a very uncool store in town, to repay her crime. The whole shoplifting ...more

By Morris February 19, 2015

“Paper or Plastic” is exactly what it intends to be: a light ya romance and palate cleanser. It fulfills its purpose wonderfully.

The characters are engaging and fun, all of them with underlying issues that a revealed throughout the book. They grow a surprising amount as people given the length and l ...more

By Kristen February 09, 2015

What an easy and lovable read! As someone who put in their fair share of time in retail hell, Paper or Plastic had me laughing and nodding along as I read. The situations and customers that Lex is faced with whenever she unhappily takes a job at SmartMart are realistic without being too heavy or ov ...more

By Christina April 06, 2015

I read and loved Vivi Barnes' OLIVIA TWISTED so I was eager to preorder my copy of PAPER OR PLASTIC, and boy am I glad I did! This story is utterly charming, compelling and fun. Such a unique concept and storyline. The characters made me laugh so hard. I read this book in less than a day. I'm eagerl ...more

Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours and author Vivi Barnes for providing me with a copy of this in exchange for an honest review!

Find this review and more on my blog The Rest Is Still Unwritten!

Paper or Plastic by Vivi Barnes is a delightfully fun contemporary romance that is an easy read with an addic ...more

By Kyra (Blog of a Bookaholic) January 23, 2015

First off, I love this cover and I'd totally buy it in physical format just so I could stare at the cover the whole day. It's pink and white and pink and it's just so pretty! Secondly, I liked this book, a lot more than I thought I would. There were some things that prevented me from giving it a ful ...more

By oliviaxreader August 07, 2018

Read is you're looking for a short, past timer. Not saying it's boring, but definitely not one of my favorites by Vivi Barnes.


P.S. Love this book? Check out Olivia Twisted and Olivia Decoded by Vivi Barnes! ...more

By malayna September 07, 2018


I LOVED this book! This is definitely one of my favorite contemporary reads of the summer so far! I thoroughly enjoyed this book through and through.

This book is about a girl named Alexis "Lex" who has made a mistake when she decides to go along with her friend and shoplift... steal ...more

By Moriah December 19, 2014

Alexis Jasmine Dubois did not plan on spending her summer in SmartMart, the store that attracts people of all kinds. When her friend Court convinces her to steal a tube of lipstick and then she gets caught, her only option is work at the store that has been at the punch of many jokes or have the eve ...more

By Jillyn February 04, 2015


Paper or Plastic is an adorable, fast read that I ate up in one sitting.

I wasn't sure how I was going to like this book, as the lead character Lex annoyed me at the beginning. Maybe it's because I worked in high school, but her I'm-above-this attitude rubbed me wrong- but she changes so much t ...more

By Meagan December 27, 2014

Paper or Plastic was an airy yet lovable read. It reminded me a lot of a Heather Hepler book, great characterization, believable attraction and angst, and just enough familial conflict and ridiculousness to keep you reading and laughing. Alexis gets caught shoplifting at the local SmartMart (like Wi ...more

By Kimber February 10, 2015

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

Paper or Plastic was a sweet story about a girl who was caught shoplifting a lipstick. This minor theft led to an entire world-view change for main character Lex, as she was forced to work at the discount retailer for the summer as ...more

By John March 27, 2016

Lexi's mistake came after letting her friend Court talk her into shoplifting a lipstick. She doesn't like lipstick. In fact, since her mom is such a nut case about beauty pageants and her little sister's participation, she kind of avoids the whole make up and looking fancy scene. When they're busted ...more

By Elaine January 07, 2015

What a great story this is, full of all the teenage peer pressure, poblems with parents, trying to control hormonal reactions - it has the lot!

Lex is cajoled into shoplifting a lipstick by a "friend". It wasn't even in a shade she would ever use! Needless to say, she was caught and her Mum worked ou ...more

By Sofia May 25, 2015

I have these periods where all I want to do is read a whole bunch of romance books and I am currently in one of these periods. Quite a few people on booktube have been receiving this book for review, so I thought I’d pick up a copy because it seemed like just what I wanted and it was. Paper or Plast ...more

By Joyce May 08, 2020

This was such an amazing read. Super cute and fluffy read. This was a very sweet and heartfelt story. I love the main character, Alexis. Alexis was someone who really grew throughout the book. I was really impressed by how much she matured and learned from her experiences. However, it was Noah that ...more

By Alex July 16, 2015

I loved this book, so much that even when i was forced to put it down, I was staring at it, while willing myself NOT to pick it up, because I had work to do. When I finally got to sit down with it again, I read over half of it in one sitting, and it drew me into the story so well that I got up to us ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
3.77 avg rating
Vivi Barnes

About the author

Vivi Barnes

Vivi Barnes was raised on a farm in East Texas where her theater-loving mom and cowboy dad gave her a unique perspective on life. After college, she convinced her supportive husband to move with her to be part of the sunshine and magic in Orlando, Florida. On a good day, she manages to divide her time writing, working, reading, goofing off with her three kids, and avoiding dirty dishes. Vivi is a proud member of SCBWI and attends conferences whenever she can.

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