Lex loves playing softball, and her dream is to play in college and, eventually (hopefully), the Olympics. But to her mom, that is as foreign a concept as leaving the house without a full face of makeup. Which is ironic, considering Lex gets busted for shoplifting a tube of lipstick from SmartMart. Yes, that store that sells everything from snow tires to diapers to birthday cakes and has a “clientele” that you never see anywhere else. Where Lex is now employed for the rest of the summer to pay for her first-time attempt at the five-finger discount. There’s an odd assortment of employees, too, except for one manager who is super hot. As she texts this intel to her friends, she thinks working here for two months may not be so bad. Until she figures out who he is and what he did that got her best guy friend kicked off of the baseball team.
She knows that her mother expects her to fail. Maybe she even hopes it? She and Lex have been bristling at each other for a long time. Her mother can’t understand why she would hide her beauty under a baseball cap instead of competing, like she did, on the Florida pageant circuit. After all, Mom was runner-up to Miss Florida one year. Mom doesn’t get that it’s really, really not Lex’s thing, and she should be happy that Lex’s seven-year-old sister, Rory, loves it. But Mom has never supported Lex’s passion for softball.
As she gets to know them, her co-workers become more than caricatures but actual nice people. And as she gets to know Noah better, she sees someone other than “that loner guy.” Does he deserve a second chance? Does she?
I bought this title when I saw it offered through Book Bub, and I was not disappointed. While the themes of 1) redemption, 2) fish-out-of-water and 3) getting to know someone you normally wouldn’t cross paths with are not new, the meat on the bones of this story are fresh and engaging. There’s a lot going on in this story, much of which I’d rather not give away and just let the reader discover. Suffice it to say that there are a few side stories that will engross and interest alongside the main event. It’s a bit more than a “typical” romance, especially with regard to its well-developed secondary characters who are more than just background noise.
And the cover, while cute, does not do this book justice.
Paper or Plastic by Vivi Barnes was published February 3, 2015 by Entangled Teen. I purchased this title.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction Contemporary Romance
Ages: 13 and up
COYER Scavenger Hunt #38: Read a book with a fully-clothed man on the cover. (3 points)