Paper or Plastic by Vivi Barnes

paper or plastic

Paper or Plastic by Vivi Barnes
Publication Date: February 3rd 2015 by Entangled Teen
Source: ARC from Publisher via Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★
Amazon / Goodreads


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?

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange of a review. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

Okay so this book was exactly what I needed. We’ve been having a pretty crazy weather since last week, and while classes weren’t exactly suspended, I still had the chance to curl up in bed and enjoy couple of good books. One of them is this one.

When I first heard of this book, I didn’t really give it much notice, until I saw it again on Entangled Teen’s newsletter, and I thought “What the hell? Might as well give this a chance!” So I did and I don’t regret anything because I really enjoyed this one! I could have easily finished it in one sitting if only I wasn’t so busy with school, but hey! I finished it!

“When a person is naive enough to believe things are starting to look up, that’s exactly when they begin falling down.”

The main character, Lex, was forced to work at SmartMart in punishment of her stealing a cheap tube of lipstick at the very same store. She has absolutely no intention of having the job so she started pretty much annoyed to be doing such thing. She came off as bratty at first and a bit rebellious, but as the story progressed, I got to see more of her nicer side. She’s actually really compassionate, kind and sympathetic with everyone. Although, there were moments where she seemed a little selfish and naive, but I guess every teenager has their own moments.

Working at SmartMart, Lex encounters Noah Grayson, a schoolmate of hers and isn’t exactly a part of her social circle at school. Noah works at SmartMart as a manager. She’s a little indifferent towards him at first, since her friends, especially Bryce, isn’t exactly in good terms with Noah. Noah’s actually one of the most adorable characters I’ve ever read. He’s so sincere, honest, loyal, kind, and has a great sense of humor. I’m legit swooning just from typing these. I really like the dynamics and chemistry between him and Lex. And he’s responsible too, and family-oriented and his background added a real depth to his character.

“Our hearts connect with others all the time, the electricity zipping and zapping all over the place. We can’t even sense it most of the time, but then we meet The One, and that’s when the beat changes ever so slightly to match theirs. That’s what they call a match – when the music inside your chest beats in synchronization with the one you’re meant to be with.”

I also enjoyed reading about Lex’s workmates at SmartMart, especially Bessie, Ruthie, Jake, and Mr. Hanson. Mr. Hanson should be everyone’s dream boss because he’s so kind and considerate towards his employees. Lex’s family wasn’t exactly perfect, but it was a treat reading about them. Her mom sometimes annoyed the heck out of me, but isn’t that what all moms do? I love Lex’s relationship with his Dad and Grandma, but I wish I could’ve seen more interaction with her and her little sister, Rory.

This book was easy to read because I got hooked from the first chapter, and well it’s relatively shorter, but full of content! The characters were easy to relate to and have a very realistic portrayal which was awesome! The romance was a bit slow-paced but heck, the tension was there and I could slice it with a knife. The book was overall enjoyable and a quick, light-hearted read.


Discovering Stranger Things


In case you haven’t noticed, the book blogging community is not only a great source for book recommendations, but also an amazing one when it comes to all things pop culture. One particular thing I love about the community is that everyone seems to board on the hype train, especially when it comes to really good TV or Netflix Original series.

If you can remember, one of my Nerdiscoveries post back then was about Sense8, which was a Netflix original, and now I’m back with another one! I have been seeing tweets and articles about Stranger Things for weeks, and I really wanted to watch it but I was just so busy with school and everything, until my housemate gave me the final push and then bam! Goodbye responsibilities, Hello Stranger Things!

If you have zero knowledge about the show, it’s better to stay that way and just jump into watching it, but yes the main characters are a bunch of kids, amazing kids actually, and diverse if I may say so. And my favorite character is definitely Dustin!

Yup, Winona Ryder is here and the police chief kinda looks like Jack Nicholson from The Shining, and the soundtrack is really amazing that they’re making it available to stream! It’s a horror/sci-fi show, which I guess is really perfect for fans of Stephen King! It’s set in the 1980s and there’s tons of homage to pop culture which is awesome!

Another thing I really loved about it is the cinematography! It’s visually enriching and I love watching it so much that I’m planning on binge-ing the whole thing over again soon! The characters were also very developed and interesting and it say so much, with the series only having 8 episodes for the first season. I’m not sure if a second season is coming but I hope there will be because I NEED MORE!!

Seriously, go see it if you still haven’t!


What Things Mean by Sophia Lee

what things meanWhat Things Mean by Sophia Lee
Publication Date: May 2016 by Scholastic
Source: Finished copy from the Author



What does it mean to be different? 14-year-old Olive is struggling to find out. Everything about her is so different from the rest of her family. She is big-haired, brown skinned, and clumsy in a family of cream-colored beauties who are all popular and Good At Sports. She closely resembles a father she has never known, and about whom her mother never speaks, and no one wants to tell her why. She turns to books and other things in her quest to find answers, and as a way to cope with her loneliness. When she learns the truth about her father, she must decide whether or not she will let the differences in her life define her forever.

A unique coming-of-age story unfolding through dictionary-style chapters, What Things Mean takes a closer look at the things that define a life, and the many ways in which we find meaning.

*Grand Prize Winner, Scholastic Asian Book Award 2014

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange of a review. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

For someone who loves reading books, I barely read books from local authors, because most of the gems go under the radar. When I received an email from the author offering me a book for review, I immediately grabbed the opportunity!

The book was told in a unique manner, each chapter starting with a dictionary entry. It’s like a collection of different mini-stories stringed together, which was really cool. It was easy to read, and a short one so I read it in one sitting.

“I know now that things are always more than what they mean. Things mean different things to people. People are the ones who give meaning to things.”

I love Olive’s voice because it’s very realistic and relatable. Well, one factor is that the book is set in the Philippines. I love the fact that even the smallest things in Philippine culture was incorporated in the book.

Also considering that this book was written by a Filipino, one of the main themes in the book is family, since us lot are very much family-oriented. And yes, I did enjoy the book because of the realistic portrayals of the characters and themes of the story.

The dictionary entries were also quite enjoyable to read, and I’ve discovered new meanings to the words! Overall, this book was just the right one to get me out of my reading slump. It’s very relatable and heartfelt, also enjoyable. One of the best coming of age books I’ve ever read!



Twenty One Pilots Book Tag


Hey everyone! I’m back with a book tag!

I saw this tag posted by Amber on her booktube channel, and being the Twenty One Pilots fan that I am, I decided to do this myself!

Stressed Out – A popular book that you have wanted to read for a long time that everyone has been talking about?

I’m going to go with the Throne of Glass Series, or any Sarah J. Maas novel with this one. I started to read Throne of Glass but I put it down for reasons that I don’t even remember. I’m planning on picking it up again sooner though.

Car Radio – A book that contained issues you felt you connected to on a personal level.

This one’s a recent read and I loved it so much. It’s Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes, and Paula herself knows this. A couple of months ago, my anxiety and depression was hitting me real hard and I just picked this book up on a whim and I couldn’t put it down because I could really relate to the main characters and the whole story. I even cried because of it, I was pretty emotional during that time and the book really helped me in a big way.

Ride – A book that you wanted to never end.

I’m gonna go with The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan. I had so much fun reading this book and I really didn’t want it to end because I didn’t want to wait long for the next one.

Holding on to You – A book/series that you have loved since your childhood?

Simple. Harry Potter series of course! I also love the Percy Jackson series. I spent my adolescent days reading both series and I learned a lot from them.

Tear in my Heart – A book that made you feel all the emotions.

There could be lots of books I could list down but I think one worth mentioning is The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon. It’s a great contemporary, one of the best ones I’ve read this year so far so you all need to watch out when it comes out on November!

Fairly Local – What is your personal favourite underground book/series?

Anne Eliot’s books are an auto-answer! She’s one of my favorite indie authors and I love her books so much because they’re full of fluff and humor, with a side of drama which makes them realistic, heartfelt and relatable. Read her book, Almost, it’s a great book that deals with sensitive issues.

Ode to Sleep – A book that was full of twists and turns and kept you on the edge of your seat.

Mostly YA thrillers go to this category and the last one I’ve read and loved was The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas! It’s really good and it was all twisty until the very end. I really enjoyed reading that book and I can still remember the feeling and the emotions I’ve felt while reading the book, including those mini-heart attacks!

Goner – A book character that you fell in love with from the beginning?

Cricket Bell from Lola and the Boy Next Door! He’s one of my favorite book boyfriends ever and I need to protect him at all costs!

Migraine – One book that gave you a headache to read?

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi. Seriously, as much as I loved the series, the love triangle was a mess. This book made me stay away from books with messy love triangles.

We Don’t Believe What’s On TV – A book that you love that most people seem to hate?

99 Days by Katie Cotugno. I mean, I don’t really ~love it but I somehow enjoyed reading it. Remember what I said about messy love triangles? Well that, plus a bunch of bad decisions, but I think I was totally in the mood for that when I read this book. A lot of people didn’t like this book, but I liked this.

So there you go! Here’s my Twenty One Pilots Book Tag and I have zero idea who to tag but if you want to do this, feel free to do so!

Stay alive, friends!