Paper or Plastic
by Vivi Barnes
Release Date: 02/03/15
Summary from 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?
Your first job—do you remember it? I worked in a drycleaner (manning the front), which was kind of fun, actually, because my best friend worked there as well. Shenanigans ensue when you work with your friend—as Lex quickly finds out during her summer at SmartMart.
I backed up, hefted the can in my hand and rolled it toward the boxes. Jake and I both laughed as boxes flew everywhere.
“Your turn to set up,” he said.
I couldn’t help myself. I crouched down to pick up the boxes and built a macaroni box pyramid—proud that I made four tiers instead of Jake’s three.
“Okay, your turn,” I said, turning to face Jake, but Noah was standing in his place, frowning, his arms crossed. Jake was nowhere to be seen—probably ran as soon as he caught sight of the manager.
“What are you doing?” Noah asked.
“Oh, um, I was just—“
“You can’t stack boxes of food like that. What are you thinking?”
Crap. “I’m sorry. I’ll pick it up.” My face burning, I turned back to the pyramid of boxes. It sucked being called out by Noah like that. I’d have hoped he’d have a better sense of humor. Or at least not make me feel like such a slacker.
A can rolled past me, knocking into the pyramid and scattering boxes everywhere.
I whipped around to see him smirking. “Told you,” he said. “You didn’t build it with enough support at the bottom. Way too easy.”
I picked up the can of green beans and hefted it in my hand, walking toward him slowly. His eyes widened as if he thought I was going to throw it at him, though the shit-eating grin still lingered on his face. “Your turn to set it up,” I said when I reached him. “Let’s see if an architect can build a better a pyramid.”
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
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