Busted by Gina Ciocca
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on January 2, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery
Marisa wasn’t planning to be a snoop for hire—until she accidentally caught her best friend’s boyfriend making out with another girl. Now her reputation for sniffing out cheaters has spread all over school, and Marisa finds herself the reluctant queen of busting two-timing boys.
But when ex-frenemy Kendall asks her to spy on her boyfriend, TJ, Marisa quickly discovers the girl TJ might be falling for is Marisa herself. And worse yet? The feelings are quickly becoming mutual. Now, she’s stuck spying on a “mystery girl” and the spoken-for guy who just might be the love of her life…
Quite honestly I was expecting this book to be cute, fluffy, and predictable. But oh boy was I wrong. This book proved to be more than I could have hoped for… and much more complex than the description hints at.
What I liked:
I thought the plot was really well done. There were so many intricacies, secrets, ulterior motives, and sub-plots that fit together so well. Although so much was going on, it was easy to keep track of, without me necessarily being able to put together the pieces before the plot was revealed.
I was surprised so many times by this book. And what I liked even more was how the motivations that each character had actually made sense. There was none of those silly, unbelievable motives that leave you thinking “are you serious? You caused all this trouble for THAT?” Instead, I was like “yeah, I could see how those circumstances/character traits would drive someone to do that.” And honestly that made the story so much better and more satisfying.
For the most part, I really liked the characters too. Marisa (even though she could be a little annoying at times) had strong morals and stuck up for her friends. I liked TJ because instead of falling into the classic love interest role, he had a very dimensional personality. There was so much going on for him too, and he fit into the plot seamlessly.
Kendall, on the other hand, was an awful character… but the kind that makes the perfect antagonist. She’s the type of character that you love to hate, and I definitely loved to hate her.
What I didn’t like:
Honestly I don’t understand why some of the characters were there. Marisa has a best friend, Charlie, and she is essential to the plot. But then they have this other friend whose name I don’t even remember, because the story would have been exactly the same if she wasn’t in it.
Also the parents were kind of one-dimensional and barely showed up at all. It didn’t bother me that much (and it does tend to happen a lot in YA), but still it did bug me a little. Especially how un-invested they were in their kids lives.
Throughout the book, Marisa talks about this scholarship essay she wants to write, and the prompt is “How far would you go to get the story?” It fits in perfectly with the plot… only at the end of the book, although she does sit down to write the essay, it never says if she ends up finishing it, submitting it, or winning the money to go to her dream college (Lehigh University). So I wish that sub-arc was wrapped up a little bit better.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was so much more than I was expecting, and I’m really glad that I decided to read it.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a YA romance that focuses less on the romance and more on some awesome detectiving and mystery solving.
I am giving Busted four out of five hearts.
Talk to me:
Have you ever read this book? What did you think? If you haven’t read it, would you want to? Let me know in the comments below!