Lo and Behold! The most awesome contemporary released thus far in 2018! Busted by Gina Ciocca is funny, sweet, and definitely shows that high school is complicated enough with out being unanimously, albeit secretly, named your towns go-to gal for busting guys with wandering eyes.
This book is expected to be released on 1st January 2018.
This review may contain mild spoilers for this book (What I consider spoilers might not be what you consider spoilers but I thought that I’d put it out there just in case). READERS YE BE WARNED!
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…
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher (Sourcebooks Fire) via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review and, honestly, IT WAS AWESOME! From the very moment I heard about it I thought that, if written right, it would be such a fun read and I super looked forward to getting stuck into it (Even though I’m not a huge contemporary person and say this on nearly every contemporary novel review). Cue a free weekend and sunny days, my getting this book out was the perfect choice. Busted by Gina Ciocca is an awesome book that is both sweet and infuriating and I absolutely loved every second of it.
If you read the blurb you already know that the whole story begins when the darling main character Marisa, in a completely freakish twist of fate, catches her best friend’s boyfriend cheating on her. While she never really meant to become a PI for the high school kids of her town, when an old frenemy returns and asks her to spy on her boyfriend as well, that is exactly what happens. One of the main things that I enjoyed was that there were no unnecessary scenes that could have potentially taken away from the main story. Honestly, Busted may just be the best YA contemporary novel I have ever read. There was PLENTY of drama, a gorgeous love interest, a heaping pile of BFF loyalty, and it’s was cute to boot. With teenagers practically living on the internet and social media these days, Gina Ciocca has combined that fact with the typical angst and craziness of high school dating to give us a rather unique storyline.
While I really did enjoy the plot I definitely think that the characters and their relationships, written as they were, had a huge impact on my enjoyment of this book. Throughout Busted the you get to see friends turn into something more, BFFs staying loyal to one another, frenemies, horrible exes, jerkface and adorable boyfriends, parental affection, siblings being siblings, tough guys who are actually huge nerds, and the heart-fluttering romance that seems to pervade most YA novels. While we do get to see bits on how each of the characters act around every other character, the main POV character, Marisa, (and her reactions) is the one that I adored the most. One could say that, for the most part, Marisa is an average, stereotypical high school student; She wants to fit in, do well in school, get into a good university, hang out with her friends, and have a boyfriend that isn’t a total dick. Personality wise she was sweet, maybe a bit too naive, and at times had no idea what she was doing WHICH WAS FABULOUS! Thank-you Gina for writing your teenage main character as if she was actually a regular, “I have no idea how to adult properly” TEENAGER!
If Busted is anything to go by on how Gina Ciocca writes novels then sign me up for the rest of them because this was freakin’ awesome. The language used was super fun and very teenager-y. While there was lots of slang and weird euphemisms, I was at no point confused by the prose (which happens to me in real life so much that I really don’t want it to happen while I’m reading as well). If you want to see what I mean, and see some of my favourite quotes from this book, the highlights section at the end of this review is about 90% direct quotes.
Busted by Gina Ciocca was a perfect holiday read. It was a super sweet, cute, and perfect for when you want something easy to read. Add in hilarious characters, and crazy shenanigans and you get one of the best contemporary reads this non-contemporary reader has ever had the pleasure of reading.
- “I’m sorry. I’m not laughing at you, but there’s no way Mr. My-Body-Is-a-Temple-Save-the-Freaking-Whales was buying drugs.”
- “‘TJ came over after school today, smiley face.’” She looked up at me in disgust. “You realize this is code for ‘he threw me down on my twenty-four-carat gold bed with its diamond-encrusted headboard and had fourteen different kinds of sex with me,’ right?”
- TJ randomly nerding out about chocolate was so relatable to me, you have no idea.
- “Ignorance isn’t bliss, Marisa. It’s fucking idiocy.”
- “My parents have a weird sense of humor.” I couldn’t imagine what that meant. “Your middle name’s not Jesus, is it?”