New Release Review | Busted by Gina Ciocca


Busted by Gina Ciocci
Young Adult Contemporary

Sourcebooks Fire | January 2, 2018

About the Book:

Catching cheaters and liars is a lucrative hobby—until you fall for one of the suspects. Perfect for fans of Veronica Mars, this new novel from the author of Last Year’s Mistake will steal your heart!

Marisa never planned to be a snoop for hire. It wasn’t like she wanted to catch her best friend’s boyfriend making out with another girl. But as her reputation for sniffing out cheaters spreads all over school, Marisa finds herself the reluctant queen of busting two-timing boys.

And her next case? It’s for ex-frenemy Kendall. She’s convinced her boyfriend, TJ, has feelings for someone else and persuades Marissa to start spying on him. But the more Marisa gets to know sincere and artistic TJ, the more she starts to fall for him. Worse yet, the feelings seem to be mutual. Marisa knows she needs to give up her investigation—and the spoken-for guy who may just be the love of her life. Then she uncovers new secrets about Kendall and TJ, secrets that take “cheater” to a whole new level…

amazon2 bn2

Okay, so, basically I snatched this up only because it said “For fans of Veronica Mars”.  I’ve been missing my favorite PI and her bad boy love interest fiercely, and I totally fell for it.  Busted was not like Veronica Mars.  At all.

Yes, Marissa did stalk cheaters, but it was almost against her will.  Not in the cute snarky way Veronica grumbled either.  There was seriously something almost oxymoronish about Busted because Marissa is ‘anti-cheater’ yet some may say she’s a borderline cheater herself.  Not to mention all of Marissa’s friends are jerks!  All of them.  I’m not just talking about the few who were supposed to be assholes, because even the ‘nice’ ones were jerks.  I’ll award one point strictly on the merit that Marissa did call her friends out on it, but still.  They were all vapid.  Marissa less than the others, but there was a decent amount of talk about lip gloss, wavy hair, and primping.  I wouldn’t say it’s excessive, but it was enough to drive me nuts.

There were a couple things I thought were decently done, like how well the mystery was thought out.  I’ll admit to an embarrassing amount of skimming in the middle of the story, but I felt like I’d been surprised in the end.  I also enjoyed how Marissa noticed TJ’s artistic ability and personality before she noticed he was attractive.  For all the flaws in the story, that made me believe the both of them fell for something more than a pretty face, which is my favorite part of romance.  Lastly, I thought the crush Marissa’s brother had on her best friend was super cute.  I almost would have preferred reading them as the main story.  (Only for the brother, the best friend was annoying.)

Overall, I think Busted is better suited for an actual Young Adult audience, because I’m sure the things that drove me insane are real traits of real teens.  This is just one case where my adult perspective pulled me out of the story.  I guess I can’t love all YA.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

2 Responses

  1. I’ve learned not to put any stock into those comparison blurbs. The only time it was ever true was when The Thousandth Floor was compared to Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars. LOL Oh – except when a book says ‘for fans of Fifty Shades of Grey.’ I always appreciate that warning and steer clear. LOL

    I’m sorry this one wasn’t what you expected.


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