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BUSTED by Gina Ciocca is a contemporary novel with a main character named Marisa who catches her best friend’s boyfriend cheating on her. It was a complete accident, however, when her ex-best friend Kendall appears in Marisa’s life again asking for help, Marisa finds herself unable to say no. Soon Marisa finds herself following Kendall’s boyfriend all over town to catch him in the act of cheating.

The main character Marisa was very likeable and easy to relate to as her boy struggles and friend struggles are very applicable to teenagers now. That being said, I do think that she was too trusting, along with a few of the other characters in the book. I absolutely enjoyed reading the descriptions of the boys that Marisa “busted” and it was very satisfying to see people get what they deserved. Eventually I did get a little confused when characters started popping up out of nowhere at the end. I was also mad that cheating ex-boyfriends ended up helping characters out when they in no means deserved to be let back in. There was a slight plot twist that I slightly saw coming but when it was revealed I still internally gasped because it was revealed in such a gasp-worthy way. When Marisa was doing her spying thing and trying to avoid getting caught, I could feel my heart racing along with her as she ducked into corners and cabinets to avoid detection.

"BUSTED is...for all of those people who crave scheming and tangled webs of lies and secrets that are slowly unraveled throughout the story....tantalizing...."

I am usually against the “girls against other girls” trope, but in this book I was all for it. It was so fun to agree with all of the other characters about how bad of an influence Kendall was and to see Marisa brush their concerns off. I always love a good revenge story and the plans to plot that revenge had me rubbing my hands together gleefully in anticipation to see what happened. There was a small lack of chemistry for me between Marisa and her later crush but I loved the way their romance played out nonetheless.

The synopsis of the book on the back cover made me originally think that the book would be about this queen of sniffing out cheaters but in reality there are only three boys who Marisa catches. The book also isn’t as focused on cheating boyfriends as I thought it would be and ends up diving into this mystery of a cheater at school (cheating on tests this time, not girls). Despite the slightly misleading synopsis I did enjoy this book! It was very different from the contemporaries I usually read, plot-wise, and it was a super quick read. Fans of Kasie West and Morgan Matson may enjoy this book as it follows similar romance patterns. In terms of the mystery and revenge aspect it reminded me of THERE’S SOMEONE IN YOUR HOUSE by Stephanie Perkins.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has had a rough end to a relationship, either because of cheating or something else and anyone who wants to see ex-boyfriends roasted. For that matter, for anyone who likes to see comeuppance served, definitely check this book out. For those girls and guys who love their mysteries and romances wrapped up together, this is the book for you! Marisa is a smart and fun narrator, especially when she gets herself into situations most people would get caught in. BUSTED is a bit of a weird and quirky book for all of those people who crave scheming and tangled webs of lies and secrets that are slowly unraveled throughout the story. With each secret discovered, there are ten more questions which are slowly revealed at a painfully tantalizing rate.

Reviewed by Ilona K., Teen Board Member on February 16, 2018

by Gina Ciocca