ARC Review (+ blog tour!) – Busted by Gina Ciocca

I got invited to be part of the release blog tour for Busted by Gina Ciocca, and I’m super excited that I did! I also got an advanced copy of the book from NetGalley, so I dove in and read it in less than 36 hours. You guys. This book is fun! And I’m really excited to tell you alllllllll about it!

So without further ado… (don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter at the end!)

In Busted, Marisa Palmera lets curiosity and anger get the better of her once, catching her best friend’s boyfriend with another girl. Word gets around, and suddenly a frenemy from her past (Kendall) asks if Marisa can keep an eye on her boyfriend, TJ. After Marisa gives Kendall some favorable results (subjectively), Kendall uses her computer programming skills to set up a website for Marisa called Busted, where other girls can email and ask an anonymous high school private eye (Marisa) to get dirt on their boyfriends for them. It starts out fine… until Marisa and TJ start to realize that their friendship could be a lot more. Marisa feels terrible, because TJ and Kendall have been dating for a while. Or… have they?

There is so much more to this book but I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I’m going to leave it at that. Think Veronica Mars meets Mean Girls and you have Busted.


3 Things I Loved

  1. TJ. Even when he’s looking pretty shady, TJ is a gem of a love interest character. He’s an introvert, he’s nerdy, he’s crafty, he’s on the yearbook… I just loved him from the very first page. And he gets better as the book goes on, trust me.
  2. Marisa. Our narrator is a super-relatable high school student. She’s driven and smart and has close female friendships and hobbies. She actually did remind me a lot of Veronica Mars throughout the book, even though many people on Goodreads have been complaining that this book doesn’t really compare to the show. I think it totally does, and I was here for it.
  3. Marisa and Charlie’s friendship. This is a friendship for the ages. They are there for each other. They support each other through thick and thin. They’re different and go to different schools, but they still hang out all the time and call each other on their shit and it’s the best. Long live Marisa and Charlie.

Dislikes/Problematic Content

Okay, first of all – this book is super white and super straight. There isn’t a single mention of a person of color or a gay character, and that makes me sad. I have trouble believing that a town in Pennsylvania with enough of a population to support several high schools, including one with an exclusive honors program, wouldn’t have some gay people and some people of color in it. Come on now.

The biggest dislike for me in this book is the mean girl trope. I am the first to say that I love Mean Girls, buuuuuuut I’m really tired of the pretty girl always being the bad guy. There’s more to it in this book, and I don’t want to say more, but that was what bothered me the most (and what kept this book out of the five-star range on my Goodreads).


A reminder of the rating scale:

  • Red = DNF, I hated everything
  • Orange = Ugh, no thank you
  • Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
  • Green = This was good! 
  • Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
  • Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!

Taking into account my dislikes and problems with the book and trying to equal that out with how much I enjoyed it while I was reading it and all the Veronica Mars vibes… I’m going to have to give Busted a GREEN rating. I really enjoyed it!

Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion in the slightest.

About the Author

Gina Ciocca author photoGina Ciocca graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in English, but in her mind, she never left high school. She relocated from Connecticut to Georgia, where she lives with her husband and son. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her taking long walks around the lake in her neighborhood. Gina can also be found online at, on Instagram as gmciocca, and Twitter as gmc511.


Enjoy a Rafflecopter giveaway!

Happy reading, Marshmallows!


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