Review – Busted by Gina Ciocca


Gina Ciocca



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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…

When I read the premise for this book, I immediately requested it on Netgalley and crossed my fingers that I would get approved. Definitely no regrets on requesting and being approved — Busted by Gina Ciocca is a delightfully fun YA contemporary romance with a little mystery that had me hooked until the end.

While some parts were a bit predictable, I still really enjoyed the story. It was intriguing, funny and incredibly entertaining that I couldn’t put the book down. I liked the investigating part and all the drama that went with it. It may have been a little bit over the top sometimes, but honestly, I loved it. I also enjoyed that there was a bit of a mystery and I had fun trying to figure out the culprit. Even though the big reveal towards the end didn’t completely surprise me, it was still quite interesting the way it all happened.

The characters were likable to some extent. I thought most of them acted their age and caused drama just like teenagers do.

Marissa was a wonderful and solid protagonist. I absolutely admired her for how fiercely she protects those she loves and would do anything for them. She’s also determined, creative, smart, and pretty hilarious. Was she perfect? No. Did she make mistakes? Of course. But her choices and personality made me want to be one of her best friends. There was just something so real and relatable, no matter how frustrating and annoying she was at times, that made me root for her.

I didn’t particularly like TJ at first, but he definitely charmed his way into my heart. I love big romantic gestures and he does one that is super adorable, sweet, and swoontastic! I also really liked that he had an artistic side and would love to own one of his creations.

Marissa’s best friend, Charlie was pretty awesome. I liked her a lot and thought she was a great friend to Marissa. Their relationship was #friendshipgoals and I enjoyed all their moments together.

I really wanted to like Kendall, but I just had the most difficult time relating to her. She was malicious and selfish that I just felt so turned off by her character. Even in the end when I learned more about what she was going through, I just couldn’t like her. I did understand why was so vindictive and I kind of felt bad for what she went through, but yeah, I just couldn’t like her. Maybe she reminded me of this girl (who was my friend and always complimented me) in college who blatantly hurt me and did something awful when I didn’t even do anything to her. Girls can just be really catty and mean.

The romance in this book was cute. There’s actually two – Marissa and TJ, & Charlie and a guy who’s crushed on her in forever. I wasn’t too enthusiastic about Marissa and TJ, but they were pretty adorable and shared some swoony scenes. To be honest, I was more excited about Charlie’s romantic interest. I don’t want to say who she ends up with, but the amazing chemistry between Charlie and her guy was undeniable and just so sweet. I shipped them from the very beginning and was so happy when Charlie finally got her happy ending with a great guy.

Oh and one last thing… I thought it was incredibly heartwarming that Marissa and her brother Nick had a wonderful sibling relationship. You could see and feel just how much they really cared about each other and it was just so stinkin’ adorable that I wanted to hug them both. It’s always nice to read about siblings getting along and have this strong and loving relationship.

There were a few things that bothered me a little, but overall, this book was just what I needed – easy to read, fun and exciting. But what really made this a win was how Gina Ciocca addressed cheating, lies, bullying, and the power of social media/internet to hurt. If you’re looking for a fast-paced lighthearted YA contemporary, then I highly suggest you add this on your TBR.

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. All thoughts and opinions are my own


ginaGina 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.


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Thanks for reading my review. Have you read this book? What did you think? Leave your comments down below.


8 thoughts on “Review – Busted by Gina Ciocca

  1. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! I had to chime in because you mentioned that you’d like to own one of TJ’s creations… and you actually can. TJ’s character was based on a real person who, when I first met him, was making leather jewelry in his parents’ barn, just like TJ. He now operates his own business, called Mangold Leather, and he makes amazing things! I’m really happy that you enjoyed the book, and if you haven’t already, I’d greatly appreciate it if you could cross-post some of it to Amazon. Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

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