My Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
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…
Beware spoilers ahead!
I’ve had Busted in my TBR for awhile. The original pitch really spoke to me. I liked the idea of the main character going after cheating boyfriends. I was generally excited for it! I did not enjoy Busted.
You can assume that based on the synopsis that Marisa has been busting boys for awhile. That is actually not what happens. The book begins with Marisa stalking her best friend’s (Charlie) boyfriend. Perched on the back of his house, Marisa takes a picture of the guy and the other girl. Of course she goes to Charlie and shows her the picture.
From here on out Marisa has gained a reputation for catching cheating boyfriends. The plot furthers when she meets her old friend Kendall. Kendall goes to the same school as Charlie and overheard the situation with said cheating boyfriend. Kendall then enlists Marisa’s help with her ‘cheating’ boyfriend TJ.
Let me start off with saying what I liked. TJ’s character was nice to read about. Yay for nice guys! I adored Marisa’s family and her relationship with them. I was actually liked that Charlie starts to date Marisa’s brother. Charlie and Marisa’s friendship was supportive and well written! We seriously need more positive female friendships in all genres. And that would be it.
Pretty much all of my dislikes are going to have a lot of spoilers. Like the whole plot. I was honestly surprised that Marisa starts her reputation in the beginning of the book. The synopsis seemed to imply the opposite. Then I heard someone say that the initial pitch compared Busted to Veronica Mars. Marisa was no sleuth, she was just really lucky with a dose of stupid.
Marisa and TJ were in the (I think) newspaper together. So that definitely made it easier to get close to him. In the paperback synopsis it is implied that there is more than one specific type of cheating. I don’t know why this isn’t mentioned in the GR synopsis. This definitely would’ve saved a lot of readers. Including myself.
TJ was in fact not cheating on Kendall. He had broken up with her months prior to the book. Despite this he still cared for her and stayed friends. Kendall seemed to be in some sort of denial about the whole situation. Kendall and a few other classmates were actually running an underground cheating ring (tests). Fearing that TJ would find out Kendall asked for Marisa’s help.
I do not like a ton of drama in my contemporaries. I like them comedic, relatable, and important. Busted was none of that. As someone whose been through high school I can tell you it is not this dramatic. I was actually reminded of Gossip Girl while reading this. I personally felt that there was a lot of unnecessary drama between the characters.
Onto some other issues that bothered me. Seriously I don’t understand why Marisa and TJ repeatedly forgave Kendall (in the beginning). Kendall obviously had some pride issues, held grudges for a very long time, and man does she like getting back at people. A lot of the things she did were horrible and while there were signs in the beginning, TJ and Marisa still held on.
Also unless you were Kendall and her posey you got away with everything and didn’t have any consequences. Charlie knew the girls that were bullying Kendall. And rather than do anything about it she remained silent. I know that a lot of people do this due to fear and whatnot. But Charlie had a way to stop this without anyone knowing. Her mother is a teacher at the school. All she had to do was tell her and a lot of the plot could’ve been avoided.
For the most part Charlie does get away with this as both girls decide to shift full blame on Kendall. Despite Marisa’s ex cheating on her, she certainly didn’t have many qualms of participating in cheating. Keep in mind that for a majority of Marisa and TJ’s interactions, she thinks that he’s dating Kendall. They do kiss early on as well.
Then came the website drama. Kendall set-up a website for Marisa’s services. And of course when things got bad she ruined (Kendall had the password) Marisa on said website. Thus began the prank phone calls and the trolls. Marisa’s ex was actually plot important and man was it annoying! Like was any of that drama necessary?! It took up so much of the plot. Wasted page time.
The ending is a typical dance. With apologies and everything seemingly back on track with the main characters. Marisa forgive’s her ex and starts a real relationship with TJ. Charlie is dating Marisa’s brother. Kendall and co have been exposed and are awaiting punishment. All’s well that ends well.
Overall I didn’t enjoy this book. I do not recommend.