Blog Tour + Book Review + Giveaway: Busted by Gina Ciocca

BustedTitle: Busted
Author: Gina Ciocca
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Publisher
Format: e-ARC
Age Group:Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary

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…
This is certainly not my first time at the rodeo when it comes to reading a Gina Ciocca story as I loved Last Year's MistakeBusted was certainly not a disappointment: I'm in love with Ciocca's writing style, her swoon-worthy romance, and her emphasis on friendships. Busted was simply an adorable and fun novel.

Oh, Marissa! She is just a darling. Busted begins with her catching a cheater in the act and the story evolves from there. Because maybe, just maybe, catching cheaters is her calling. What I liked most about Marissa was how enigmatic her character was - she was both steadfast in her principles but also flawed to a tee. And that, my friends, is what makes wonderful main character. The choices she's confronted with, along with the decisions she has to make, are the main reasons the stakes in this story exist in the first place.

Hooked from the first page, Marissa is a girl's girl. She has the most magnificent friendships with Charlie and Mindy that it's easy to see how the balance of the universe begins to shift when her old friend Kendall enters the picture. A mystery begins to unravel as soon as Kendall enters the picture because she gets wind that Marissa is a grade-A sleuth who happens to have a knack for catching cheaters. The main objective: catch her boyfriend in the act of cheating.

But who is the subject? None other than a new-to-her-high-school boy named TJ, who just happens to be a guy after Marissa's own heart as they share several things in common, including a major passion. And that's when things really get interesting because the subject of her investigation may be the same person Marissa is falling for in the end. But can he be trusted?

This book took some major twists and turns and it's hard to divulge too much as the subtle mystery throughout adds to the drama and the excitement. In the end, I was happy about the outcome and unfolding that occurred along the way, and despite it all, I'm elated that strong female friendships are still making its way, front and center, into YA fiction. Charlie was my second favorite character in this story.

As always, happy reading! And I'm curious as to whether you've read this one already or would like to, so please feel free to leave comments below.

Thank you so much to Sourcebooks Fire for a review copy and for choosing us to be part of the blog tour for this amazing contemporary read!

Marisa’s Top 5 Tips For Sleuthing: 
Hey there. Marisa Palmera, Private Eye here. Okay, so I don’t actually call myself that, and neither does anyone else. In fact, I never meant to become a sleuth-for-hire. But spend one night scaling your best-friend’s boyfriend’s house to take incriminating pictures, and suddenly everyone wants you to be something you’re not…and when they’re willing to line your sadly lacking pockets for it, it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.

So, should you find yourself an unwitting Girl Friday (or even a witting one... Is “witting” a thing?) like I did, here are some tips that just may save your butt:

1. Always have a camera handy. Whether it’s your cell phone, or the fancy camera you borrowed from your school’s yearbook club, you never know when you’ll need to snap an evidence shot. Just, um, make sure you turn off the flash if said camera is aimed through a window into a dark living room. I may have learned this the hard way.

2. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. Sounds ominous and dramatic, I know. But if someone gives you the vibe that they shouldn’t be let out of your sight? GO WITH IT.

3. Think fast. Suck at lying? Me too. Get over it, because you’ll be fudging the truth a lot.

4. But know when to say no. Weave enough white lies, and suddenly they’re a sticky, tangled web with you trapped inside. Know when it’s time to run, and do it like the flames of hell are licking your feet.

5. Don’t fall for the person you’re investigating. Yeah. You’re just gonna have to do as I say and not as I do on this one. Oops.

Gina 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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  1. Ooh I haven't read this one yet, but I did read Last Year's Mistake. I wasn't a huuuge fan of it, but I did enjoy the easy-to-read writing style. The concept for this sounds SO cute; adding to my tbr! <3 Awesome review, Ilena! <3

    - Aimee @ Aimee, Always

  2. Thanks Aimee! Hope you enjoy it!


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