Thursday, March 17, 2011

Book Review: Busted by Phil Bildner

Busted by Phil Bildner
Published: 2007, Simon & Schuster
Hardcover, 244 pages
Genre: Young Adult, high school drama
Borrowed from Library

It could be the senior class ski trip, or maybe it's the way you cope with the school bully, or how you entertain yourself in the world's most boring class. Every kid has some secret crime, something that they are afraid they'll get in trouble for. In Busted, four different stories take place throughout one year at Coldwater Creek High School and intertwine to show that no one, whether you are an honors student or the best athlete in school, is safe from getting busted.

I read this book so fast I had to check for the author's name. But it was an extremely quick read (read this in less than a day, even though I had work today). It takes place in a suburban high school called Coldwater Creek where 4 different scenarios show the raw realities of the seedy side of High School.

I'm not sure if this was a cautionary tale or an fairly graphic look of the underbelly of adolescence gone unchecked but whatever it was, I'm feeling kinda "m'eh" about it. Sure I didn't put it down or anything, and there were some shocking and interesting parts, but I'm not sure if anything was resolved. Listen, I'm all for a dark story but there's gotta be some sort of moral or some sort of SOMETHING that I could get from it.

Mini-spoilers ahead. The first scenario was the shortest and most shocking. There was a ski-trip and the kids planned to smoke up and drink, which two of the boys stayed behind to play video games. In the end, the kids smoking up got caught and when one of them went back to warn the other guys playing video games, those guys were hooking up with each other. I mean...I dunno if this was for shock factor or what, but the same homosexual boy showed up later in the story only to be brutal disfigured by the school bully when he tried to stand up for himself. So it's like, what is this book about really?

It also ends so abruptly that I'm not sure what the bottom line was. I guess I give Busted a 2 out of 4 stars. It's readable, but I don't say I suggested you read it.


  1. Yeah, I agree 2 out of 4 stars. The book is a little dated, but when it came out, it was before it's time...even though that's only 4 years ago. I was trying to create discussion points -- wish the editor worked with me better on what I was trying to achieve. Still, like every book, I'm very proud of it, and it was a great learning experience.

  2. Hey Phil, you rule for being objective about my review. Clearly I'm a novice reviewer, so I'm glad you get what I meant. I was thinking of adding that I'd read more of your work because it was nice to read a YA novel from a male's point of view.

    I had no idea that the editor takes a lot away from what your original idea was! Anyway, thanks again for commenting on my review!

  3. Thanks for the honest review, I haven't heard anything about this one. Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog


I appreciate your comments!