First, Marisa Palmera spots her best friend’s boyfriend making out with another girl.
Then her old frenemy, white girl Kendall, comes back into her life and enlists Marisa to spy on her boyfriend, white guy TJ, whom Kendall suspects is two-timing her. For the sake of the job, white Marisa befriends TJ; he’s definitely hiding something, but it might not be what Kendall and Marisa think. As Marisa and TJ’s friendship grows, she finds herself falling for him, landing in the throes of a moral crisis. In a misguided act of gratitude, Kendall sets up a website called Busted (“Don’t hate the player…bust his ass!”) to advertise Marisa’s “services” for a fee, and before long, Marisa is the go-to gal for exposing high school infidelities (the “clients” all appear to be white, heterosexual teenage girls). A subplot in which Marisa’s best friend, white girl Charlie, is wrongly accused of stealing test answers adds another element of mystery that might be connected to TJ’s shady activity. Marisa’s biting first-person narration is enhanced by hilarious, sarcastic volleying back and forth with her brother, Nick. Throughout, girls, including Marisa, employ such insults as “tramp,” “bimbo,” and “drama queen” to put down and devalue other girls. The demeaning language goes both ways: “slut” and “bitch” are equally applied to boys.
Good for a few chuckles. (Fiction. 13-18)