by Phil Bildner
YA fiction. 244 pp.
Simon & Schuster. 2007.
After reading his first novel, I determined that I would read Bildner's second novel even though I wasn't impressed with his debut. Unfortunately, I think I was less impressed with the second novel. Busted is essentially a collection of short stories to comprise a novel. They're tied together as they take place over the course of a school year. The premise is that "every kid has some secret crime, something that they are afraid they'll get in trouble for." In the end, everyone gets busted.
The idea is intriguing, but in the end, I'm unimpressed with the writing. I'm also disgusted at the actions of many of the characters, particularly the principal, who allows a bully to nearly beat a gay kid to death before he finally intervenes. And how does he intervene? He beats up the bully. Which he can do since nobody will believe the bully's story.
So, having given the author two chances, I don't feel inclined to pick up his next book.