Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly
Published 6th August 2015
304 pages paperback
“Preparing to survive a typical day of being Digby’s friend wasn’t that different from preparing to survive the Apocalypse.”
The first time Philip Digby shows up on Zoe Webster’s doorstep, he’s rude and he treats her like a book he’s already read and knows the ending to.
But before she knows it, Zoe’s allowed Digby—annoying, brilliant, and somehow…attractive? Digby—to drag her into a series of hilarious, dangerous, and only vaguely legal schemes all related to the kidnapping of a local teenage girl. A kidnapping that might be connected to the tragic disappearance of his little sister eight years ago. When it comes to Digby, Zoe just can’t say no.
But is Digby a hero? Or is his manic quest an indication of a desperate attempt to repair his broken family and exorcize his own obsessive-compulsive tendencies? And does she really care anyway?
This is a contemporary debut with razor-sharp dialogue, ridiculously funny action, and a dynamic duo you won’t soon forget.
After her parents get divorced, high school junior Zoe Webster moves with her mother from Brooklyn to upstate New York, determined to get back to the city and transfer to the elite private school her father insists on. But then she meets Philip Digby–the odd and brilliant and somehow attractive?–Digby, and soon finds herself in a series of hilarious and dangerous situations all centred on his search for the kidnapper of a local teenage girl who may know something about the tragic disappearance of his kid sister eight years ago. Before she knows it, Zoe has vandalized an office complex with fake snow, pretended to buy drugs alongside a handsome football star dressed like the Hulk, had a serious throw down with a possible religious cult, challenged her controlling father, and, oh yeah, saved her new hometown.
For fans of John Green and David Levithan, this is a crime novel where catching the crook isn’t the only hook, a romance where the leading man is decidedly unromantic, a friendship story where they aren’t even sure they like each other, and a debut you won’t soon forget.
I think the synopsis above comprehensively lays the story out. If your not hooked by that hook, then I’m not sure what I can tell you. I’m giving this book Five Stars. I had a lot of fun reading it.
Hot Key Books labels this book as 50% Mystery, 30% Humour, 20% Friendship. There is a twisting and turning Who-Done-It-vibe the whole way though. Teenagers just trying to survive being teenagers. Heart warming moments. Multiple creepy bad guys. And tonnes of fun.
By the end of the second page I was hooked on the story and hooked on Digby “the local troublemaker”. Sixteen year old me would have been eating her heart out over Digby.
Right from the start Digby causes Zoe grief and gets her into trouble, and that trouble is addictive. The way Digby sasses every one rubs off on Zoe and it’s for the better as she finally stands up to her ass of a father.
While the kidnapping of the local teenage girl is solved. The mystery of Digby’s little sisters disappearance deepens and we are left with a Kiss and open ending to the book.
I loved Digby, Zoe, Henry and Felix. Especial Felix when he comes flying out of the Ambulance towards the end – Ok I’m just going stop, I wouldn’t want to give any of the surprises away.
I tweeted Mrs Tromly in regards to the unfinished business at the end of book and bless her she tweeted me back within minutes saying that YES, a sequel named Trouble Makes a Comeback will be out next year. I’m excited.
Stephanie Tromly was born in Manila, grew up in Hong Kong and now lives with her husband and son in Winnipeg. She is working on her PhD in English Literature.