Monday, February 29, 2016

Review: Trouble is a Friend of Mine, by Stephanie Tromly

Trouble Is a Friend of Mine

Sherlock meets Veronica Mars meets Ferris Bueller's Day Off in this romance where the leading man is decidedly unromantic, and crime novel where catching the crook isn't the only hook.

     Of course Zoe Webster didn't like Philip Digby when she first met him. No one does! He's rude and he treats her like a book he's already read and knows the ending to. But Zoe is new in town and her options for friends are . . . limited. And before she knows it, Digby—annoying, brilliant, and somehow attractive?—has dragged her into a series of hilarious and dangerous situations all related to the investigation of a missing local teen girl. When it comes to Digby, Zoe just can't say no. But is Digby's manic quest really worth all the trouble he's getting Zoe into?

I got about three chapters in before I realized, I know this kid. He was one of my patrons many years back, his name wasn't Digby, and he wasn't old enough to make any little girl's hearts stutter yet. But he was amazingly bright, confident enough to barrel through all sorts of trouble, and just so hard to stay mad at. Even when he consistently broke through every guard our tech people put on the computer, AND I busted him drinking MY Cokes from the staff refrigerator. I remember asking him once to please use his powers for good, not for evil.

Zoe is a likeable character, well-fleshed-out enough that she isn't just a foil for Digby's escapades. I found myself feeling things along with her even though she isn't much like me, which to me always speaks well for the writing. Henry is a bit more two-dimensional (don't worry, you'll meet Henry fairly soon), but his presence does give the story a little more depth, in addition to providing Zoe (and us) with back story.

Digby, though. Digby is definitely the star of the show, and he sweeps the reader along just as he does the people around him. In fact, Tromly owes me some laundry time, because I spent the entireity of the kids' naps yesterday hiding in the kitchen so I could finish reading.

Now, once I was finished, the analytical blogger in me started questioning the plausibility of the situations, especially the whole final explosives thing (no spoiler, it starts with that). And then there was Digby's big secret! But then the reader in me punched the blogger in the face and told her to shut up, we enjoyed the whole ride, and Digby's secret was hiLARious, and we didn't want to hear anyone poking holes in it. Plus, this morning my radio DJs were discussing a CHP helicopter chasing an escaped unicorn, so who am I to question what could really happen?

Part of me hopes for a sequel (I want more Digby!) but the other part fears seeing a good thing ruined. Either way, this is definitely a must-have for any young adult collection. 

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