Saturday, 16 January 2016

Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly

Trouble is a Friend of Mine
Stephanie Tromly
Kathy Dawson Books
[August 4, 2015]
egalley from publicist

Of course I didn’t like Digby when I first met him. No one does.

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.
A disclaimer you haven't seen in a while: I read this book a while ago, so I've forgotten some details (but with this book? Not enough to drastically ruin my memory).

This book is...a bizarre little book. It was pitched to me as a sort of Veronica Mars with a Sherlockian character in Digby. Which...isn't wrong. Zoe and Digby had this bizarre friendship dynamic that I could understand in some ways, but also that worried me in others. Mostly, the banter was entertaining, but Digby could be rather creepy.

That aside, I loved the mystery and general plot of the book. It was interesting and well thought out and well executed. I think it especially worked because it wasn't just a mystery of what happened to the missing girls, but also because Digby is a mystery. You had these two concurring things happening that made you think, so if you were bored of one, you still had the other to hook you in.

I did really like Zoe on the other hand. Where Digby was a bit creepy, a bit iffy, a bit entertaining at times, Zoe was this constant, very understandable character. She was worried about getting into her dream college and moving and her parent's divorce and she had a lot of doubts about Digby's plans and whether there was all that much to investigate. She was so normal and maybe not a fully realistic teen, but she had these parts to her that were so relatable.

I also loved the writing. The writing and the dialogue was what really made this book stand out as quirky. It was fast paced and charming and clever. It really pulls you in with the mysteries and the strange characters. This could have easily felt overdone or fake, but the writing tied it all together into something that was just fun.

I had my issues with Digby, but all in all, I really did enjoy reading this one. It's got the Veronica Mars and Sherlock aspects to it that it promised me, but with a quirkiness all its own that allows it to stand out from other books that claim to have these comp titles. It's not gonna work for everyone, but it worked for me and I'm excited to see what Tromly writes next.

--Julie

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