Title: Trouble is a Friend of Mine
Author(s): Stephanie Tromly
Release Date: 6th August 2015
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Sherlock meets The Breakfast Club in this story of a wisecracking girl who meets a weird but brilliant boy and their roller-coaster of a semester that's one part awkward, three parts thrilling, and five parts awesome
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 centered 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.
Zoe Webster has had her life turned upside down.
Her parents divorced, forcing her to move to upstate New York, where she doesn't know anyone. She needs to start again in a new High School, where her struggle to make new friends is only convincing her further to pursue her goal of transferring to a private school the following year, back to Brooklyn and back to living with her father.
That is, until she meets Digby.
Up and Down seem to lose all meaning as Zoe and Digby embark on a crazy roller-coaster of an adventure as they investigate the disappearance of one of their school mates, attempt to find clues about Digby's sister whereabouts and try to understand what the weird cult across the street is up to.
Also, at some point, they are stuck in a house filled with explosives.
'Trouble is a Friend of Mine' was a breath of fresh air in YA for me. Not heavy on the romance (which I REALLY appreciate and struggle to find in this genre), taps into mystery/crime -something I usually have to go to 'Adult' fiction to find- and it's full of compelling, fleshed out, non stereotypical characters.
Zoe steps away from the 'new student loner' type, and comes through as a sarcastic, funny, resourceful girl. Digby is a young Sherlock Holmes type (reminds me of the Robert Downey Jr. version, which I think is not appreciated enough), and he's one of my favorite male characters of late. More authors should take this sort of comedic guy out of the shadows of being a side character and make them the lead!
The mystery was brilliantly enveloped into the story. While it might not be the kind of 'plot twist' inducing story that most people love in the genre (me included), it was still interesting to follow, to see how it developed and how it helped build up the characters.
There will be (thankfully) a sequel coming out next year, and while this is one of the rare cases where I really want to read more out of a standalone, there are not a lot of loose ends to pick up from. There is a threat hanging there that leaves you wanting for more, and I just can't wait to see it pulled and worked on in the next book.
Great pace, super quick read, an easy recommendation to anyone and everyone!