Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly
Genre: Mystery, Contemporary
Publisher: Hot Key Books
I’ve had this book on my shelf for a while, and that’s mostly because the Goodreads reviews shout that there needs to be a sequel. This can only mean there’s one heck of a cliffhanger, and I wasn’t ready to be unsatisfied…until I found out there’s a sequel, coming out in the week!
So, I was ready to dive into Trouble is a Friend of Mine, safe in the knowledge I could jump right over to the second book straight after. No guesses what I’m reading now.
Advertised as a mix between Sherlock and Veronica Mars, I was on board from the word GO, so let’s talk about this mad, hilarious story and why the sequel is a must.
In River Heights, the same town in which Nancy Drew can be found, a new mystery solver has joined the scene: Philip Digby. Told from the perspective of the new girl, Zoe Webster, Trouble is a Friend of Mine is all about getting dragged further and further down the rabbit hole of a drug ring, a missing girl and a potentially dead sister. Dun, dun, dun.
Seriously, there are so many layers to this mystery, I started to wonder how everything was going to come together by the end. Of course, one thread is left trailing for the next book, but I absolutely loved the progression of shenanigans. Just when you think Digby, Zoe and Henry, the cute popular guy, are safe, they’re falling from ceiling vents and being shot at by drug dealers.
It’s definitely a story that keeps you on your toes, and the dialogue had me snorting at some points too, so that’s always a bonus. It was a type of style I haven’t read in a while, and I liked getting to enjoy dialogue, rather than just breezing through it.
Zoe, our protagonist, was new and she had a lot to adjust to. Digby, who’s not unlike stalker-y Toby from my beloved Geek Girl, knows all about what she eats when she’s alone in the house and has seen the inside of her diary without her realising. He’s also signed her up for a class project with him that they never seem to acting do anything for. While I thought Zoe’s analysis of high school society was cliche, and some of her worries felt forced to make her seem more #relatable, there’s a lot to like about this girl that will go along with anything, even if it means she’ll get her chin cut open.
Digby was by far the stand out character, so quirky and mysterious. I was really worried about him falling into a nerdy-boy box but there’s also something ruggedly handsome about him, so he seems like the best of both worlds, enough for everyone to be interested in him, but not interested enough to get to know him.
The friendship between the two is cool in the sense that there’s no definite line between them being just friends and them being something more than that. Zoe likes Henry but gets jealous at the prospect of Digby going to a school dance with someone else. I’m really intrigued by how that dynamic of their relationship will progress in the sequel.
When you read this book, you can definitely expect a lot of trouble, mischief and hilarity as the situation gets progressively harder to get out of. The mystery that was the most intriguing was the one surrounding Digby and his past, which I don’t think will truly be resolved for a while, but that tantalising desire to know more is going to nibble at me until I find out. Overall, I think you’ll love this book if you’re looking for the fun, adventurous side of Sara Shepard novels, and so I’m giving Trouble is a Friend of Mine 3.5 stars, with room for the sequel to shock me!