Trouble is a Friend of Mine
Author: Stephanie Tromly
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Number of Pages: 336
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Preparing to survive a typical day of being Digby's friend wasn't that different from preparing to survive the apocalypse.
Her first day not in school (because she cut) in her new hometown that will soon be her old hometown (because she's getting out of Dodge as fast as she can) Zoe meets Digby. Or rather, Digby decides he's going to meet Zoe and get her to help him find missing teenager. Zoe isn't sure how, but Digby—the odd and brilliant and somehow…attractive?—Digby always gets what he wants, including her help on several illegal ventures. Before she knows it, Zoe has vandalized an office complex with fake snow, pretended to buy drugs alongside a handsome football player dressed like the Hulk, had a throw-down with a possible cult, and, oh yeah, saved her new hometown (which might be worth making her permanent hometown after all.)
A mystery where catching the crook isn't the only hook, a romance where the leading man is decidedly unromantic, a story about friendship where they aren't even sure they like each other—Trouble is a Friend of Mine is a YA debut you won’t soon forget.
Trouble is a Friend of Mine is a hard book to review. It follows the story of a girl named Zoe. Zoe is new to a small town in upstate New York where she has moved with her mother after her parent's divorce. She is from the city, and is doing everything she can to get into an elite private school back home that feeds into Princeton...her father's alma mater. She's having trouble making friends when all of a sudden a boy named Digby shows up on her lawn and pulls her into the mystery of a missing girl that everyone believes has been kidnapped. Digby's especially interested in the case because years before his sister was kidnapped from his house right from under the family's nose. Zoe is unsure of this Digby character, but finds herself pulled into the middle of the mystery despite being a "good girl." She feels a little bit better about it when his incredibly handsome friend, Henry, joins in, despite the handsome friend having the resident mean girl as his girlfriend (because every high school girl needs the mean girl nemesis).
Trouble is a Friend of Mine had some great things going for it: It is quickly-paced for the most part (it dragged in the middle a little bit and could have lost maybe 30 pages to keep it really flowing), the dialog is pretty snappy and brought a smile to my face a couple of times, the characters are all interesting (I liked Zoe and hoped that she would find her place in her new town), and the mystery and the townspeople are all intriguing. The cult living across the street was especially interesting to me.
What didn't work quite so well for me was Digby's character. I liked him and found him interesting, but he is basically the equivalent of the manicpixiedreamgirl. Nobody really acts like that all the time. Also, kind of spoiler: that ending just left me feeling like what the what? Is this supposed to be the first book in a series? If not, then wtf, for real?
Overall, I don't know whether or not I can recommend this one. It is quick and pretty fun...but just, huh?