Trouble is a Friend of Mine has been touted as Veronica Mars meets Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which I just couldn’t see. It most reminded me of an attempt to take the BBC’s Sherlock and make it YA, but even my own comparison might set you up with some pretty high and unrealistic expectations. I’ll just say that if you enjoy over the top reads like Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick and Denton Little’s Deathdate, this might tickle your fancy.
Preparing to survive a typical day of being Digbys 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.
The biggest strength in this book is the engaging dynamic between Digby and Zoe. Their relationship is reminiscent of the one between Sherlock and Watson in the BBC show Sherlock. Digby is a resident nutcase/genius with little understanding of social behavior, and Zoe is the average girl next door who finds herself drawn into his dangerous and intriguing world of investigation despite her better judgement. They are a fun and caustic duo that I found entertaining. The secondary cast of characters is also rather amusing, and I think most readers will find they have a soft spot for at least one of these misfits. The plot wasn’t quite as strong as the character development, and while I enjoyed the fast pace and often absurd situations, I thought that there were a few too many unbelievable tangents at play. When they all came together at the end, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed that the resolution wasn’t as meticulous as I thought it should have been. Because Digby’s personal crusade remained open, I assume there are going to be more books to follow this one, and I enjoyed the characters enough to say I will definitely look forward to any follow up works.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.