I received this book for free from Kathy Dawson Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly
Series: Trouble #1
Published by Kathy Dawson Books on August 4th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, YA
Source: Kathy Dawson Books
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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.
If you like your Sherlock re-tellings full of lots of wit, humor and fun; Trouble is a Friend of Mine is for you. This book was SO MUCH fun to read. I was giggling most of the time, I liked the characters, I liked the plot, I liked the relationships. This was a great brain candy book but my problem with the book was how ignorant and privileged the characters were.
We are constantly reminded that the characters live in a very white neighborhood with no diversity and I would assume that that would at least mean that the MCs weren’t completely ignorant and flippant about certain issues but that’s sadly not true. Even though Zoe moved from NYC, a very diverse city, to a white suburban neighborhood. It isn’t just a case of slut shaming (although that is definitely present) though. There are some very privileged attitudes in this book about class, prison (and the entire system) and just diveristy as a whole. Philip Digby even mocks what it means to be a transgender teen and reduces that experience to stereotypes in movies. That actually hurt because Philip Digby is a great character, I expected more from both of these characters.
So, given all those issues, WHY did I like the book? Well for starters, it’s one of the few (if not the only) Sherlock retelling I’ve read that actually addresses mental health. I wish mental health had been explored a little more in the book than merely being stated, but I love that Digby’s habits aren’t just attributed to ‘quirks.’
Also Zoe’s relationship with her mother was kind of awesome. Zoe constantly berates her for not being a good parent but I love the ways in which the author makes the reader aware of the fact that Zoe’s perception might not necessarily be true.
My favorite thing was that even though Digby and Zoe were solving the mystery by themselves, they actually had help from adults. WHO WEREN’T THE ENEMIES. I know. I KNOW. And when I saw adults, I mean police adults. I was really excited about that. Especially since the two characters we met were hilarious and great. This made it a lot easier to believe in the plot and the mystery. Everything mixed together very well and the author connected the various threads together beautifully.
The characters, when they weren’t being ignorant, were also pretty great. I loved seeing Zoe find her place in a community where she felt left out of and I liked that over the course of the book her attitude changed from “Not like the other girls” to “they aren’t so bad.” Baby steps? Philip is also adorable and I’d really like to find out more about him in a sequel.
I definitely had issues with this book but I still think it’s a great read if you’re looking for something light to get you through the day or if you need a palette cleanser. It’s so cute and quick!
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