Thursday, September 10, 2015

Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly

Sometimes you have teen mysteries that take themselves seriously, and sometimes the story is a little bit far-fetched. This story with its quirky characters and adventures puts itself more towards the latter category. At times it's a little out there, but it's an enjoyable ride.

As the new girl in school, Zoe hopes to fit in. The last thing she expects is finding herself connecting with the oddball character of Digby. He has no concept of personal space and has a habit of dragging her into insane situations. Despite efforts to stay away from him, Zoe tags along on Digby's mission to finding a missing girl. It turns out that a number of years ago, Digby's younger sister went missing and he thinks the cases are connected. He has his prime suspects and he'd bound and determined to prove it, even if it means stealing, lying, and breaking and entering. His problems don't end with the doctor he suspects - not when he starts a beef with the mysterious, cultish boy who lives across the street from Zoe. Throw in some drug-dealing, missing ambulances and explosions and you've got the crazy ride Zoe finds herself on with Digby at the helm.

Personally, I like my mysteries to be a tab more realistic and serious than this book. You definitely cannot take this seriously. The police would not be so open with their information to some teenagers as they were in this novel and the antics of the characters are just a little too out there - the dramatic breaking and entering of the doctor's office, Digby in his tutu wearing teddy bear costume. He is a true mastermind and enjoyable to read about, but the situations just snowball to the point that you're shaking your head. He has no boundaries and can talk himself in and out of any situation, dragging Zoe and others in with him. In no way is that a bad thing because it makes for a fun read. It's witty and clever and humorous. Not all mysteries need to be dead serious. It just seems a bit unrealistic that a teen is doing all of this and getting away with everything. Then again, it wouldn't be much of an exciting teen novel if they were shut down at every turn.

This book is crazy in a good way. Everything - however off the wall it may be - ends up working together to connect the pieces and solve the mystery. Well, maybe not all of the mysteries. There is still one string left hanging that definitely creates the potential of a sequel. It will be interesting to see what chaos Digby can create next time around.

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