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Trouble is a Friend of Mine
Cover of Trouble is a Friend of Mine
Trouble is a Friend of Mine
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Sherlock meets Veronica Mars meets Ferris Bueller's Day Off in this story of a wisecracking girl who meets a weird but brilliant boy and their roller-coaster of a semester that's one part awkward,...
Sherlock meets Veronica Mars meets Ferris Bueller's Day Off in this story of a wisecracking girl who meets a weird but brilliant boy and their roller-coaster of a semester that's one part awkward,...
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Description-

  • Sherlock meets Veronica Mars meets Ferris Bueller's Day Off in this story of a wisecracking girl who meets a weird but brilliant boy and their roller-coaster of a semester that's one part awkward, three parts thrilling, and five parts awesome.
    When Philip Digby first shows up on her doorstep, Zoe Webster is not impressed. He's rude and he treats her like a book he's already read and knows the ending to. But before she knows it, Digby—annoying, brilliant and somehow...attractive? Digby—has dragged her into a series of hilarious and dangerous situations all related to an investigation into the kidnapping of a local teenage girl. A kidnapping that may be connected to the tragic disappearance of his own sister eight years ago.
    When it comes to Digby, Zoe just can't say no. Digby gets her, even though she barely gets herself. But is Digby a hero, or is his manic quest an indication of a desperate attempt to repair his broken family and exercise his own obsessive compulsive tendencies?
    A romance where the leading man is decidedly unromantic, a crime novel where catching the crook isn't the only hook, a friendship story where they aren't even sure they like each other—this is a contemporary debut with razor-sharp dialogue, ridiculously funny action, and the most charismatic dynamic duo you've ever met.

Excerpts-

  • From the cover

    Of course I didn’t like Digby when I first met him. No one does. He’s rude, he doesn’t ever take no for an answer, and he treats you like a book he’s already read and knows the ending to even if you yourself didn’t yet. Now, if you’re a normal sixteen-year-old like I am, and you spend half your time obsessing about the future and what you’re supposed to be and spend the other half reading about makeup, diets, and all the ways to change who you already are, then the stuff he hits you with is hard to take. Like Digby himself said: The truth is almost always disappointing.

    Not that I need him to tell me about the truth. Or disappointment. In the last six months, I went from living in an almost-good part of Brooklyn to my parents divorcing and Mom and me moving to River Heights, a small city in the armpit of upstate New York. Trust me, it’s an even bigger lifestyle demotion than it sounds like. 

    Here’s my first confession. I hung out with cool people, sure, but looking back, I think maybe we were friends only because we were in the same classes and our parents all got divorced around the same time. Digby calls them circumstantial friends. Right place, right time—it was easy to be friends, and so we were.

    My friendship with Digby, on the other hand, while circumstantially convenient—he just shows up, after all—is not easy. Nothing with that guy ever is. At first, I thought I hung out with him because I was bored and wanted to get back at Mom for moving me here. Then I thought it was because he seemed so lost and alone all the time. 

    But now I’m standing outside a house wired with enough explosives to blow up our entire block into a pile of matchsticks, trying to figure out the best way to get back in, and I realize that really, I’m the one who’s been lost. 

    But I’m jumping too far ahead. All this began on the first day of school and we need to go back there for you to understand.

     

    ONE

    I’d been telling Mom to change the drained batteries in the doorbell since we moved in. The chimes were out of tune and dinging at half their normal speed. They sounded like a robot dying in slow agony. And now some jackass was ringing it over and over. After five minutes of pretending nobody was home, I thought I was going to snap, so I answered the door.

    “Nice bell,” he said.

    He was my age, wearing a black suit that made him look even taller and skinnier than he already was. It was a hot morning and he was sweating into the collar of his white button-down. He held a black book and I would’ve thought he was a Jehovah’s Witness with a Bible, but I doubted they wore sneakers when they came calling. His messy brown hair had probably once been pop-star shaggy, but now it needed cutting. His sad brown eyes turned down at the corners and he had a bored facial expression that I later realized was one of his main weapons in life.

    “Sorry, not interested.” Just to be safe, I yelled, “It’s no one, Mom, just some guy selling something.”

    “Why are you pretending your mom’s home? You’re here alone. You guys drove off together, but you’re back and her car isn’t. I’m guessing she dropped you at school and you walked home,” he said. “Next time, fake sick and save her the gas.”

    I tried another one. “Dad!”

    “You only had the one car in the garage—the tires are squishy, by the way—the grass on your lawn that isn’t brown is a foot tall, recycling isn’t...

About the Author-

  • Stephanie Tromly was born in Manila, grew up in Hong Kong, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and worked as a screenwriter in Los Angeles. She is currently on leave from her PhD program in English Literature at the University of Toronto and lives in Winnipeg with her husband and young son. Stephanie is the author of the Trouble Is a Friend of Mine trilogy.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 30, 2015
    After her parents’ divorce, Zoe is trying to adjust from city life in Brooklyn to living in a town in upstate New York when a strange, eccentric boy named Digby shows up on her doorstep. Known around town as a troublemaker, Digby is an ingenious, observant Sherlock Holmes–type who thinks outside the box and is determined to solve the mystery of his little sister, who disappeared several years earlier, as well as another, more recent disappearance case. He ropes Zoe into a series of offbeat adventures and undercover detective work, which begins hilariously but progressively becomes more sinister and dangerous as they get closer to the truth. Narrator McInerney is excellent at differentiating the characters’ voices and moving the story along. However, the plot is convoluted, with multiple clues, surprises, and fast-paced twists and turns, which makes it somewhat hard to follow as audio. That being the case, this exciting story may be better understood in print form, where the tiny but significant details won’t be missed. Ages 12–up.
    A Penguin/Dawson hardcover.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 18, 2015
    In what reads like a combination of Veronica Mars and The Breakfast Club, debut author Tromly creates a screwball mystery with powerful crossover appeal. Sixteen-year-old Zoe Webster, a newly minted child of divorce from Brooklyn, is biding her time with her mother in the suburbs of upstate New York until she can move back to the city and attend boarding school. When she meets Digby, a loner who “treats you like a book he’s already read,” she agrees to help him discover what happened to a missing classmate, Marina Miller, as well as Digby’s sister, who was abducted eight years ago. Joined by high school quarterback Henry, preppy cheerleader Sloane, and science genius Felix, Zoe and Digby uncover a gynecological drug ring, stop a shady pseudo-religious cult, and even make time for homecoming photos. Tromly enlivens scenes with breakneck pop-culture-dosed dialogue (“Don’t be a Squidward”) and slapstick comedy. After risking her life, Zoe finally figures out what she wants from her parents and from Digby, but Tromly leaves enough loose ends to suggest a possible sequel—a very welcome prospect. Ages 12–up. Agent: David Dunton, Harvey Klinger.

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