Trouble Is A Friend of Mine was one of my favourite books last year – its weird and hilarious appeal came largely from the caricature that was Philip Digby and Zoe playing the straight man to his detective skills as they stumbled their way through a missing-girl mystery and a drugs bust. It made me laugh more than any other book I read last year, so when I saw that Hot Key had made the sequel available on NetGalley, I was on it like a car bonnet.
I read Trouble Makes A Comeback in less than 24 hours which, if you’ve noticed how big a slump I’ve been in lately, is a pretty strong recommendation for how enthralling it was.
‘A funny, realistic teen crime caper. This book sings.’ Jesse Andrews, author of ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL (praise for TROUBLE IS A FRIEND OF MINE)
A brilliantly funny romantic comedy – with infectious characters, wry humour, and breakneck dialogue, this sequel to Trouble is a Friend of Mine is perfect for fans of John Green, Jesse Andrews and Ally Carter.
After a fall semester of fiascos: getting arrested, then kidnapped, then blown up in an explosion (all thanks to the weird, but brilliant Philip Digby), Zoe Webster is looking forward to a quiet spring. Now that Digby has left town, she’s finally built a regular high school life for herself. She’s dating Austin; she knows girls she considers friends; she’s learning to enjoy being normal and semi-popular. Which of course is when Digby comes back: He’s got a new lead on his missing sister and he needs Zoe’s help. Suddenly Zoe is tussling with a billionaire archvillain, locking horns with armed goons, and digging into what makes the Digby family tick, even as she tries to navigate the confusing and emotionally fraught world of high school politics and locker-room drama. After all, it’s hard to explain Digby to a boy like Austin, especially when Zoe isn’t sure how she feels about Digby herself – or how he feels about her.
Now that Digby’s back, get ready for another hilarious whodunit filled with razorsharp dialogue, ridiculously funny action, and the most charismatic, dynamic duo you’ve ever met. And just try to stay out of trouble. We dare you.
Because I really enjoyed Trouble #1, I came into Trouble Makes A Comeback with high expectations. And the majority of those expectations were satisfied. Digby is just as irritating and amazing as he was in the first book, and Zoe has developed from the new girl in town to someone with friends and even a boyfriend on the football team. Her life is suddenly something which might even be classified normal, as the biggest issue on the horizon is the looming SAT.
But, predictably enough, Digby comes back into town and everything goes haywire. Lots of the things that I really liked about Trouble #1 were present here. The quick dialogue and ridiculous plot, Digby’s recklessness and ingenuity, Zoe’s bewilderment, the sharply drawn love/hate relationship between Zoe and Digby and the other supporting cast are all there in spades, which made this book a strong follow-up to a quite frankly hilarious debut to the series.
The one thing that I felt was missing from this book was the laugh-out-loud slapstick moments. There was a scene in Trouble Is A Friend of Mine with an epipen which almost made me cry with laughter, and a recurring mention of a pair of shoes which was similarly stomach-shaking. I didn’t have any of those moments when reading Trouble Makes A Comeback. It was slightly more serious than its predecessor.
But that said, it was still excellent, and I devoured it almost as soon as I got my hands on it. A very strong follow-up to a series which I’m beginning to really love, the set-up for a third book is clear, so I’ll just have to wait impatiently for that now!
Trouble Makes A Comeback is published in December 2016. Perfect Christmas present!