Disclosure: I received a finished copy of the book from Hot Key Books, the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Trouble Makes a Comeback (Trouble #2) by Stephanie Tromly • contains 304 pages • published by Hot Key Books on December 1, 2016 • classified as Mystery, Young Adult • obtained through the publisher • read as paperback • shelve on Goodreads
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 Miles; 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 Miles, 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.
Trouble Makes a Comeback was exactly the sequel that it needed to be. When I read the first book, Trouble is a Friend of Mine, I was disappointed about the open ending. Back then, I only knew of it as a standalone book. When Hot Key Books reached out, asking me if I’d be interested in reviewing this sequel, I was excited to learn that Trouble is a series. Right now, I can’t wait for the third book to come out.
Mystery with a Twist of Humour
What I loved about Trouble Makes a Comeback was that it continued with the outrageousness that underscored the first book. The mystery was intense and yet filled with so much hilarity. I couldn’t breathe half the time because I was either laughing too much, or anticipating the next twist. I think this approach worked great with the larger than life character that Digby was, although this time round, the rest of the characters got to shine a little more than before as well.
The cast of characters expanded as the stakes increased. I wondered how Trouble Makes a Comeback would be able to one-up its predecessor, and whether it’d be able to at all. It definitely delivered on that front. The inclusion of others beyond the Digby-Zoe duo made things more unpredictable and added more complexity in terms of relationships. It also meant that more things could go wrong. Also, since they didn’t always see eye-to-eye, their dynamics could be very amusing.
Entertainment Above All
The writing was snappy, making Trouble is a Comeback a fast-paced read. Still, I would’ve liked to see a little more depth with regards to Digby. His search for his missing sister is the overarching premise of the series, yet I feel like as the reader, I’ve only skimmed the surface of his thoughts and emotions in relation to her disappearance. Yes, it is good to show rather than tell a story, and that is best done through actions but sometimes it’s also helpful to slow down for some introspection.
Overall, great entertainment factor seemed to be the goal and it is that which the book excelled at. This makes it a perfect read for anyone looking for a bookish pick-me-up that doesn’t take itself too seriously.