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.
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.
I was skeptical of how well I would enjoy this book, what with all the annoying stuff the author throws in about politics that isn’t actually part of the story, and some of the cheesy fight scenes and such, but I really enjoyed the Digby character, and while Zoe comes off as a coward with no sense of self, being able to read the book from the point of view of a blank slate ended up working well and helped me, as the reader, get into the plot.