Publisher's Note:  

An utterly satisfying sequel packed with razor-sharp dialogue, a love triangle you didn't see coming, and the most charismatic dynamic duo you ever met.

Now that the infuriating and irresistible Philip Digby has left town for a lead on his sister who disappeared years ago, Zoe Webster is looking forward to a quiet spring semester. She's dating a cute quarterback, hanging out with new friends, and enjoying being "a normal." Which is of course when Digby comes back. He needs Zoe's help, and not just to find his sister.

Zoe can either choose to stay on her current path toward popularity, perfect SAT scores, and Princeton, or she can take a major detour with Digby, and maybe find out what that kiss he stole from her really meant. Digby and his over-the-top schemes always lead somewhere unexpected and Zoe's beginning to learn she might just like jumping into the unknown. When it comes to Digby, for Zoe at least, the choice might already be made.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Kathy Dawson Books

Trouble Makes a Comeback

by Stephanie Tromly

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Overall Review:  

Trouble Makes a Comeback (Trouble #2), is the second book in the Trouble series by YA author Stephanie Tromly. Having not read the first book, Trouble is a Friend of Mine (Trouble #1), I wasn't sure what to expect from the sequel, but upon hearing that it was being touted as a mash-up between The Breakfast Club and Veronica Mars, I knew I had to at least check it out. And I have to say I was surprisingly pleased.

A screwball comedy with no shortage of shenanigans, the second book in the series finds protagonist and narrator, 17-year old Zoe Webster, settling into a sense of normalcy, and perhaps popularity after her debacle with Philip Digby just months before. But her new normal is about to be short changed when Phillip Digby comes sauntering back into town with a new lead on his sister's kidnapping. Enticed by both the thrill of the mystery and the charisma of the individual, Zoe is sucked into the Digby vortex.

As stated, having not read the book's predecessor, I was pleased that I didn't feel confused or left out on what was happening now, or when characters referred to what had happened before. The author did a great job of making it a smooth transition so new readers could easily get into the reading groove.

The characters' escapades are what draws readers in, but the effortless chemistry between characters (especially Zoe and Digby) is what keeps them engaged. The antics are so outlandish and seem completely out of the realm of possibility, but there is something so likable about the characters (even when they're being typical teens), that you too will be sucked into the Digby vortex.

Quick-witted dialogue with accessible back and forth banter, ensue hilarity and keep what should be very serious subjects from becoming bogged down with heaviness, no emo scene here.

An accelerated pace until the last 30 or so pages mangled the cadence and left this reader wondering why the author chose to draw out that particular scene, one I considered a low point in the development. Even with this snafu, the closing managed to salvage my attention with its encouraging ending that hints that there will be more trouble in the future.

Review of an Advance Reader Copy

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  24 religious exclamations; 18 mild obscenities; 1 religious profanity; 4 derogatory names; 7 scatological words; 10 anatomical terms.

Violence/Gore:  Past kidnapping referred to often; character admits to being arrested, kidnapped, and involved in an explosion; character causes an individual to fall (humorous); report of characters past involving violence with a drug dealer; jokes of violence (11); report of teen being arrested for drugs and guns; remark about past injury; few mentions of past violence; extended scene (about 2 pages) humorous venture of teens breaking and entering causing tenant to chase them with weapon; self-defense (humorous); character is pistol whipped and kidnapped; characters hear another character getting beat up; teens involved in a high-speed chase; character is knocked unconscious (humorous); character slaps another character; report of injuries; in anger character throws an object hard against the wall; characters try to escape a burning building in which fire was intentionally set; report of violent altercation; implication that character may have killed a family member; few threats of violence; character trips causing minor injury, blood mentioned; characters are chased with a character holding a gun; characters are locked in a space full of toxic gas; character throws object hitting individual in the head, blood and injury mentioned (intended to be humorous); characters are threatened with guns.

Sex/Nudity:  Mention of past kiss; characters flirt; the word pervert is used; slang for male genitalia; single mom allows her boyfriend to live with her and her daughter; few mentions of hand holding; few hugs; few embraces; jokes using sexual references (10); report of couple making out; character sees teens making out; teen believes their significant other is cheating on them; mention of possible provocative photos; kiss with romantic touch; teen feels pressure to spend the night (sexual implication) with their significant other; teen character tells their significant other that they are ready for sex; joke about masturbation; male and female lay in the same bed (humorous); extended scene (about 1 page) teen female kisses male, removes his shirt, saying their ready for sex; few sexual references; female admires shirtless male; male carries female in an attempt to be chivalrous; extended scene ( ½ page) teen characters kiss while laying in bed.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Suspected murder, kidnapping, organized crime/criminal activity, drug operation/implication of teen drug use, estranged parents, divorce, teens involved in various illegal activities.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Mention of drug bust on drug operation; remark about parent smoking; few references to a crack house; teen character says their parent is an alcoholic; brief mention of parent letting teens drink; facility used to make illegal moonshine; teens go undercover to stop a drug operation selling to teens; teen accidentally overdoses on their anti-psychotic medication causing a hospital stay; adult drinks; teens attend party in which alcohol is served, scenes of inebriated teens; teen smokes, refers to taking drugs.

Reviewed By MaryLou
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