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Rashika, The Book Owl

So my name is Rashika and I am weird. I read a lot (duh) and I watch a lot of TV. I also like to review. Check out my blog (where I co-blog with awesome people).

I really liked this one except when it was being offensive

Trouble is a Friend of Mine - Stephanie Tromly

***This review has also been posted on Xpresso Reads

If you like your Sherlock re-tellings full of lots of wit, humor and fun; Trouble is a Friend of Mine is for you. This book was SO MUCH fun to read. I was giggling most of the time, I liked the characters, I liked the plot, I liked the relationships. This was a great brain candy book but my problem with the book was how ignorant and privileged the characters were.

We are constantly reminded that the characters live in a very white neighborhood with no diversity and I would assume that that would at least mean that the MCs weren’t completely ignorant and flippant about certain issues but that’s sadly not true. Even though Zoe moved from NYC, a very diverse city, to a white suburban neighborhood. It isn’t just a case of slut shaming (although that is definitely present) though. There are some very privileged attitudes in this book about class, prison (and the entire system) and just diveristy as a whole. Philip Digby even mocks what it means to be a transgender teen and reduces that experience to stereotypes in movies. That actually hurt because Philip Digby is a great character, I expected more from both of these characters.

So, given all those issues, WHY did I like the book? Well for starters, it’s one of the few (if not the only) Sherlock retelling I’ve read that actually addresses mental health. I wish mental health had been explored a little more in the book than merely being stated, but I love that Digby’s habits aren’t just attributed to ‘quirks.’

Also Zoe’s relationship with her mother was kind of awesome. Zoe constantly berates her for not being a good parent but I love the ways in which the author makes the reader aware of the fact that Zoe’s perception might not necessarily be true.

My favorite thing was that even though Digby and Zoe were solving the mystery by themselves, they actually had help from adults. WHO WEREN’T THE ENEMIES. I know. I KNOW. And when I saw adults, I mean police adults. I was really excited about that. Especially since the two characters we met were hilarious and great. This made it a lot easier to believe in the plot and the mystery. Everything mixed together very well and the author connected the various threads together beautifully.

The characters, when they weren’t being ignorant, were also pretty great. I loved seeing Zoe find her place in a community where she felt left out of and I liked that over the course of the book her attitude changed from “Not like the other girls” to “they aren’t so bad.” Baby steps? Philip is also adorable and I’d really like to find out more about him in a sequel.

I definitely had issues with this book but I still think it’s a great read if you’re looking for something light to get you through the day or if you need a palette cleanser. It’s so cute and quick!

Note that I received a finished copy of this book in exchange for an honest review