Series: Every #1
Published by Allen & Unwin on September 1st, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery
Rachel Watts is an unwilling new arrival to Melbourne from the country. James Mycroft is her neighbour, an intriguingly troubled seventeen-year-old genius with a passion for forensics. Despite her misgivings, Rachel finds herself unable to resist Mycroft when he wants her help investigating a murder. And when Watts and Mycroft follow a trail to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion's den - literally.
A night at the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again...
Ever since its release last year in the US, Every Breath has been spreading around the YA book blogging circuit as one of the most hyped titles ever. But, I mean, with a premise of a modern YA Sherlock with a female Watson and the promise of great shippy times, who can blame them? I certainly couldn’t resist. And I’m so glad I didn’t. This boooooook. You guys. Like, seriously. Read it.
So, elephant in the room: basically everyone who has read this book has been going crazy about the romance. I kinda hate hype like that, but I would be lying (SO HARD) if I claimed not to agree with them or that it wasn’t my favorite part of the book as well. I mean, I’m not a big mystery reader anyway, so it makes sense that I would be more attracted to the characters. And boy. They stole my heart. As a YA Sherlock-ish story, what’s great about the dynamic between Mycroft and Watts is that they are pretty much equal partners in their crime solving adventures. Yes, Mycroft is slightly smarter (*cough*misunderstood genius*cough*), but Rachel has the human side that he lacks sometimes, and she can keep up with his logical leaps without a problem. So here are two highly intelligent teens out on a mission, and heck yeah I’m cheering them on.
But it’s not sappy romance from the start – and that’s good because I’m typically not such a fan of that. Their romance is a slow burn friends-to-lovers transition that just set my heart on FIRE. I mean, first they’re just awesome friends – the best, really, because Rachel is one of the only people who gets how Mycroft’s mind works. And he really relies on her company as well. Plus, there’s banter. Oh yes, the banter. But then things happen, and these feelings subtly creep up on you here and there, and then there’s like BOOM! KISSING! and like REALLY GOOD KISSING, and like OMG PLEASE KEEP KISSING. To say I ship it a lot is like a massive understatement. Like, don’t even mind me flailing around in my bed over here. You guys keep kissing.
*cough* Elephant out of the room. I mean, I am a character and ship reader, so with those things being as awesome and wonderful and excellent as they were, this book was guaranteed a spot on my favorites shelf. But the plot didn’t disappoint either. Mycroft and Watts get caught up in the murder mystery of one of Mycroft’s homeless friends. The police don’t really care about it, because hello, homeless guy – who cares, but Mycroft gets sucked into the mystery and Watts comes to the realization that, well, someone should care.
I’m not a big mystery reader, but I’m really happy with how this one panned out. Our mystery solving team is composed of two teenagers, but they’re not so smart that no one else can do what they do – just no one else cares enough. They track down clues and make slow progress composed of easy to follow logical leaps, which all felt realistic. And yet, because the characters are highly intelligent and quirky, you get a clear Sherlock vibe that’s sure to please mystery fans. There were some twists and turns I did expect and some I didn’t, but it sure was an entertaining ride.
Now in spite of how AWESOME this ship was and how it made me cheer and giggle and fall back into a resting smiley face, objectively there are some points that could have been improved on. I kind of lacked the background for Rachel’s character, and her frustrations with her parents and living in the city instead of the rural countryside seemed kind of shallow or forced at times. I wanted to know more about her history with Mycroft too – how the two came to be friends when she moved there and such. And though I respected her wits, her voice wasn’t exactly the strongest.
But I don’t care. Because there was kissing and the kissing was good. Oh god, this ship.