Friday, October 31, 2014

Review: Every Breath

Every Breath by Ellie Marney
Every #1
Published October 14th 2014 by Tundra Books

When James Mycroft drags Rachel Watts off on a night mission to the Melbourne Zoo, the last thing she expects to find is the mutilated body of Homeless Dave, one of Mycroft's numerous eccentric friends. But Mycroft's passion for forensics leads him to realize that something about the scene isn't right--and he wants Watts to help him investigate the murder.

While Watts battles her attraction to bad-boy Mycroft, he's busy getting himself expelled and clashing with the police, becoming murder suspect number one. When Watts and Mycroft unknowingly reveal too much to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion's den--literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning to Rachel Watts again...
An ARC was provided by Tundra Books in exchange for an honest review.*

Every Breath is a book I'd added to my reading list around the time it would have first come out in Australia.  I remember seeing a bunch of glowing reviews for it from some of my Aussie blogger friends. I specifically remember Mands' (The Bookish Manicurist) review for it, which sold me on this one and made me add it to my 'to-be-read' shelf.  Then, as it is when you're an avid reader with an overflowing tbr shelf, I sort of forgot about it...until the positive reviews made it to our side of the pond.  Those got me excited ALL over again (I'm looking in your direction Nikki) so when I saw it available for request in Canada on Netgalley, it was one of those instant-request type deals.  I think I started reading it the day my approval email came in and I made it to about 10% before it was time to leave for work. At that point I was already hooked. That's all it took guys!  The remaining 90% was read in a whirlwind. Seriously it's all a little bit of a blur...the mystery, the intrigue, these freaking characters man...and the feelings.  All of the glorious feelings...

I'm sure you all know by now that Every Breath is a Sherlock Holmes re-imaging, of sorts.  I mean the real Sherlock Holmes character by ACD exists in this world too, so it's not really a retelling but young James Mycroft is totally and completely an absolutely fantastic budding Sherlock in his own respect.  And can I just say, it was freaking brilliant getting to know a young Sherlock?!!  Don't get me wrong, Mycroft is a very unique take on the famous detective but at his core, he is so totally Sherlock, it's just sheer perfection!  Already a forensics and amateur detective, he's simultaneously brilliant, tortured, cocky, vulnerable, charming and annoying.  I loved every. last. bit. of. him.

Every Breath isn't all about James Mycroft though.  It's actually told from the perspective of Rachel Watts or 'Watts', which makes her a young, female version of John Watson.  Straight away I knew that Watts would have no problem living up to her famous namesake.  She's a beautiful mixture of toughness and sensitivity.  She cares about people, you know? Sure she has the lady-balls to follow Mycroft around on this investigating, but she isn't made of steel.  She gets freaked out sometimes, she gets overwhelmed but she doesn't go off running.  She has her own backstory going on here and her voice was a wonderful way to tell the story, especially considering Watson does usually do the storytelling for Sherlock.

As far as the plot goes, Every Breath is at it's core a murder mystery.  Mycroft and Watts are seemingly regular teenagers living in Australia who are neighbors and best friends.  One evening, they head out to visit a mutual acquaintance but instead they find his dead body.  Of course, Mycroft, being who he is, spots something amiss with the crime-scene and soon begins his own investigation, with Watts in tow.  Being a huge Sherlock-lover, it was fun to search for clues along with them and try out theories on what was going on...and why.  I thought the whole thing was realistically portrayed for teenaged protagonists.  I could believe that these two, being how they were, would search for their own answers.  Of course, their search often puts them in loads of trouble, but hey, that's part of the fun! PS- For my fellow tea drinkers: you might want to have a nice cup of tea handy with this one, the characters are constantly indulging and it made me feel warm and fuzzy to be sipping tea with them as I was reading ♥

Every Breath isn't just a contemporary murder-mystery though. There's more. And by more, I mean there's also one of the swoon-iest romances I've come across in YA books in a LONG time. Given the inherent chemistry that Sherlock and Watson always have as characters, it's shouldn't be surprising I guess.  Gods, this was such a wonderfully developed, slow burn romance. I just...I can't even. Chills. Electricity. Fireworks!  And the best part? Watts remains true to herself during and after she realizes her feelings.  She doesn't go all lovelorn or do anything stupid.  Author Ellie Marney doesn't patronize the reader or waste any time with familiar YA-romance plot devices.  This is a straight up, legit evolution in a romantic relationship.  One that made me weak in the knees. Gah! It was soooo totally perfect. I want more. I need more!

As soon as I finished Every Breath, I was pining for the sequel.  Considering how contemporary isn't my usual genre, that says a lot!  This was beautifully written and wonderfully imagined Sherlock Holmes re-imagining.  Fans of the books, series and films should really check this one out, as should YA and adult contemporary readers. Seriously, I can not recommend this book enough!

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Harry Potter MotW #65

Harry Potter Moment of the Week 

Harry Potter Moment of the week is a weekly meme hosted over at Uncorked Thoughts. The idea is to share one favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself!    For information on how to join up & for upcoming topics, click here.

  Could you ever double as a spy like Snape?

Full disclosure? I'm one of those people that have never been able to fully forgive, or swoon over Snape and the sacrifices he made as a spy. He played his role too well I guess and 'after all this time' he basically admitted to never, ever growing to care for Harry at all. Yeah. Seeing as Harry himself is my ultimate favorite hero and character of all time, that's something I just cannot accept on a basic level. 

However. That being said... I do fully recognize and admire the risks he took, day in, day out to accomplish what needed to be done.  It takes a very special kind of bravery and his dedication to the thing HAD to be a b s o l u t e . One tiny mistake could have cost him more than we probably could ever imagine. (But seriously though - imagine for a second how Voldemort would have reacted had he found out about this deception while Snape was alive. I got chills just thinking about it o.O *shudder* )

So no, to answer the question, I seriously don't think I could ever accomplish what Snape did. Not for a second.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday *97*

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by  Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming book releases that we're especially looking forward to!

Here's my pick this week:

A Court of Thorns and Roses
by Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Expected Publication: May 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury

When 19-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it ... or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
My fangirling for Sarah J. Maas truly knows no bounds:  I schedule my WoW posts weeks in advance, but the second the cover for A Court of Thorns and Roses went up last Friday, I was already whipping up a new post and bumping my other posts to later dates. >.< Yup, I'm not even going to pretend that that didn't happen. As if all of this ^^ wasn't exciting enough, according to author Maas' blog, this will be a trilogy intended for an older-YA audience. The protagonist, Feyre seems fierce enough in her own right, and I love the mix of  Fae-lore with romance and action. Clearly, I'd read anything SJM writes at this point, so I can NOT wait to get my hands on this stunner!

How EPIC does ACOTAR sound?
Let me know when you link me up below.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Stacking the Shelves *40*

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews showcasing new books we've gotten a hold of (bought/given/gifted/trade/for review).

Hi all!  This is a somewhat belated StS post, real life has been kind of crazy this past little while so I've been neglecting my haul posts.  So.  This is my recent(-ish) selection of bookish goodness:

Clearly, I needed a hardcover copy of Heir of Fire, right?! I pre-ordered that bad-boy as soon as it had a cover!  And considering my recent Sanderson-binge, the addition of Warbreaker to the ranks shouldn't be too surprising. Thanks to #SandersonArmy alum Mark for letting me know it was free on Sanderson's website!  Sixth Grave was another pre-order I put in way back before it came out. It's always such a brilliant surprise when those show up in one's mailbox unexpectedly eh? Really makes my day anyway :D 

*HUGE thanks to Tundra Books and Simon & Schuster Canada!*

And these two are eARCs.  I'd been doing really good avoiding NG & EW lately but one momentary lapse led to a few new requests on my part, Shocker, I know >.< Owl and the Japanese Circus I discovered through Carmen my good blogger friend, and as soon as I read that blurb I knew I needed this book.  And then I'd heard about Every Breath through many Aussie blogger buddies when it came out over there and I'd added it to my tbr shelf.  Then it came out over here and the flood of praise followed it across the seeing it up for grabs on NG was one of those 'instant-request moments'. Needless to say when my approval emails came in, I was smiling ear to ear!

That's it for me! What did you guys get?
Don't forget to link me up to your posts :)

Friday, October 24, 2014

The TBR Book Tag

Happy Friday everyone :) I was recently tagged by the lovely ladies at Readers in Wonderland to do the To-Be-Read (TBR) book tag post. Yay for more bookish tag fun!!  Considering I've been dragging my feet with posting more personal content on the blog, these have worked out perfectly for me!  Keep 'em coming ;) I do hope that my readers are enjoying these as much as I am though hehe

How do you keep track of your TBR Pile?

Well that depends if we're talking books to read that I already own -or- books to-be-read that I don't own yet. The TBR books that I do own now have their own bookcase now, it was unavoidable. >.< The rest get sorted through my various shelves on Goodreads (wishlist, to-be-released, to-read, etc...)

Is your TBR Pile mostly print or ebooks?

It's probably more print books now because of the two glorious years where I went to BEA. If not for that, things would probably be closer to 50/50.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I'm a huge mood-reader, so reading on any kind of a schedule equals reading slumps for this girl.  I always have a pile of like 5-6 books on my bedside table that I know I want to read soon-ish, but other than that, I just go by whatever tickles my fancy.

What's been on your TBR the longest?

Well according to Goodreads, that honor goes to a few books actually - all added on the same date: The Count of Monte Cristo, The Mists of Avalon, Eragon and The DaVinci Code.

A book you recently added to your TBR

Well my shiny new hardback of Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas ♥ of course. Full disclosure: I got so excited when it was available for pre-order (even though I had a autographed, print arc) that I ordered it not once, but twice! Luckily I caught myself before the book came out and cancelled one of my pre-orders xD I'm planning on re-reading it soon so it totally counts as a TBR pick.

A book that's on your TBR strictly because of it's beautiful cover? much as I wish there wasn't, there is. Off the top of my head probably Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White though I'm sure there are others...

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading

The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal.  I've heard some truly odd things about this one. For real o.O  And as much as I'm kind of curious I don't think I'll take the chance.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you're excited for

That would be Skybreaker, the upcoming 3rd book in Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive Series. It doesn't have a cover yet so I don't have any prettiness to show you guys but since I just finished book 2 in the series, I added this one to my wishlist straight after.

Oh, and of course Throne of Glass # 4 by Sarah J. Maas - just thinking about those books gives me all the feelings.

A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you

Oh gosh, sometimes it seems like there are so many of these. The first ones that come to mind are Splintered by A.G. Howard and Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi 

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you

Definitely The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch but I own a copy now so that issue should resolve itself soon. (I promise!)

A book on your TBR that you're dying to read

The Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen (a recent acquisition - YAY me) & Zodiac by Romina Russell

How many books on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

After multiple shelf cleanings on Goodreads my total stands at 609...and my greatest fear is that I will not be able to read all of them - PLUS the ones I'll be adding to that total - before I die.

Tag some people

Anyone and EVERYONE who likes doing these tag posts! I LOVE reading everyone's answers :D

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Harry Potter MotW #64

Harry Potter Moment of the Week 

Harry Potter Moment of the week is a weekly meme hosted over at Uncorked Thoughts. The idea is to share one favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself!    For information on how to join up & for upcoming topics, click here.

  If there is one thing you could change about Harry Potter, what would it be?

I wasn't sure if this week's question referred to Harry Potter, the character or Harry Potter, the series...but I managed to find an answer that would encompass both possible eventualities:  If we're talking about Harry Potter as a character well then I wish that Harry hadn't fallen for Voldemort's trap in OotP and had NOT gone to the Ministry.  Then Sirius might still be alive....

And, if we're talking about the Harry Potter series as a whole, well, then I wish that Sirius could have survived. I know I've said in the past that I've made my peace with this and that I understand why he had to died, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.  *sobs quietly*

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday *96*

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by  Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming book releases that we're especially looking forward to!

Here's my pick this week:

The Boy Who Lost Fairyland
by Catherynne M. Valente - (Fairyland #4)
Expected Publication: March 3rd 2015 by Feiwel & Friends

When a young troll named Hawthorn is stolen from Fairyland by the Golden Wind, he becomes a changeling – a human boy -- in the strange city of Chicago, a place no less bizarre and magical than Fairyland when seen through trollish eyes. Left with a human family, Hawthorn struggles with his troll nature and his changeling fate. But when he turns twelve, he stumbles upon a way back home, to a Fairyland much changed from the one he remembers. Hawthorn finds himself at the center of a changeling revolution--until he comes face to face with a beautiful young Scientiste with very big, very red assistant.
Full disclosure: I still need to read the third Fairyland book - so I'm not quite sure what brought on the change in the main character from our beloved September to this new boy.  And to be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about it.  I'm hoping September will make some sort of an appearance...unless things get explained and settled in the third book, in which case I have total confidence that Miss Valente will deliver an equally engaging and whimsical foray into Fairyland!  I spy a Wyvern there on the cover... so all is certainly not lost!  These books have a very special quality to them that makes the truly unique and heartwarming so I don't think I could ever get enough. Valente's writing style is superb so if she's offering up more books, I'll be reading them :)

Have you read the Fairyland books? What do you think of the MC switch?
Let me know :) And don't forget to link me up! 
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