Every Breath by Ellie Marney
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