***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
The two books I came across this year that were pitched as some hybrid of Sherlock made my priority lists and while one let me down, Every Breath most certainly did not. Every Breath was FUCKING AMAZING. I guess I’ve kind of come to expect that from Aussie YA though. The Aussies have it right, a couple of exceptions aside, they know how it works. They know us cray teens. They feel us, yo.
Now that I’ve said that, I have no idea where to go. Do I start with the amazing characters, the fantastic plot, or just the general excitedness I felt while reading this amazeballs mystery? Or do I instead talk about how much I love the main characters as a couple and how they are the ship to ship?
So many things to talk about but not nearly enough words to do so. Isn’t that every reviewer’s problem?
I figure I’ll start with the beginning. With Rachel.
Rachel is an amazing female lead and oh so relateable.I love how she isn’t all happy and isn't easily adjusting to the new move her family had to make for financial reasons. While she’d give anything to be back, she has also made friends and isn’t casted as a loner cliché. In fact, one of the sub plots deals with her adjustment to the city and how she grows to embrace it. Of course, it isn’t some 180 degrees turn, hell no. It’s just her maturing about the situation they are. It’s wonderful to watch her develop and she is just such a realistic character. She is also pretty mature but then again, she has moments when she is not.She isn’t always wiser than the world, she can be naïve, she makes bad decisions, she says hurtful things. It’s what we teens do.
James Mycroft could be my one true love. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. MY PRECIOUS. But seriously. I have to admit, he wasn’t a 100% perfect. I did have some problems with his characterization but even as I say that, he was realistic. I am not going to dwell into my problems with him because most people won’t care and it all comes down to personal tastes. Moving on to the good. Have I mentioned he was fabulous? HAVE I? Because I should. Again and again and again. I think he is one of the best tortured guys I have come across. He has the whole tortured vibe but he isn’t a jerk. He’s just eccentric. He is also just an amazing friend. You wouldn’t think he could be but he is. He cares for his friends and while he can be self-centered at times, he is not malicious.
Can we talk about the romance now? Can we talk about how perfect these two are for each other because they are? One of the things I adore about Aussie YAs is how mature the relationships tend to be. Once they realized there were feels involved, they didn’t do the awkward chicken dance around it. That’s the ship you wanna ship. Where even when mean things are said, they work it out in a way that is respectful to the other person. They are supportive, for the most part, they know each other’s deepest darkest secrets and they aren’t perfect!
The plot keeps you on your toes. Of course, it isn’t ‘OMG MINDBLOWING’ but it was definitely exciting. I love the way they work these things out. Given James’ super smartness, it isn’t surprising he manages to figure things out so easily, but he doesn’t always work everything out right away which makes the mystery a little more realistic. It isn’t that the mystery is unpredictable because it isn’t but it isn’t predictable either which makes it all the more fun. Some of the leads they had did sometimes throw me off though because there didn’t seem to be enough supporting evidence. The puzzle pieces did fit though once the mystery was solved so I wasn't too worried about that.
I think the best thing about this story was just the secondary characters. Mycroft aside, the secondary characters took the cake. There was depth to them and they weren’t just flat characters. In fact, they were essential to the story, they weren’t just plot devices. Rachel’s brother was a fantastic addition and the story wouldn’t have been complete without Mai and Gus.
I am really looking forward to reading the sequel and seeing where things will go from here.
If you’re looking at this and wondering if the hype is telling a lie, let me reassure you, it’s not. Go grab yourself a copy. NOW.