Monday, October 20, 2014

Every Breath by Ellie Marney

Every Breath
by Ellie Marney
Read: June 5 - 7, 2014
October 14, 2014 by Tundra Books 
Source: BEA book #2
Category: Contemporary, Aussie, Mystery, Sherlock-eque
Series: Every Breath #1
Find: Goodreads | Amazon

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

Let me tell you about a winning combination: Sherlock Holmes and Austrialia. Well not really Sherlock, but even better for this story, we have aptly named James Mycroft. Why are these elements a perfect match? Aussie authors excel at realistic fiction. I don't know why, but they are able to capture something about humans, and especially teens, that speaks to readers in an incredibly honest way. Combine that natural Aussie-writerness with a troubled genius boy and a female narrator named Rachel Watts (one guess about her inspiration); give them a mystery to solve, and allow the detective duo to slowly fall for each other, and you've created the magical experience called Every Breath

Five reasons this book is not to be missed: 

1) Place. Every Breath takes place in Melbourne, and the city came to life for me in these pages. Rachel is new to the city, having come from a very rural farm, and I felt like I was discovering her new home right along with her. The whole story is imbedded in the culture of this place, and the plot and characters were alive in a very real and gritty way because of how present they felt to Melbourne. Even more than location, the way these characters speak heightened my experience with the book, pulling me into Rachel and Mycroft's world. Aussies tend to shorten lots of words, and it added so much authenticity to the story. 

2) James Mycroft.  I dare you not to fall in love with this boy. Mycroft is a mess. He is a genius with a tragic past and a depressing home situation.  He smokes (which is typically a deal breaker for me) and has tendency to downward spiral at times, but he is so endearing that I couldn't help but like him. I cared for Melbourne, because he cares so much about the city and its people, and I felt deeply his aches and the walls he uses to hide them. Mycroft is obsessed with forensics because of his past, and he uses that information in fascinating ways to help figure out what really happened to Homeless Dave. 

3) Rachel (Watts). This story is narrated by Rachel, whom Mycroft calls Watts. Mycroft is her neighbor, and at first they don't seem like a great match. But they balance each other so well. Rachel has recently moved to Melbourne from the country, and is struggling to fit into city life. Rachel starts off this book feeling quite lost and out of place in the city. The whole course of her life and who she thought she was going to be has now been thrown off. We get to see Rachel grow up a lot throughout this book, and the crazy journey she and Mycroft go on throughout Melbourne to solve a murder has a lot to do with it.  

4) The building relationship between Mycroft and Watts is beautifully executed. When the story begins, Rachel and Mycroft have been close friends for months. Feelings of more build slowly through the course of the story. This is't a romance disguised as a mystery, they are really trying to solve a murder. These two are able to keep their heads in what they're doing, and I love the way their relationship grows subtly over time as they figure out their feelings along the way. Thankfully, with so much going on, their romance isn't weird and angsty. It progresses naturally. I can't express loudly enough how perfect and slow burn Mycroft and Rachel's change in relationship status happens throughout the course of this book. As I write this, I keep thinking about one scene that takes place on some scaffolding, and it has the most amazing tension in it. AHHHHhhh! I love these two so much. 

5) Mystery. Mycroft and Rachel find the dead body of their homeless friend Dave and become convinced that it's not the simple case that the police claim it is. I appreciated that the author did try to account for the fact that these are high school students solving a crime. I didn't see all the connections that they did (obviously, Mycroft is smarter than me), but I guessed the killer before they did. Still, I was on the edge of my seat as the suspense increased. 

In sum, I loved getting to know Rachel and Mycroft and their city, as they solve a mystery and discover their feelings for each other. This book is a winner and spoiler alert! the sequel Every Word is EVEN BETTER. Even more partnership and tension and intensity.  

Love Triangle Factor: None

Cliffhanger Scale: Low, but this is part of a series

**Check back Wednesday for my Every Breath blog tour post, when author Ellie Marney gives readers a tour of Melbourne.** 


  1. I just mentioned on another blog that I've only recently seen this book explode everywhere and you guys are loving it. I love your review because it is one that would make me want to pick up the book! I will have to watch for this one, Lauren!

  2. I've been seeing this novel crop up a lot more often lately so I'm really glad to see it has your seal of approval, Lauren! I haven't read any Sherlock spin-offs like this one, with the exception of the Beekeeper's Apprentice which wasn't quiteee my cup of tea, but I'm excited for this. Plus, it's been a looong time since I tried out a new Aussie author so I'm definitely looking forward to diving into this one. :)

  3. I remember someone raving about this book on Twitter the other day and literally calling it the best books they've read this year so that tweet combined with your review has me intrigued! Plus--IT TAKES PLACE IN AUSTRALIA! How cool is that?

  4. I have been seeing this book every where lately and although I originally thought this book wouldn't be for me, but I have to admit that your review has me intrigued! I love the sound of the relationship between Rachel and James! I honestly can't wait to meet both of them! Fabulous review Lauren! :)

  5. You and Rashika gave this one praising reviews and that makes me really happy ^_^ Only goes to show that this one stands out in the pile of newly released books and should be looked forward to! You bet I'll be taking a look at this one!

    And it's awesome that this one showcases and brings to life the Melbourne/Australian culture! I've always been interested in the culture and places of this country so that alone is a huge treat for me. I've read books that supposedly took place in other countries but the majority of them did not really give the places the justice they deserve. I once read this one where it took place in Paris, but when I read it, it felt like ti could've taken place in any other city >_< FAIL! This one, I have high hopes. I can't wait to start reading this for the Australian aspect alone!

    And James sounds like a really complex character, just the kind I like reading about. He seems really relatable and have problems that would parallel what readers may be going through in their own lives, which is also a treat in my opinion. I just love reading about three-dimensional characters like him because I usually relate to the pain and frustrations they feel. AND THE ROMANCE IS A SLOW BURN! That's awesome. I love it when romance blossoms slowly, subtly and realistically. You just appreciate the love all the more because you can see how it's justified through the moments they share with each other! ^_^

    All in all great review and you have made me excited to read this book!

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

  6. Wonderful review, Lauren! Aussie's seem to just get it right for some reason. I agree the romance didn't overpower the mystery, but it was my favorite part. The scaffolding scene had some high tension, indeed, but the kissing was electric! I need to get my hands on the next book!

  7. Eeek! Amazing review Lauren. <3 I'm so happy you loved this book. Though now you make me want to read it too. HMPH. The characters sounds awesome. AND THE BOY. I approve. He sounds the best, hih :) And YAY for romance with less of the angst, hih. <3 thank you for sharing sweetie :)

  8. It sounds like a really good mystery. I love the setting, and I'm looking forward to reading the book.

  9. I am certainly won over by the location.

  10. This was an excellent review. I really appreciate how you broke it down into the various elements AND kept it spoiler-free. Is this going to be a character-driven series, with each book being a standalone? I really hope so...I truly dislike series that must be followed in order, but love those that are standalone. (Yes, I am a weirdo.)

  11. Gah! You PERFECTLY described everything that was SO RIGHT with this book! I definitely fell in love with Mycroft too despite some of his traits that are usually dealbreakers for me too. I loved discovering Melbourne through Rachel's eyes as well, it was like being there. The mystery was brilliant and even though I suspected the guy from the start, I was still on the edge of my seat as you said! And the slow-burn, believable, swoon-inducing romance was, in one word: PERFECTION. It developed beautifully, Rachel didn't turn into someone else after she got her feelings (YAY) and man, that tension, those feelings ♥ *swoon* Fabulous review ^^ mine just went up and of course now I'm hunting ALL the reviews to gush about this perfect book :D

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews


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