I absolutely loved and adored Every Breath by Ellie Marney. I DID! I put off reading it for a few stupid reasons and yes I am ashamed. But I was nervous to try it because:
- I totally adore Sherlock Holmes and I didn’t want to read a bad retelling,
- The cover is not pretty. I’m shallow, but HEY. At least I’m honest.
- The title does nothing for me. It doesn’t even hint that the book is a crime/thriller/mystery.
But I should never have hesitated because Every Breath was pure PERFECTION. Plus it’s by an Australian author. What is not to love?!
It was a perfect YA Sherlock Holmes adaption. Mostly because it was really realistic. It wasn’t about two kids who go snooping for crimes like a revamped Nancy Drew. These two Aussie teens kind of trip into the murder of a homeless guy that they knew and they can’t let it go until it’s SOLVED. Plus they defer and reference the actual Sherlock Holmes, which I adored because it wasn’t a “take over”, it was more honorary. These two kids just happened to be named James Mycroft and Rachel Watts. Mycroft is a forensic genius and Rachel has a knack for medicine. I loved the gender bending of John Watson/Rachel Watts, too!
And it’s so so very Australian. Which just fills me with immense joy. I felt like dancing around the house singing, “It speaks my language!” (You can tell I read a lot of American books, can’t you?) They use “arvo” and “bikkie” and “cuppa”. They call Rachel “Rache” for short (such an Aussie thing to do) and sarcasm and “she’ll be right mate” attitudes come easier than cuddly emotion. I just love how Australian it is, okay?!
The characters (and development) are probably just the. best. ever. It’s narrated in first person by Rachel, who is epic. She’s a bit of an open book, and gets smothered in disbelief and righteousness and rules. But at the end of the day, she’s a ripper of a friend. Since her family just moved from the country to the city, she’s dealing with a lot of “I don’t fit in” and homesickness, which was uber relatable.
Then there was the adorable, eccentric Mycroft. He’s not as narcissistic as the original Sherlock, which was actually refreshing. He claims to be a social moron, BUT, he makes friends with just about anyone and everyone. Literally every second person he’s like, “Oh, hallo, Bob, how’s the wife and kids” and it always stumps Rachel how he just KNOWS everyone. Mycroft has a tragic past and he forgets to eat, and he notices everything, and he has scars, and he pretends his life is fine, but he huuurts. The tortured little darling hurts. omg. Plus he and Rachel have one of the most fantastic friendships of EVER. It was refreshing to read about a friendship so strong as theirs too, although it hinted that it might move off platonic in later books.
The only things I didn’t like?
- The book starts with this confusing after-the-school-yard-brawl scene. It was confusing and jarring. I like books to start with action, BUT STILL. To this day, I’m not even exactly sure what that first chapter was about.
- I still don’t know HOW Rachel and Mycroft met. Did the book not say? Did I miss it? Was it brushed over because it didn’t matter? I’m curious and hope this, too, gets explained in later books!
But otherwise? I’m a billion percent in love with this book. I need the rest of the trilogy ASAP. I loved the mystery, I loved the deductions, I loved how it was all so realistic and very Australian, and I loved the character exuberant amounts.