I’ve re-read most of the books we’ve toured on the blog after having visited all the locations, and the difference that makes to my reading experience astounds me. While I’ve always considered fictional characters to be dear friends (I know y’all are with me on that!), being able to place them so vividly in real life locations seriously makes me question which universe I’m living in (and I’m always disappointed). My experience was a bit different with Every Breath because the novel is set largely in the Coburg/Brunswick area, an area where I have worked in the past and have frequented many of the locations before. But aside from the known-to-me locations, there’s really nothing else about Every Breath that resembles my life in any way, shape or form – and I love that!
Every Breath is my favourite in the ‘Every’ series, though I’m not entirely sure why, because they are all action packed, filled with sexual tension and repeated mentions of Mycroft’s amazing, glorious curls. Ellie Marney has created a kick-ass duo inspired by the illustrious Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson and packaged them as two very intelligent, absolutely nuts for each other, super cool, I-wish-they-were-my-friends teenagers; Rachel Watts and James Mycroft (did I mention his curls?). Ellie has written these two characters so, SO well that she could have put them into any situation; crime, romance, vampire story, and it would have worked because you just want to read about them. I think they are what I love most about the Every series. Yes, the plot is great. Yes, the dialogue is witty and real. Yes, the story keeps you guessing – but honestly? I would happily read a story about Rachel and Mycroft deciding what brand of washing powder to buy.
I haven’t read many crime novels in my day, especially not in the YA category, so I found Every Breath to be very refreshing. I also love how gutsy Rachel is and, while she is obviously infatuated with Mycroft, she don’t need no man and she doesn’t let it define her. Boo-yeah feminism in YA. Also, Mycroft doesn’t play an instrument, he does’t have a crooked smile and he’s not your typical ‘bad-boy’ (he does do some stupid and reckless things but he does them in a super intelligent, using chemicals and shit kind of way). Down with cliches!! Every Breath also has great supporting characters and Ellie has made sure that every character is important and it’s clear that she has put just as much effort into a character that has 2 minutes of air time as she has for the crime-fighting duo of Rachel and Mycroft.
So to summarise; Ellie Marney is an exceptional writer, the book is gutsy, fun and clever and Mycroft’s curls are so divine that they make me want to weep into my pillow.
These were my thoughts immediately after finishing Every Breath for the first time in Sept 2013:
‘Two days into my vow to start going to bed early, I end up staying up to 1am to finish this book.
I don’t normally go for books with a component of thriller/mystery/crime but I loved it! Gave something extra to the story, and it was nice to read something a bit different.
The tension between the two characters was so awesome. I loved how they complimented each other so nicely, Rachel being the Watson to Mycroft’s Sherlock. And those kissing scenes. Man oh man. I will most definitely be on the look out for the next two books.’
I reread it in Jan of this year to make note of locations, songs, and every single mention of Mycroft’s curls and eyes (cos someone has to). My feelings on Every Breath have not changed in the slightest (I still don’t go to bed early either).
I remember being very excited when I was reading it for the first time cos of all the locations mentioned. In fact, I’m pretty sure when I finished it and forced it upon Annette, I said ‘I reckon this is a book we can tour!’. And here we are 18-ish months later.
I think what I like most about Every Breath (my favourite of the trilogy) is that it’s mystery/crime YA, which I don’t read a lot of. The reason for that is that unless I am really caught up in the story, I tend to flick to the back to see who the baddie is. Yes, I am THAT guy. Despite the fact that it never makes sense and you don’t know what’s going on. Bad compulsion, but there you go. Every Breath impressed me cos I didn’t pick who did it (not that I can recall anyway) and I was faaaar too distracted while reading it as I spent every waking moment internally screaming at Rachel & Mycroft to kiss that I completely forgot about my bad habit. To quote Darth Vader, the sexual tension is strong with this one.
I also enjoyed the way our MCs were very real and well thought out. I liked Ellie’s exploration of Rachel’s sense of not being to suited to life in the suburbs of Melbourne, having lived her whole life in the country. She’s struggling, but she’s doing the best she can trying to keep not only herself going, but also her entire family while also trying to prevent Mycroft from going off the rails every other day. I also love her not only for her exceptional name, but because she wears flannies. Can I just say that flannies are the best clothing item invented since Betty White and nothing will ever convince me otherwise. I could go on about how much I love Mycroft too, but I was sold the second his curls were mentioned. Which is quite literally on the FIRST PAGE.
So anyway, the only other thing I want to say, cos I clearly started rambling about 2 paragraphs ago, is – get on this book. Get on this trilogy. NOW. Kthanksbye