You’ve probably guessed by now that Sherlock love was not necessary to love Every Breath, and I really really do. For a while I was afraid that I would just like it, but not reach the passionate, shouty levels of my dear friends. I’m not sure if took some time to take off for everyone or if that was just a me thing, but either way I ended up in the same location. That location being the docks. Where I boarded a ship. A Wattscroft ship made of science and practicality.
Every Breath has some of the very best friendship to love romance that I’ve ever experienced. When the novel opens, they’re very firmly friends with scarcely a tension-filled moment. There are some Freudian slips here and there, but mostly they’re cool and comfortable with each other. The thing is that I totally get why they didn’t realize they should be making out. For one thing, Rachel hasn’t been in the city for that long and, for another, she doesn’t want to stay. Mycroft knows that she’s hoping to head right back out to the country, that she doesn’t want to get attached, and they’re both basically resisting messy romantic feelings. People vainly trying to resist attraction is basically my call to ship.
Throughout Every Breath, Rachel has to weigh her feelings for Mycroft and her feelings about the city. I love how much Rachel loves farming and how much she will not let people disparage it. Along her emotional arc, Rachel says a lot of really mean things to people she loves, the barbs calculated to hurt the most. She also is incredibly loving and sweet and thoughtful, the sort of girl who makes sure Mycroft has enough to eat and will go hang out with Mycroft’s friend Homeless Dave.
Speaking of Homeless Dave, may he rest in peace. The mystery of the novel crops up early. Mycroft and Rachel, who totally have no romantic feelings for each other no sir, go to visit Dave and find his throat slashed. It’s a grisly, painful scene. Mycroft, though fascinated by forensics, throws up; it shows a lot about their dynamics that Rachel actually handles this better in some ways and not in others. The two begin investigating the case together and they’re really such a perfect team. When he’s flagging, she’s got a new idea and vice versa. Their talents and ways of thinking are quite different, so they complement one another well. Also, they trust one another, which is essential.
Mysteries are not usually my thing, but I actually really liked this one. There’s a bit of Scooby Doo-ness in the meddling kids solving the mystery, but it also really worked. Unlike some YA or MG mysteries, I think it makes a lot of sense for the teens to be the ones to solve the case. The circumstances are such that it truly is unlikely that the police force would look so closely. It’s a sad truth that the murder of a homeless man wouldn’t be looked into as closely.
Back to the romance, because that’s obviously the most important part. I already adored the other half of Mycroft and Watts group, Mai and Gus, but they’re even better for being the biggest shippers on the whole planet. Actually, almost everyone is trying to get those kids to realize the truth, except for Rachel’s parents and the school administration. Both of the latter have pretty good reasons for being concerned, and, in the case of Rachel’s parents, I think it resolves really smoothly.
The first kiss is shippy perfection and oh manI could barely put the book down from that point on. Basically, it hit one of my very favorite tropes and just yes. Also, the passion and the swoons in this book. I cannot even.
My reservations are minor and petty. Mostly I just could not handle the character named Gray Jetta. His actual first name is Graham, but he goes by Gray. How does no one comment on the fact that this guy is a car? There’s also a teacher named Mrs. Ramen. Again, students would totally have some nickname for her or snicker about that or something. On top of that, there are way too many comma splices, which hurt my grammar loving soul, at least until I got sucked in enough to not notice anymore. Other than those things, my only issue was that it took a bit of time for the book to hook me, but once it did it did not let go.
I may have already preordered the second book even though it doesn’t come out until September. Why oh why will it finish in Australia before book two even comes out here? More importantly, why must the Australian covers be so incredibly ugly. Now I have to wait ages and I am sad. Or I’ll give in and buy the ugly covers, but I really really don’t want to. ARGH.