{Review} Every Breath by Ellie Marney

Title: Every Breath
Series: Every #1
Author: Ellie Marney
Published: Sept 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Mystery Romance
Source: ARC copy provided by Allen & Unwin Australia for fair honest review
Rating: 4/5

Rachel Watts is an unwilling new arrival to Melbourne from the country. James Mycroft is her neighbour, an intriguingly troubled seventeen-year-old genius with a passion for forensics. Despite her misgivings, Rachel finds herself unable to resist Mycroft when he wants her help investigating a murder. And when Watts and Mycroft follow a trail to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion's den - literally.

A night at the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again...

The story:
Rachel Watts, the country girl who has just left the only home she's ever known behind for the big city, is feeling lost and homesick. The one small light in her new life is her growing friendship with James Mycroft. One night her new city life, turns even more frightening after stumbling across the murder scene of their friend, Homeless Dave. Mycroft is intent on solving the murder himself - believing that the Police will have little time for solving a murder case of a man with no family to speak of. 

Together they follow clues across the city, with some additional help of their two friends Mai & Gus. There are several suspects, but without hard evidence, the Police ignore their efforts to solve the crime, labelling it as 'sport-killing' - that Dave was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But Myscroft & Rachel don't give up their investigation. Slowly they get closer to solving the crime, but in doing so are they marking themselves as the killer's next target?

The characters:
Firstly I must say I absolutely loved the diverse range of characters in this book; young, old, boys, girls, indigenous, asian, country & city etc. The best part is that they are not just token characters or stereotypes, they all have a place in the story are a represented realistically & honestly.

James Mycroft, with his Sherlock Holmes type behaviour was a very interesting character. Despite loosing his parents and living with a mostly absent aunty he's incredibly strong & intelligent. However he does have a tendency to get himself into a bit of trouble and is quite impulsive. He also have some very interesting relationships with people around the city - obviously with Homeless Dave, but also tram drivers, cafe owners etc. It gave the impression that he craves friendship and closeness - something he doesn't get at home.

Rachel has quite the opposite personality, growing up in the country it's where she feels at home, the city is too big & too noisy and she misses the open space of the county. But she's slowly adjusting to her new life, with the help of her new friends, Mai, Gus & Mycroft. Rachel is a very independent character, able to look after herself, while also looking out for Mycroft too. She's more emotional than him and has a slightly innocent naivety about her - but I liked that quality in her.

I also loved Rachel's family, while they're far from perfect and certainly had their problems, I felt they represented a normal family. Yes they fought, but when it came down to it, they where all there for each other. It was quite refreshing to the normal YA families that are so often uncaring or simply absent from the story.

The romance:
The relationship between Mycroft and Rachel was a nice mix of sweet & sexy. I loved the innocence of the romance as it slowly built over the course of the story, making it all the more believable. There were also a couple hot & heavy make out sessions that added a little fire to the romance! I look forward to seeing more from their romance in the next books too.

The Writing:
This book has a setting that reminds me a lot of David McRobbie's books, especially Eugene Sandler P.I. (which I absolutely loved!). It's not so much the story, but the overall 'feeling' I got reading Every Breath - the mystery & adventure and the urban environment.

I also loved that Marney doesn't 'dumb down' her teenage characters, they're intelligent and each have their own strengths and weaknesses. She also didn't water down the story for a teenage audience, but respects her reader's intelligence.

I really enjoyed this story, while I did work out who the murderer was before the characters did, it didn't detract from the story and the ending still had a strong impact. I can't wait to continue following Watt's & Mycroft's story in the next two books!

Sexuality: medium / some heavy kissing & some references to sex
Violence: medium-strong / descriptions of bloody murder scene
Language: medium / some f words
Drugs & alcohol: medium-strong / main character smokes regularly & some minor underage drinking

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