I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies.
This book was the saving grace and what otherwise was known as a horrible weekend filled with outlandish drama and a CLE class so dreadfully boring I thought the course should’ve been paying me to take it.
The good news is, I came in with high expectations for this one. Because of some rather flattering reviews (thanks, Gillian, for the rec) and it succeeded.
I think the best way to describe Every Breath‘s wonderfulness is to describe why most YA mysteries detective novels don’t work and then go from there.
In most YA detective books we have a main character who’s “sassy” and tries to break the detective rules. They’re also usually into journalism and there’s usually a bonehead Ned Nickerson-ish love interest who they have to save.
That’s not the case here.
Not that Watts isn’t sassy. But she doesn’t actively try to be snarky and the anti-Nancy Drew. Heck, she’s not even the one running the mystery-Mycroft is-but you know what she totally kicks butt.
And I like that she’s atypical. I like that she’s uncertain things and that even though she’s trying to solve some big case, that’s not the sole focus of the novel.
Side plots, such as family issues and romance play a role here. Honestly, when I saw that this was going to be essentially a Sherlock/Watson ship I was kind of unsure.
Because even though I love the idea, I have am a little uncertain about one of my favorite friendships evolving into a romance, but Marney did it effortlessly here.
And I really liked her Sherlock…well, James Mycroft there (kind of like how she did a nod to both Sherlock’s brother and nemesis with that name). While there were similarities of the beloved character- and various versions of him at that-Marney added her own nuances to the character that made the relationship with Watts palpable.
The mystery plot itself had its moments. While the culprit (for me) was easy enough to figure out, the actual crime solving was interesting. And the climax…wow. Just wow. I do think the zoo setting could’ve been used a little more to Marney’s advantage, but what we did see…it really, really, worked.
There were a few minor issues with this book that I did notice. Besides, the easy to identify culprit, there were also some trigger inducing moments for animal lovers. It wasn’t anything that major, but it was enough where I was tempted at a moment or two to move it down to four stars.
That being said, I think mystery lovers and Sherlock lovers will really like this one. It also made me realize I have not paid enough attention to Aussie YA lit. This is something I will be remedying in the near future.
Overall Rating: A- Oh, it was close to an A. So close I rounded it up to a full five on GoodReads but there were a few blips here and there. Overall though, an excellent book and I will so be buying and reading that sequel when it comes out.