I started reading this book because 1) I wanted to see if I was in a reading mood and was ready for The Reading Quest – I’m feeling very shaky about it – and 2) this book has been second-hand hyped to me for a while now. No one has ever directly recommended it to me, but one of my favorite bloggers way back when declared it one of their all time favorites, and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since. Fast forward a couple years, and I finally got to it! The not so bright side: it’s not one of my new favorites, and I’m not sure I’ll continue with the series. But first let me acknowledge some things.
The characters are interesting, and the mystery + how Mycroft and Watts go about solving the mystery are one of the best things about this book. BUT even given all of that, this book didn’t arouse too much of my interest. Books with anything to do with Sherlock Holmes, for whatever reason, often end up doing not so well with me. I don’t know if it’s because of the mis-characterization or what, but I’m never in love with the retellings and/or spin-offs. Every Breath is certainly one of the better ones I’ve read, but as a whole, I only liked it – nothing more or less. The first 30% of the book didn’t grab me at all, but once I got into the groove of the characters and their personalities, things started getting better.
Every Breath starts out with Rachel Watts hating on city life and crushing on her neighbor and schoolmate, James Mycroft. The two are friends who hang out with each other, but one day, they stumble upon the dead body of their homeless friend, Dave. After they call the police, Rachel just wants to let the matter go, but James is determined to find out the truth behind his friend’s death. Along the way, they meet friends, foe, and quite the grumpy policeman (he’s great).
One thing I loved about this book is that it was surprisingly realistic in how Rachel and James went about solving the murder. Yes, the two are ridiculously smart, but it’s appropriate for their age level. I feel like most Young Adult, Sherlock-based books make out the main characters to be super geniuses who know everything and are afraid of nothing, but Mycroft, despite his eccentricities, is afraid for his and Rachel’s life at the appropriate moments, and he also faces his own teenage struggles. He often needs Rachel’s help to figure out little details about the murder, and both his and her reactions to things that happen are realistic of teens. I found it refreshing.
One of my main disappointments regarding this book is that based on the synopsis, I thought that James Mycroft would be this cold, arrogant, good-looking boy that Rachel has yet to be close friends with. For whatever reason, I imagined this as more of a hate-to-love romance, when in reality, it’s friends-to-lovers. To be fair, the friends-to-lovers is done excellently, and there are some sexy YA things that happen between the two before they acknowledge their feelings for each other – I have no misgivings. But again, it’s still a bit sad that the amazing dream Mycroft-Watts ship I had ready in my head isn’t actually and might never be a real thing.
I did like this book, but it wasn’t nearly as amazing as I had been led to believe it would be by other ratings/reviews. I gave this book three stars (★★★) because while the book is more than decent, the plot itself didn’t feel very major. I probably would have liked this story more if it was, say, a tv episode where the romance and personal issues develop over the season(s).