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Every Breath - Ellie Marney What the fuck have you done to me, Ellie?This has been probably the only time that I've loved the romance instead of the central plot, the only time – really! – that I've wanted two central characters to get married already and have a family. Yeah, okay, I'm thinking about it a bit too early – BUT SERIOUSLY! Rachel and Mycroft are a perfect duo, and I've fallen for them. Both of them. HARD!Did I really just say that? Did I really fucking say that I thought the romance was the best? Better than the action (well, there really wasn't any besides that sexual action)? Better than the mystery? Better than the fact that the book is set in Melbourne? YES! Why, yes I did. I am embarrassed. COMPLETELY! I ship Rachel and Mycroft to the grave.Ellie, you have some explaining to do.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------AUSTRALIAN RESIDENTS: WIN ONE OF THREE COPIES HERE.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------It is common knowledge here on Book Probe that I don’t have a strong affinity for romance in young adult novels – okay there are a few exceptions, Quintana and Froi for example. Most of the time I complain about the romance: ‘That’s incredibly cliché!’ ‘It distracts from the main story…’ ‘the romance stunts character growth’ ‘Ahhh! Instaluv!’ ‘No.’ ‘No.’ ‘Moooo!’ ‘Meh!’ ‘No.’ ‘Worthless…’So it was incredibly embarrassing to finish reading Every Breath and want to ship a romance so much more than the actual book – which revolved around a crime, a damned crime! Blood and morgues and blood, oh my! I guess the main plot was the building block for the fondness between Rachel [Watts] and [James] Mycroft to begin, which flourished more and more as the duo became closer to solving their first murder investigation.Think Sherlock Holmes and Watson – but modern-day teenage versions, trying to cope in a world that has wounded them in their own personal ways: Rachel having to move from Five Mile – content with her quiet, farm life – to the city (Melbourne); Mycroft having to move from London after the death of his parents to live with his next of kin, his aunt in Melbourne.Two teens struggling to fit in; two teens coping together, in a world that doesn’t understand them.I guess there was much more to the romance between Rachel and Mycroft that I loved. Their romance was due to their characters. And that’s something I rarely come across in young adult literature. They don’t get together for the sake of having a boyfriend or a girlfriend or to give female readers something to fall to their knees for, no. They get together because they need each other.A lonely genius, a frequent offender. An impulsive ex-farm girl, a rebellious daughter who knows much more than her family thinks she does.Okay, nope. To love these two characters was not embarrassing – it was gratifying!Mycroft grins, ‘So, you’ve only been in the city four months and you’re already the babysitter for the school’s eccentric genius.’‘It’s been four and a half months. And if you were such a genius, you wouldn’t have a black eye.’‘I’m only a genius with facts. I’m an academic genius and a social moron.’‘At least you admit to being a moron at something.’‘I admit to being a moron at lots of things. Being a moron in one or two areas serves to highlight my extraordinary brilliance in everything else.’So, yep. There’s you’re Sherlock and Watson, folks. From just the above passage you learn so much about these two characters as they converse than the first point of view of Rachel would give. (I wonder if we’ll get both point of views in the second book, Every Word, or even just Mycroft’s? Hmmm…)The interaction and conflict between Rachel and Mycroft, as well as with their friends and family too, was much more interesting than the crime investigating plot of this novel. I felt the crime was second to the growth of the characters, that the crime just aided them in their discoveries and assistance of one another – and it would be great if that was always the case.I would have been happy to just read a book about Rachel and Mycroft.But I thought that the crime plot in Every Breath could have been stronger, the mystery more mysterious, the suspense more suspenseful. As you put 2 and 2 together when reading Every Breath the culprit just becomes more clearer and clearer and by the end there wasn’t much to be in disbelief about.How Rachel and Mycroft were able to get the access to information and see the body of Homeless Dave in the morgue came about all too easy – our duo might have been conniving at every step of the way but they sure could have done a lot more in solving the crime than playing the innocent nephew of a cleaner at the zoo or innocent friend of the murdered. I wanted to see more jumping over fences, more of something to see Mycroft’s offending and Rachel’s tough-as-nails farming history kick into action.More sleuth; less dare. Well, no, I like the amount of dare – it gave Rach and Mycroft something to race each other with. But you get my point I hope.You know what? I actually do think Every Word will be told from Mycroft’s point of view. Every Breath introduced us to Rachel’s family and their history, their struggles financially to keep their farm at Five Mile, as well as their acceptance of Rachel’s relationship with Mycroft, the boy next door, so it’s only fair that we get to learn more about Mycroft at a deeper level, at a level as raw as raw can go. We got to know Mycroft through Rachel, but with the second book being set in London and a few eggs being trickled throughout Every Breath to build the excitement for the second book, it’s only fair we follow Mycroft and his feelings about Rachel.