Series: Every #1
on October 14, 2014
Genres: contemporary, mystery
Amazon • Indiebound • Barnes & Noble • Goodreads
When James Mycroft drags Rachel Watts off on a night mission to the Melbourne Zoo, the last thing she expects to find is the mutilated body of Homeless Dave, one of Mycroft's numerous eccentric friends. But Mycroft's passion for forensics leads him to realize that something about the scene isn't right--and he wants Watts to help him investigate the murder.
While Watts battles her attraction to bad-boy Mycroft, he's busy getting himself expelled and clashing with the police, becoming murder suspect number one. When Watts and Mycroft unknowingly reveal too much to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion's den--literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning to Rachel Watts again...
There are perhaps some things you should know about me before I embark on this review:
- I am not traditionally a fan of either contemporary or mystery
- I am not a fan of the popular BBC series Sherlock nor any other Sherlock adaptation
- I really do not like bad boy love interests
- I freaking adored this book
When I saw that my friend Gillian was absolutely losing it over the ship in this book I knew I had to get my hands on it ASAP! And boy, did she not let me down! It’s going to take something really special to get this SFF loving gal to even read a contemporary let alone love it. Congrats, Ellie Marney. You succeeded in spades.
Man, how good is the characterization in this book? I loved Rachel so much. It’s rare that I think that a character in YA comes across as an actual teenager, but Rachel does. In all the best ways. She’s angry and angsty, but still smart and responsible. She’s not a stereotype; she’s a human being who is adjusting. She’s amidst the abrupt trauma of being uprooted from her happy home in the country to her struggling home in the city. Rachel’s issues never feel like they take the backseat and all are handled with deft skill by the author.
And then there’s Mycroft. Is Mycroft really a bad boy? I feel like if Mycroft is a bad boy then he’s the most decent bad boy I’ve ever encountered. Okay, yeah, he smokes cigarettes which is a major, major turnoff. I trust YA readers to chalk this off to the inherent imperfectness of humans. Don’t smoke, kids! Anyway, Mycroft still has the whole skinny!tall British boy vibe going on. There is a very, very fine line to walk with the “I’m a charming and rakish scamp.” vibe without taking it into jerk territory. Ellie Marney walks that line with aplomb.
I don’t normally find mystery storylines compelling but this one kept stringing me along. I mean, even to the point where I (disappointingly) guessed who the villain was fairly early on into the story, I kept going because the rest of the story and the characters themselves were so compelling that I had to find out what would happen. Ellie Marney knows how to play our emotional chords.
And it was so enjoyable to get to experience the darkly glittering aspects of Melbourne through Watt’s eyes. The gritty sparkliness of that city really comes to life through Marnie’s narration. Rachel isn’t super in love with the city yet she’s able to appreciate the sort of grim beauty all the same. I was super appreciative, too, how her issues are never made into a “thing” but are handled skillfully as a normal part of teenage life.
I especially loved the action packed climax of the story. My heart was going to pound right out of my chest with the anticipation. I know there are sequels. Obviously Watts and Mycroft will survive. It makes the writing that more impressive that I actually feared for their lives at the end there.
But what makes this book really special? It’s the undeniable sexual tension between Watts and Mycroft. Throughout the book the relationship between the two is a very slow burn, sort of smoldering tension. Things really culminate in the final third of the book where all of that slow burning finally pays off. Honestly, these two get so cutesy I just want to squee! Actual real life squee! It’s the sort of hard fought relationship that really feels worth it in YA. Watts and Mycroft are my favorite new-to-me couple of 2014. Hooray for new ships to ship! The tension and build up are pitch perfect.
Now I just spend my days thinking about what exactly it would take to get a copy of Every Word into my grubby little mitts. Watts. Mycroft. In London. *grabby hands intensify* *Kim dies of the waiting* Yes, very tragic.
Anyway! This book is a wonderful swirl of atmospheric, gritty mystery and Aussie contemporary and SHIPPY SHIP. You can tell I really liked the ship. You should ship it too. Read it. Now. That way we can all cry together about waiting another year for the sequel. Misery loves company.