Monday, November 16, 2015

Review: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Nowhere But Here
(Thunder Road #1)
Publication Date: May 26, 2015
Hardcover, 496 pages, Harlequin Teen
Genres: YA, Romance, Contemporary

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

My Review

Motorcycle clubs + YA + Romance = A Must Read

Honestly, I have never heard someone say that they don’t like Katie McGarry’s books, and even if I had heard it, I wouldn’t believe them. I don’t understand what’s not to like? There’s kissing. There’s hot boys. There’s kissing. There’s action. Oh, and did I mention there’s kissing? Nowhere But Here follows the same fantastic-ness her Pushing the Limits series does, except this time, the ride’s a little wilder. (*waggles eyebrows* See what I did there?)

I want to talk about the characters first. Oz (I do not like that street name by the way. What’s wrong with Johnny? Hmm…) is a punk manchild with perhaps too much loyalty to a group of grown men and Emily is a girl who doesn’t really know where she fits in, despite thinking she does. Okay, so maybe these characters don’t sound that great so far. Oz sounds like he’s been drinking the motorcycle-club Kool-Aid, while Emily let’s people constantly tell her that she doesn’t know who she is. Both of these aspects got on my nerves. However, Oz really did make me see the oddness of a motorcycle club in a different light. He made it seem like a family—one I would never want to be in, but a family nonetheless. And Emily may have been a tad bit of a pushover, but I think she managed to get her points across at times and she was definitely unique. Her fears and overreactions are fantastic to read about. These two fit well together, in a way I’m finding hard to explain. I guess Emily pulled Oz out of the “cult” state of mind a little and Emily got somewhat of a reality check. I would have liked to have seen more character development from the two, though. Of course there was some development, there just wasn’t as much as the characters in her Pushing the Limits series get.

As for the side characters, I honestly don’t like Olivia, Emily’s grandmother. She’s the one who is constantly telling Emily that Emily doesn’t know who she is. Umm… Hello? Emily is the ONLY one who can know who Emily is. I don’t like it when someone says you don’t know who you are. It irks me. That being said, I did cry a lot during her scenes. They were happy/sad tears. Additionally, Oz’s parents, I felt, were nonexistent. This makes sense given his background, but I just wanted more from them. However, Emily’s parents are fantastic! I love the dynamic between the four and I wish the story focused more on Emily and her mom and dads.

The plot of the story was a solid contemporary book. BUT, I never really knew where things were going to go. I mean, I had a vague idea of a few things happening, but generally something bigger would happen to blow my tiny guess out of the water. And that ending… Ugh. Did not see that coming!

All in all, Nowhere But Here is a great addition to the Katie McGarry novels you should be collecting on your bookshelf.

*Note: I purchased a copy of this book for myself.

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