Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Review: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication date: May 26th 2015
My rating: 3 stars 
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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 Thoughts:
I’ve really enjoyed Katie McGarry’s writing in the past, and the prospect of reading a young adult romance set within a Motorcycle Club had me really excited. While I did enjoy parts of Nowhere But Here there were a few complaints that kept it from being a knockout read for me.

Emily’s plans for the summer change when a member of her biological father, Eli’s, family gets sick.  Eli is part of a Motorcycle Club, Reign of Terror, a legit club who obey the law of the land, but that doesn’t mean their lifestyle is anything normal to Emily.  She’s been raised to think (by her mother) they are a dangerous and rowdy bunch, and Emily is not really an open minded girl when her visit begins. 

Oz has been raised around the Reign of Terror and it’s his dream to finally get his patch and join the family security business. His plans are put on hold when he’s assigned to keep guard over Emily when her life is put in danger by a rival club.

I think my main issue with this story was the continual lies. Emily’s mother, adoptive father, biological father, and basically everyone else do nothing but lie to her, and as the reader I was in the dark, as well, on almost everything until about the 80-85% of the book. Being that this is a long book, 496 pages, that’s a substantial amount of pages! I think this story would’ve greatly benefited from some editing down.  I wanted to know what happened!  I wanted Emily to know what happened so she would stop judging these people when it was pretty clear there was much more to her story than her father just abandoning her!  Had the book been shorter or maybe if I was distracted by some danger or action maybe I would’ve been less frustrated.  Or maybe if I could’ve felt the romance more wouldn’t have minded. As it was, Emily and Oz are mostly at odds for the first 65% of the book, alternately lusting after each other and then judging each other. I really wasn’t on board with them as a couple until the last 35% of the book.  Plus, I couldn’t understand why Emily wasn’t grilling these people to get to the bottom of things when she supposedly stayed to find out the truth about her family.

Once the romance kicked into gear, I really wanted things to work out for Emily and Oz.  I was happy with the choices Oz made when he stepped out of the Motorcycle Club mindset.  Yes, he still loved the MC and his extended family, but Oz was in it on his terms by the end.  I’m still a bit mixed over Emily. I wished she put more effort into trying (to get to know them, not be judgmental, get to the bottom of things!) with Eli’s family.

I know it sounds like I didn’t like this book at all, which is not the case. I was glued to the pages for the last 35% of the story.  I finally got the answers, action and romance I wanted through the whole book.  I did have some moments in the end there were I had to suspend my disbelief, although, that doesn’t necessarily put me off a story. This is fiction after all. With all of this it’s been really hard for me to come up with a rating.  I’ve been trying to decide anywhere between 2-3.5 stars.  In the end I think I’ll settle on 3 stars.  I am excited for Razor's story next.


  1. Great review, Rachel! I had started this book, but struggled to get into it. I had some issues right off the bat that had me putting it down. And I didn't realize how long it was - ugh! I really hate when a book is unnecessarily long. I don't know if I'll revisit it or not. I'm glad it picked up for you in the end!

  2. Aww! :( I'm sad that you didn't love this one more, but I completely get where you're coming from. The lying was quite irritating, but I was able to get over it. I had issues with how the motorcycle club was presented. I think Razor's story might be a whole better story now that we're settled into the MC aspects.
    Lovely review, Rachel!

  3. I can definitely see how being kept in the dark for the first almost quarter of the book would be really frustrating Rachel, I always get really antsy when lie after lie is being told, especially when those lies result in the unfair judgment of other people. Still, I love Katie McGarry something fierce, and I was glad she was able to get you to root for these two in the end!

    1. Thanks Jenny. I wish it was only a quarter of the book we were kept in the dark. The answers didn't start coming until about the 85% mark!

  4. You know, I have seen this everywhere and even added it to my to-read list but for some reason I didn't check the synopsis or realize that in the picture there was a guy on a motorcycle. I'm really new to the motorcycle club genre and ive only seen it done in New Adult and Adult books so this is cool that this is YA. Thanks for being so honest in your review. I wanna check this out and introduce myself to Katie McGarry's writing. Great review, Rachel!

  5. This one is getting such mixed reviews, and after reading your review and Maja's I think I am skipping this one. I don't like the lying and all that.

  6. I've heard different and conflicting things about this one, but I still want to read it. Guys on motorcycles make fascinating characters, lol :D Great review, Rachel!

  7. Gorgeous review Rachel. <3 I'm glad you liked this book. But aw, I'm sorry it wasn't perfect :\ But oh my gosh, yes. I also haaate when people always lie in books. In this one it sounds so annoying. Ugh. I understand why you didn't like that :) I doubt I will read this book. Though it do seem pretty awesome ;p Thank you for sharing your thoughts about it. <3

  8. Great review! I've read only one book from Katie McGarry and I love her stories! I'm looking forward to this new series of hers! Nice cover too!

  9. Rachel, I felt similarly about this--the secrets and lies were a bit MUCH--but I still enjoyed the novel overall. McGarry isn't a favorite of mine anymore but her books always manage to keep me glued to the page which is a feat and I'm certainly on board for the companion novel. Fantastic review, dear!

  10. A motorcycle club? That's kinda cool! I haven't picked up a McGarry's book for a long while, so I think I'll check this one out. Oz sounds like a good guy. Thanks for sharing. :)

  11. Hi Rachel and Jasprit! It's been such a long while and I hope you've both been doing well!

    I've always meant to catch up on all of Katie McGarry's books. I remember completely falling in love with Pushing the Limits. I might give Nowhere But Here a go this summer. Even though you had some complaints, Rachel, it still sounds like you enjoyed. It does seem frustrating though that secrets and truths weren't revealed until much later in the book. I'm glad you pushed through with it though and that you found the last 35% more redeeming than the start. And these Motorcyle Club characters sound intriguing... really want to find out what they're all about now! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Rachel!

  12. I really hated this novel :( I thought it was just frustrating how the characters were plotting schemes to make the heroine stay with them. I gave up with this novel to the end, the secrets destroyed my soul in a bad way lol.. Atleast you liked it more then me though <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

  13. I was frustrated with the lack of answers, too, especially because people could have just TOLD HER. Also, the whole motorcycle club is still a little weird to me haha.
    But I thought for 500 pages Katie did a good job with the pacing (for me) - I never felt bored. And I did enjoy the romance.
    Lovely review!

  14. I passed on this arc because I prefer my characters to be a little older. Now I'm glad I did, because I think this isn't a read for me and can understand your mixed feelings about it. Great review!

  15. "I think my main issue with this story was the continual lies." <--THIS
    "I really wasn’t on board with them as a couple... Plus, I couldn’t understand why Emily wasn’t grilling these people to get to the bottom of things ..." <-- and THIS
    Your review really hits on the things that bothered me in this book! Great review Rachel :)


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