Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Review: Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry

Title: Nowhere But Here
Author: Katie McGarry
My rating: ❤❤❤❤❤
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release date: May 26th, 2015
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Summary: 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: Since I loved all other books by Katie McGarry, I had huge expectations of this book, and I was really hoping for another great series. A lot of times when I have this high expectations of a book, I get disappointed, because, let’s face it, they are not that far from unreachable. Well, reading Nowhere but Here proved to me that my expectations were not only reachable, but that it was possible to beat them. I absolutely loved every second of reading, and I couldn’t put it down.
   It’s about Emily and Oz. Emily is a good girl who always does what her parents tell her to do. She lives in Florida with her mother and stepfather, Jeff, although he’s like her father. She doesn’t want to leave Florida after high school, but wants to stay and go to a college there so she doesn’t have to leave her family. She’s scared of the combination of the dark and the woods, and she hates surprises and change. She’s curious about her biological father, Eli, but she denies it, because she’s afraid she’ll hurt Jeff.
   When she has to spend part of her summer in Snowflake, with the rest of her family that she’s never met before, she isn’t thrilled. She doesn’t want to spend her summer with the part of her family that, according to her mom, didn’t want her.
   She’s definitely not happy when she has to spend time with Oz, who wants to become a part of the motorcycle club her family is part of, the Reign of Terror.
   Oz isn’t exactly thrilled about Emily, either. He’s pretty mad at her for hurting Eli and Olivia with her unwillingness to truly get to know them. He loves Olivia, since she basically raised him when his parents couldn’t take care of him. Olivia is his family. He wants nothing more than to become part of the Reign of Terror.

    And I've been doing some major fangirling over Oz (don't judge me until you've read it). I happen to have a thing for blue eyes, but except for that, he's just ... drop dead gorgeous. But that's not all there is to Oz. He's so real. He doesn't pretend. What you see is what you get. And I loved following his inner struggle between doing what's right, and doing what's right for him. This is one of my favorite YA-males (I want a real-life Oz). So, yeah, as I said, don't judge.
   I like both Oz and Emily. Like I’ve come to expect from Katie McGarry, they are two characters with flaws. They haven’t had the easiest life, and that’s left its marks on them, but it doesn’t define them. They grow a lot throughout the book, learn from their mistakes and become better people because of it. Not to the point when they end up perfect, which isn't believable, no one is perfect, but enough that it makes for a good ending.
   They have chemistry. It’s undeniable, although they do everything in their power to deny it. It feels believable, though; they don’t fall in love just like that, but it happens over time. The chemistry is there, but they don’t fall in love in two days. I liked that, because that simply doesn’t happen in real life. I love Katie for realizing that you can’t hurry love, not even in books.
   I also really love Olivia. I liked that she’s not the “ordinary” grandmother who bakes cookies. She’s sarcastic and kind of bossy, which is fun. It breaks the stereotypes, and I love that.
   The plot was good. Sure, at times, it was a little boring, but there was always some awesome conversation to help the mood, and for once, I can actually say that the “quiet” actually added to the plot. It was easy to follow, interesting, and not too obvious. It’s rare that a book surprises me as much as Nowhere but Here surprised me.
   As usual, there’s nothing bad to say about the writing; Katie is simply amazing. Thank you, Katie, for proving to me that an author can be good at it all; a good, interesting plot, nice characters, and good writing. I like her writing style, and that she writes from both perspectives; it gives the reader a fuller picture and a better reading experience, in my opinion.
   But what I love the most about Nowhere But Here, and all of Katie's books, is that there is always something valuable to learn. Great lines that really make you think, nod, and agree, lines that stick with you, lines that will teach you something really important. This time, it was this line;
“Running is still running. It doesn't matter if it's a physical move from one place to another or if it's to within yourself.”  
   This is why you should read. If someone every asks me again why I read, and what good it will do, I'm going to use this quote as an example as to why you should read. Sure, school can teach some some pretty important stuff, but books give you some invaluable life lessons. Then even my mom won't be able to tell me it's a bad thing I spend most of my time in the fictional world.

    Basically, I loved it. This is one of my favorites so far, and I can’t wait to read Walk the Edge. I’m going to expect something epic after this first novel in Thunder Road.

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