Friday, July 3, 2015

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

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

The Cover:

I'm not a huge fan of the font for the title, but it's not too bad. I like that the image is more subtle, small and not an in-your-face couple, but also very fitting. The motorcycle is very present in the book, so I'm good with that. And I think the colors and the background fits. Overall, pretty good.


  •  "'You mean she’s locked up in a safe padded world and she does everything everyone tells her.’
    ‘Yes.’ Eli nods. ‘And she’s happy.’
    My would-be grandmother studies me and for some reason, she appears to pity me. ‘And that is sad.’”
    (Hardback, pg. 58)
  • "Isn’t it always the things that you can’t see that hurt you?’” (Hardback, pg. 293)
  • "It doesn’t bother me to be more naïve. My body is a gift, not something to be carelessly given away.” (Pg. 358)
  • "'You’re still doomed to repeat the same mistakes your mother and your father made. You do it now. You ignore the truth, the world around you, in order to keep your illusions of safety. That’s not living, Emily. The only way for you to break free is to understand the past so you don’t continue to follow in their footsteps.’” (Pg. 417)
  • "'There’s no such thing as the truth. There’s what people wish would have happened.’” (Pg. 425)


This was another solid read from McGarry.
Emily lives a happy, oblivious life with her mother and father. When her grandmother, who she’s never met, dies, her mother forces them to go and visit her biological father. She doesn’t want to go, she doesn’t care for her bio-dad or his family, under the idea that they abandoned them. But there’s a lot of secrets being kept from her, and she starts getting curious.
It frustrated me so much how everyone was keeping Emily in the dark. It mostly started with Emily’s mother, who made her father agree not to tell anyone, and it just went from there. I understand that her mother thought she was doing right, but she was just running from everything, and I hated that. It forced everyone else, trying to be loyal, not to tell Emily anything. And of course that made Emily want to know, and I don’t blame her for what she did after that.
The description of this series had me feeling déjà vu with Simone Elkeles’ Perfect Chemistry series, with the gang stuff, and that had me worried. I was never a big fan of that plot line. So I was relieved to see that the biker club Emily’s father, and Oz, is a part of, are perfectly legal. They don’t play in those games. Not to say that there isn’t a club in the area who does, though…
I enjoyed learning about Emily and Oz. I felt their connection, and I liked how they got to know each other, hesitant and disliking at first but slowly getting closer. I didn’t connect as much with them as I have in previous books, but it was still a nice romance between them.
There were a lot of other characters that were great, as well. Oz has several friends in the club that I liked a lot, and look forward to reading their own books, especially the next one. Emily’s grandmother was a great character, and her bio-dad was a sweet guy; I enjoyed seeing her develop relationships with the family she’d been forced away from.
Overall, a very great book. McGarry’s an auto-buy for me, and I look forward to her next one.

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