Review: Nowhere But Here (#1, Thunder Road) by Katie McGarry - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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

My Thoughts

Sizzling, sexy, suspenseful and unputdownable.
A gripping story about finding freedom, forgiveness and love.



Nowhere But Here coverAn 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

I get it now. I get why there’s just something both intangibly and clearly special about Katie McGarry and her writing. Her stories. Her style. It’s stripped and gritty in a way that’s relatable… heck, that’s even so when she’s talking about motorcycle clubs and all kinds of things I’ve no experience in. But her voice is real and gripping and honest in a way that kept me flipping the pages addictively. I love that it’s not overdone. There’s nothing gimmicky. No filler. Just a great story—intriguing characters you want to know more about, complicated situations that keep things interesting, and identifiably complex dynamics amongst families and friends. Nowhere But Here is a story about sacrifice, freedom and risks. It’s about love, trust and forgiveness. It’s embracing the scary, opening your heart and learning to embrace a life that’s different than the one you know.

“The only way to break free is to understand the past so you don’t continue to follow in their footsteps.”

Seventeen-year-old Emily’s life quickly spins out of control when she’s pushed to visit her biological father over the summer. She has no interest in seeing him. She’s got the life she wants, with her Mom and the man who is Dad in every sense of the word. Eli, her biological father, abandoned them long ago, and with the exception of once-a-year visits, she’s got no relationship to speak of with him. On top of everything that’s happened in the past, he’s high up in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, which just ratchets up the level of complication in this uncomfortable situation. When she arrives, nothing is at it seems and she’s thrust into a world she’s never experienced that is wholly frightening. She’s surrounded by family she doesn’t know and protected by a guy (Oz) that is equal parts frustrating and attractive. It’s certainly not the summer she’d planned out.

When we meet Oz, we see a boy just older than Emily, determined to join the club… to get the patch that would forever induct him into a brotherhood which symbolized family and loyalty. The last thing he needs is to be assigned babysitting duties for a girl who looks down on them. He’s tasked with protecting Emily, and if he can do this, it’s an open door into the Reign of Terror and the future he’s always wanted. Problem is, at first watch, things go wrong and he falters on the job. Worse yet, when he’s around Emily, he feels all kinds of things he should definitely not be feeling, despite the fact that it’s a certainty that the longer she’s there, the more she’s hurting those he loves.

“I hate this connection. I crave this connection. She’s continually messing with my head.”

The story races down an unexpected road when trouble starts gunning for Emily and secrets she didn’t even know existed suddenly come to light. Trouble is, the more secrets she uncovers, the deeper the real and elusive truth hides. Facing the potential that her entire life has been a lie, Emily must stick around to dig for what really happened between her mother and biological father so many years ago. And the more she sticks around, the more she begins to soften towards this crazy group of people that happen to be her family, and that boy she’s grown to trust more than anyone. Before too long, however, this big, elusive truth would shatter it all.

“This is your family … If you learn to love us then you will forever have our love in return.”

Katie McGarry does an amazing job of creating characters that seem so real and multifaceted. Even her supporting characters have stories that beg to be told, and that’s a nod to Katie’s character development expertise. There is an edge of danger and suspense with some really unexpected twists that had me relishing each page until the very end. There’s angst and action, sweetness and sadness, and just so many wonderful and gripping things that helped push the story forward in a way that was always engaging. It doesn’t matter if you’re a young adult reader or a new adult reader or whatever… pick this book up because it’s just damn good and fun to read.

series goodreads 2

About Katie

katie mcgarry

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON,  BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

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