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

Posted June 25, 2016 by Kim in 4 Stars, In Review / 8 Comments

In Review: Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarryNowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
Series: Thunder Road #1
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: ARC, 496 pages
How I got it: From the publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:

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.


In Review My Thoughts

I’m terrible at deciding which books on my (massive) TBR pile need the most love. I also tend to fail at picking up books from my TBR when I have so many early review copies to choose from. I’ve taken steps towards changing that this year and I’ve been really happy to discover some real gems. Earlier this month, I asked for my readers to pick my TBR book for June from a list of three. Even though I wanted to read Nowhere But Here, it probably wasn’t my first choice from the list, if I’m being honest. I am glad, however, I put it up to a vote. I ended up really enjoying this book.

I look at the hardcover version of this book and get a little twitchy because of the size of it. (I mean, nearly 500 pages, y’all.) It’s been a long time since I read a book this long. That was one of the biggest reasons I’d not picked this one off my shelf sooner. I’m not a slow reader by any stretch of the imagination, but I still find myself intimidated by books this long. The other thing that kept me from jumping into this book sooner was the motorcycle club thing. Now, I’m used to Kristen Ashley’s *very adult* MC romance. It was tough for me to imagine how in the world a YA book could possibly work. I’m happy to say I was just flat out dead wrong about that. It worked… really well.

This book did start out a little slow for me. I’m not gonna lie about that. But it wasn’t a bad thing. I never felt like giving up on the book, even though it did take me an entire week to read. (But that wasn’t all the fault of the book. It was a crazy week.) I loved reading along as Emily learning about this whole new part of her background. It was easy to put myself in her shoes and experience everything right along with her. How do you handle finding out a major part of your life has been a lie? Do you open yourself up to these new people who have entered your life? Do you hide your head and try to keep things the way they always were? Do you seek answers? I don’t envy Emily for having to make those choices, but I was pretty happy overall with how she handled everything.

Oz was just wonderful. If it didn’t feel a little creepy calling a kid his age a “book boyfriend” I would say he’s a new one of mine. He was dealing with his own issues in this book and the very last thing he wanted – at first anyhow – was to be responsible for the “princess” Emily in any way. He was waiting to get patched into Reign of Terror, something he’d wanted his whole life. He was planning his future with the club and in general and Emily was probably the one thing that could get in the way.

I loved how Emily and Oz’s relationship progressed. From disdain to understanding to friendship to love, we witnessed it all. It happened naturally and it felt real. This wasn’t instalove or anything close. Because of Oz’s charge to watch over her, they learned about each other and feelings changed. I loved that it wasn’t rushed. They played off each other so well. Their feelings for each other were obvious and they were definitely responsible in some way for the other’s growth during this book. It wasn’t all sunshine and roses, however, but I’m not going to get into all that. Some things are better left experienced for yourself.

There was a lot going on in this book, but it flowed together really well. Emily’s journey of self-discovery meshed well with Oz’s. Emily was learning about herself and her family at the same time. She was letting knew people into her world and realizing she was part of a bigger community that was unlike any she ever knew before. Then of course, you had all the situations dealing directly with the MC. I knew the members of Reign of Terror were keeping secrets and, despite trying to figure out what was going on for myself, I didn’t get it until it basically slapped me in the face. I like being surprised. It doesn’t happen all that often.

I really enjoyed Nowhere But Here. There was an interesting cast of characters introduced and I’m excited to see more from them as I continue on with the series. This book was the total package. I got sweet romance and age group appropriate relations, a hint of action and suspense and more than a few feels. I couldn’t ask for more!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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“There’s more to life than our home and Florida. More to life than me, your mom and the friends you’ve made there. The world is a huge place. How will you know where you fit in unless you explore beyond your comfort zone?”

“I like how you challenge me. I like how I can never figure out what you’re going to do or say. I like how we’ve thrown weird shit in your direction and you take it like a pro.”

Love the other people in your lives as if this was your last day because you never know if it is.


About 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, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.


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8 responses to “In Review: Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry

  1. I have this one myself and just haven’t gotten a chance to get to it. I didn’t realize it was so long!!! I love the MC aspect and wonder how YA would do it too. Glad you wound up enjoying even if it started a little slow. Great review!!

    • Kim

      I think you’d probably enjoy it if/when you get around to reading it! I’m looking forward to making time to read book two.

  2. I looove this series and got to meet Katie at RT in April. She is so lovely and so great to her fans! I can’t wait to see the third book’s cover which I heard is being revealed soon.

  3. I love Katie McGarry, but I actually struggled with this one. The whole Motorcycle Club thing made me roll my eyes a bit. I am curious about the second book in this series, though, that I’ve heard is really good.

    • Kim

      I’m familiar with the whole MC thing from adult books, but it was a little odd (at first) to read about in YA. But I really did like it… it was just a slower read for me.

  4. Awesome review I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about this series and I absolutely love MC books. But I never read MC books in YA genre it really looks and sounds absolutely fantastic! Thank you for your great post.

    • Kim

      I do love adult MC books, so it was interesting to see how the MC world worked in YA. I’ll definitely continue on with the series.