Book Review – Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry


Blurb from Goodreads:

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:

A brand new series from Katie McGarry is definitely worth looking at.

I’d like to preface this honestly. In that, I bought this book with the main reason that I would receive a copy of Chasing Impossible which is about Logan & Abby. If you look at my previous reviews of McGarry’s books, you will understand that I begged (BEGGED) her to write about Logan. It comes out in July and I’m on pins and needles with anticipation.

The motorcycle club setting intrigued me. I watched some of Sons of Anarchy and I was pretty sure that McGarry wouldn’t be quite as detailed as the show was/is, but nevertheless, this had elements of intense loyalty required of a motorcycle club member. I know no different, but it seemed legit. Kudos to this world she created.

I enjoyed this more than my last McGarry book (Take Me On), but sadly, I wasn’t sucked in and blown away as I was by Pushing the Limits and Dare You To (my two faves). It’s one of those things that I can’t really pinpoint as to why. Is it because I’m changing as a reader because her style and story seems much like the first ones I adored? Or is that why? It’s nothing new? Or is it that her stories have changed and I can’t connect with them like I used to?

I found the characters rather frustrating. Both Oz and Emily are extremely judgmental when first meeting. Which okay, I get why, but it annoyed me so much. The secrets that were kept definitely kept me reading, but once the reveal happened, I found it unfocused(?) and confusing. Maybe I read it too fast (I do that with her books generally).

Or maybe, I realized that I can’t recommend this book to any of my students. I recommended PTL & DYT because I thought the issues they dealt with were worth some of the steaminess that may or may not be appropriate. I like that McGarry drags me in as a reader to the heated romances of teenagers because I feel its all-encompassing intensity. This had much the same, but more detail than earlier ones. And that’s not what I expected.

The romance in this is heated. It’s INSTANT attraction, which okay, but it’s so, so based on the physical (which again, is typical of her books) that it left a bad taste in my mouth. I like that both characters grow and that relationship develops into something deeper, but I can’t recommend it to my students. It pushes past what I feel comfortable endorsing.

I wish that McGarry would tackle two characters who don’t immediately want each other. A girl that a guy doesn’t look at and think ‘great curves’. Maybe a guy who isn’t perfectly formed in every way. Seeing two characters fall for each other with those obstacles would be fun.

I get that that is not the point of this genre or her books. I know. And she does this style so well.

But it’s my review, right? I can hope.

Rating *** (out of five)

© ecnewman, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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