Review: Nowhere but Here by Katie McGarry00:00
Author: Katie McGarry
Date of publication: 26 May 2015
Genre: YA/NA romance, bikers
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My rating: 3 Stars
My rating: 3 Stars
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.
I really like Ms McGarry Pushing the Limits series and I think they are some of the best realistic YA/NA stories out there. She creates truly memorable young people fighting for their place in life, figuring out who they are and what they want to be which I greatly enjoy.
This book is similar, yet different. It's book 1 in her new YA/NA series, Thunder Road, and the blurb describes it as a mixture of Sons of Anarchy and Westside Story. Now, I have to admit that SOA is one of my favourite TV series of all times though or may be because of that, most biker romances I've read don;t really work well for me.
I was curious to see a biker's club from a teenager's perspective (OZ's family is part of the club) and I have to say that this book didn't live up to my expectations, maybe they were too high, but still.
The story is told from dual POV, Emily and Oz, it's fast paced with some elements of suspense, but tame overall as far as Motorcycle clubs go. The storyline itself is quite complex and initially it was difficult to keep track of who is who and why things were happening the way they were.
The focus was on the bikers' world, the club business. It was all well developed and detailed but got repetitive and boring since it was all everybody was talking/doing. It read like cliche after cliche, just witht he insistence of their club and its business being legal. Things were rather tame, this being a YA/NA story the focus definitely was not on sex and violence (they were implied but not graphically presented).
Most of the characters really confused me and I didn't understand their actions or motivation. The heroine, Emily was not very likable. I understand the difficult situation she found herself in, but she came off naive and immature, further more everybody treated her like a small child all the time. The main conflict was based on this big secret everybody knew (or at least parts of it) kept from her. I really struggled to understand why everybody was so insistent on not telling her anything and I couldn't the logic behind their decisions. Why not just tell her? It's not something that can stay hidden forever. And Emily is 17 years old, your daughter, granddaughter, friend, lover, someone you care about. After all honesty is the basic element in any relationship, at least I think so.
I liked the hero, Oz, better than Emily, but still he didn't completely win me over. He was too focused on the becoming member of Reign of Terror, at least initially he was ready to do anything to get this, including hurt Emily. I liked his character development and felt there was real depth and growth. Emily was supposed to overcome her fear but she remained detached and somewhat bland for me till the end.
I was frustrated with the way the parents acted in this story - both Emily's biological family and her adoptive father, even Oz's parents seemed rather dysfunctional.
The romance was sweet, teenage, first-time of everything love and I liked it. I enjoyed the other teenagers (Oz's friends), Rachel was a particular favourite of mine, together with Razor and Chevy and I'm curious about their stories.
Overall, not a bad NA biker story, though I expected more.