I have a long list of books to review, which is slowly growing out of control. So here we are with the first of them!
‘Nowhere But Here‘ by Katie McGarry was first published in mid 2015. It is a Young Adult fiction romance novel, set around a motorcycle club. It’s the first in the ‘Thunder Road‘ series. [you can buy a copy here!]
The novel follows Emily during a reluctant visit to her biological father who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a father. When the visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing is clear: nothing is as it seems. And that definitely includes Oz, the guy charged with keeping her safe. For Oz this is the opportunity to prove to the club that he’s a worthy Prospect. Naturally, Emily is like nothing he expected.
This book has been sitting on my shelf for ages, and I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it. I’ve loved every single one of McGarry’s YA romance novels that I’ve read, and I loved this one too.
It tells a twisting and captivating story, full of mystery, intrigue, and romance. Yet again McGarry creates a world which feels so rich and full and realistic. The chapters alternate between the viewpoint of Emily and of Oz. As with her other books this format really works for weaving a wonderful story. You get to really see inside of both of their heads. We get to understand their motivations, and their feelings. It adds more layers to the narrative. I like layers.
Emily was an interesting character, and never felt two dimensional at all. She isn’t perfect by any means. She’s a teenage girl who finds herself in an awkward position, trying to figure out how she fits in with this tight knit group of people; and also whether she wants to fit in at all. There are so many secrets that worm their way in and out of all the relationships which Emily starts to make; with her biological father, with her paternal grandmother, with her new protector. I think that a lot of what she went through could be very relatable for some people.
Oz is really a great character. He’s dreamy, funny, loyal, and even a little reckless. He and Emily get thrown together, and they don’t get along straight away. Oz has a complicated past, and his future is undetermined. His struggle with finding himself, and with reconciling who he is with who Emily wants him to be, are things that really drew me to his character.
Probably one of my favourite things about this book is the obvious research that McGarry did into American motorcycle clubs. In her acknowledgement she mentions that she was lucky enough to spend some time with a motorcycle club. And it really shows. I mean, I don’t really know much about them and all their secrets, but it felt so real, and I applaud her for that.
All in all I highly recommend this for those of you who love a YA romance, and particularly if you want something with a touch of mystery, and a really realistic portrayal of a motorcycle club.
While I did quite like Emily, I would have to say that Oz is my favourite. He’s pretty cool, and quite a well fleshed out character.
Oh, I’m really not sure what my favourite moment was. I might go with the scene where Emily’s biological father, Eli, explains the meaning of one of his tattoos; a bunch of stars. I won’t explain it, because it’s sweet. Just read the book.
“I will her to look away, but she doesn’t and I’m secretly proud the girl won’t back down. I hate this connection. I crave this connection. She’s continually messing with my head.”
Very soon my review of the second ‘Thunder Road’ book, ‘Walk the Edge’, will be up. Keep an eye out for it!