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Nowhere but Here (Thunder Road) Hardcover – May 26, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Emily's world is just the way she thinks she wants it to be…calm, normal, and filled with the love of her mother and stepfather. She denies an interest in Eli's world, her biological father, who is an important member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle gang. While she does seem to have some questions about Eli, Emily doesn't want to explore her dad's world in any depth. When her parents tell her she will be attending Eli's mother's wake, she is not thrilled, but agrees to go. There, she is thrown into a world of feuding motorcycle gangs, family secrets, and complicated feelings for a young man named Oz. One quick visit turns into an extended trip as the teen tries to unravel the mysteries of her parents' pasts, learning her place in two communities, and investigating her growing feelings for Oz. Emily starts to discover there may be more to life than her protected version. McGarry adeptly splits the narrative between the two protagonists and creates a story that readers will not want to put down. VERDICT This novel will be enjoyed by teens looking for a romantic and thrilling escape.—Jessica Strefling, Pepperdine School of Law Library, CA
"McGarry...creates a story that readers will not want to put down...This novel will be enjoyed by teens looking for a romantic and thrilling escape." ~ Library School Journal
"The core relationship sizzles and sparks with every glance and touch..." ~ Publisher's Weekly
Top customer reviews
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The first in the Thunder Road series is a little rough, a little gritty, a little sensual and little sexy. There's confusion and pain but also certainty and pleasure. This book is all around amazing and I couldn't stop reading once I started. It was one of those books, for me, that I thought about whenever I couldn't read. Since I began reading it before Thanksgiving, it unfortunately got put on the back burner over the holidays. We did a lot of travelling and as much as I wanted to, I was unable to read it at all until everything settled down. I couldn't wait to get back to it and I finished the book as soon I as got the chance.
The characters are amazing and they have a depth to them that isn't always easy to master. I enjoyed how their lives twisted and turned but ultimately linked them back together and pulled them closer together. It was interesting to see how all of the things that tore everyone apart in the past managed to sew them back together in the present. Emily was relateable and easy to understand, Oz was sexy and delicious, Olivia was sassy and heartbreaking and made me want to curl up with her.
This book was reminescent of Sons of Anarchy but a little tamer (but no less boring or delicious). I absolutely loved it and couldn't get enough. I'm a little sad that book two isn't about Emiy and Oz but I'm curious about Razor and I can't wait to read his story.
Rating: 5 Stars.
Favorite Character: Oz.
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.
I love the characters of Emily and Oz and I love the relationship that they have. Katie McGarry wrote them to be very relatable to teenagers. Emily is the typically good girl who gets good grades in school and has plenty of friends and plans for the summer. Oz is the bad boy who barely graduated high school. All he wants is to join the club. When they first meet there is a clear chemistry between them. I like the way they tease and flirt back and forth with each other. It feels real and not just a fiction novel.
As far as the plot and the setting go, I love that the novel is set in the country. I think my favorite part was that they took a trip to Lower Broadway in Nashville and I knew exactly where Katie was describing without her needing to state the names of the bars and local food places. Nashville is one of my favorite places to visit. I loved the plot twists throughout the story. McGarry kept me guessing right along with Emily as to what the secret was that everyone was hiding.
Rounded up to 3.5 Stars
I bought this book awhile ago because I was really, really interested in the plot, plus it was on sale for $0.99. Figured I didn't have much to lose. The beginning of this book was a bit chewy. And drawn out. But, in a way I understand why it needed to be drawn out for the climax to have the effect the author wanted. There were a few times where I felt like DNFing this book, but I was in too far and had invested too much time to DNF. Also, I did REALLY want to know what was going on and what the big secret was. Once the climax hit, things got better, but this was at the 75%-80% mark in the book. It wasn't bad, it wasn't spectacular either. I'm iffy if I'll check out the other books in this series or not. This is a stand alone so there are no cliffhangers at the end. I did like certain characters and did find a level of emotional involvement with them.