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New Release Review! NOWHERE BUT HERE by Katie McGarry (Thunder Road #1)

A new series from Katie McGarry–yessssss! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway (and read and excerpt, watch the trailer, and see some teasers) here.

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

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.



Oh, I really enjoyed this one.

I’m going to chalk it up to Ms. McGarry’s amazing writing ability, because I definitely didn’t love all the characters, their choices, or what they were doing all of the time. I’m still not all that crazy about Emily’s mother (to be fair, though, Emily spends more than 90% of the book with the other side of her family, and mostly when we see or hear from her mom she’s freaking out about something…so I guess she could be an amazing person, but I don’t see it), even after knowing what was behind all the lies and half-truths. And oh my gosh, the secrets. For a huge chunk of the book, I wasn’t at all convinced that Ms. McGarry could make me believe in the justification for all the secrecy. Nothing could possibly be all that, I reasoned.

I’m happy to be proven wrong–she made me buy it all in the end–and then she made me cry.

Darn you, Ms. McGarry.

I liked that Emily and Oz’s relationship was a slow build, and that they never rushed into anything. I loved watching Emily start to realize and eventually admit to others that her preconceived notions about Eli and his side of her family were wrong–seeing her get closer to Olivia, her paternal grandmother, was especially gratifying. Emily’s insistence on believing what she’d been told for so long about her father rejecting her even when she had evidence to the contrary was more than a little but frustrating, but it fit in with the rest of her mental hangups. (And as a person with a few hard-to-shake mental hangups of my own, I get where she’s coming from.) At least she came around eventually and began to admit to some truths.

And Oz…well, Oz was just as lost and just as wrapped up in his own world of denial as Emily was, only he didn’t even realize it for most of the book. Actually, neither did we, for a good chunk of it. But he mans up and accepts reality and manages to find a place for himself in two very different worlds, all while showing Emily what family and loyalty and love are really all about.

Such a good book.

Ms. McGarry’s Pushing the Limits series started out strong, and Thunder Road is just as promising. There’s a wealth of side characters here that have the potential for meaty stories–Razor’s next, and though we barely get to know him in this book, his teaser excerpt was fantastic. And Violet and Chevy? I must have their book–SOON.

SOON. Please? 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

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