Book: Nowhere But Here, Katie McGarry
Series: Thunder Road Series, #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: May 26th 2015
Rating: 5 stars
Katie McGarry is one of my favourite authors. She enraptured me with her Pushing the Limits series and that love has carried over to her brand new series, starting with Nowhere But Here.
Emily was always happy with her life. She had loving parents and great friends. While she always curious about the biological father who didn’t want to know her, she was content with her life. That is until unexpected circumstances lead her to stay with her biological father and his motorcycle club for the summer. Emily’s entire perspective is turned upside down and backward as she gets to know her family and a way of life she never thought she would be in the middle of.
Oz’s entire life is the motorcycle club he was born into. They’re his family, even if he’s not blood-related to most of them. They protect each other and he knows they will always have his back. He knows that this is what he wants to do with his life. What he doesn’t expect is for the daughter of the most respected member to come for an extended stay and make him question everything he’s ever known.
I adored this book. I loved the story, I loved the characters, I loved the life lessons the characters learned by the book’s end. Just like in her Pushing the Limits series, Katie does dual POV between Oz and Emily, and like in her previous books, it meant the readers were able to get two very different perspectives on what the motorcycle club represents and were able to create our own opinions because of it.
When I was in Emily’s head, I totally understood where she was coming from. She thought that Oz, her father Eli and the rest of her family were crazy and dramatic and overreacted to everything. She felt like a fish out of water as she tried to connect with her grandmother and couldn’t understand why everyone was keeping details of her past secret from her. Why did her father abandon her? Why would her mother be scared of the motorcycle club?
However, once I got in Oz’s head, I couldn’t understand why Emily was so judgmental and hesitant! Oz made the club seem so heartfelt and honest and loyal; like they would do whatever it takes to help you if you were in trouble. It was very interesting to see the different views and see how Emily came to care about her family members and how Oz realised that the club was not the be all and end all – that there was more to life than motorcycles.
One of the biggest themes addressed in this book is honesty. A lot of lies are told to protect Emily from the demons haunting her past, and Emily is a girl who despises lying and can’t understand why the truth is held from her. We ultimately see that the lies were pushing people apart and that, eventually, “the truth will set you free.”
Emily was a great protagonist. Yes, she was judgmental and made it difficult to build a relationship with her father and grandmother. However, throughout the book Emily realises the fault of judging a book by its cover and falls more and more in love with the family she never got to grow up with.
Her relationship with Oz was great too. Just like all great love stories, they end up hating each other at first. She hated Oz for being a part of the club, and Oz hated Emily for not believing in the integrity of the club. However, their chemistry was on fire and they were attracted to each other whether they liked it or not. And as they spend more time together they help each other let go of their prejudices and see the world more clearly.
What I liked best about their relationship is the realism in it. It’s not perfect, and there are still a few bumps that need to be fixed, but I believe their love for each other will help them through the bumps in the road, even if they come out a little bruised on the other side.
This is a story about accepting your past. It’s about learning to stop running away when life isn’t perfect, and to start running toward a future you want, regardless of what anyone else thinks. It’s about the importance of love, life, and family. I would definitely recommend picking it up as it’s definitely worth the read!