Tuesday, May 26, 2015

ARC Review: Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry @KatieMcGarry @HarlequinTEEN

23492282.jpgSeventeen-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.


Title: Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1)
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: May 26, 2015

 
 
Brooke's Review:
I want to thank Harlequin Teen for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.

I'm a huge McGarry fan. I truly love her PTL series and cannot wait for more books from that one! So when I found out she had a new series? Yes, please, SIGN ME UP! I don't even have to know the premise of it, I just want to read it whatever it is.

While I really enjoyed this book, I have to say it was not nearly as engrossing as her PTL books. Those books suck me in. That's not to say I didn't like this one, I did. But I didn't feel quite the same pull with the characters.

Emily has had a sheltered life. Or maybe some would refer to it as a normal life: School, friends, parents who love and want to keep her safe. But when her biological father's mother dies, her world gets turned around. Their life is nothing like she's used to when she goes to visit and pay her respects: bikers, biker clubs, violence, leather jackets. She doesn't fit in and she doesn't feel welcome. Emily struck me as a bit naive. Of course her parents sheltering her from her biological family for almost her whole life hasn't helped. But the more time she spends with them, the more she changes and opens up and realizes things are quite what she thinks they are. I liked her enough. She didn't annoy me but I wasn't as emotionally invested in her as I would have liked to be. I wanted more of a connection and for some reason, I didn't get it. Thankfully, it didn't take away from her character growth for me. And I definitely liked her more by the second half of the book then I did when it started.

Oz has grown up in that life. All he wants is to patch into the club and fulfill what he's always known is his destiny. Only he wasn't expecting someone like Emily to enter his life, and he certainly wasn't expected to have to babysit her. But he'll do anything make sure he's accepted in. The thing I loved most about Oz was his commitment to family. Not just his flesh and blood, but those in the club who have also helped to raise him. And I love that he wants to prove to Emily that a motor cycle club is not just what she's seen on TV or heard about in the news. He is fiercely loyal to his family and will give anything, even his own life, to make sure they are safe.

I liked the connection McGarry created between Oz and Emily. McGarry has a way of creating a romance that you really want to see happen. One that you can't wait to watch grow. I also like the "forbideness" of Emily and Oz as a couple, especially the way Oz fought it. I did think their connection was a little too quick. But things that happen later on in the book, revelations of lies that have been told, kind of fixed that for me. Overall I found their relationship to be sweet and they really grew on me as a couple throughout the book. This was perpetuated by the shared experiences they had during the story.

I have to say that I'm a huge fan of Sons of Anarchy. So when I started reading this, my mind could not help but compare it. Only SOA is full of violence and illegal activity. This book was the opposite of that. Trying hard to prove that an MC is not just about bad things, but more about family. I honestly had a bit of a hard time with it because my mind kept comparing. I love that McGarry showed this side of things, though. It made me sit back and get a different perspective on this way of life. Of course, she did infuse some violence into the book. I'm glad, too, because I honestly don't think it would be realistic to show this life without some of that. I don't think it's all roses and daisies and family love.

As usual, McGarry's writing is phenomenal. And, while this story didn't grab me as much as her other series, it was still easy to enjoy it with the way her writing flows so easily off the page. And her knowledge of the motor cycle club seems spot on, though I don't much beyond what I've seen on TV I do know McGarry does her research, so I'm confident her portrayal is accurate. She creates some tense scenes that made me fear for the characters and their safety, which I'm sure it part of this lifestyle. And of course, we meet characters that I just know will have their own stories in the future. I love watching how McGarry works them into the story!

Over all I really enjoyed this book. I also love that it was a complete story. It's filled with self-discovery, love, deception, and sadness. I can't wait to see what she does with the story of the next character!
 
4575371.jpgKATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.

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