Sunday, March 27, 2016

Book Review: Nowhere but Here by Katie McGarry

AUTHOR: Katie McGarry
PUBLISHER:  Harlequin Teen
PAGES: 496
SOURCE: Bought
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.

I was a bit weary of  picking up Nowhere but Here because of the motorcycle gang aspect, but it's Katie McGarry and if there's one thing I know it's that her books always take me on an emotional ride no matter what the subject. I shouldn't have doubted that I would love this one just as much as her Pushing the Limit series. This is supposedly a new adult/ya book which I can see. Most of the characters  are a bit older, and some of the themes are a bit more, but there's nothing  raunchy about it. The motorcycle gang club was one part I actually enjoyed learning about.

The story mainly took place in a small town called Snowflake, a town that most everyone wanted out of, and few stayed. The town is known for being home to a Motorcycle Group called The Reign of Terror, and as the people of the town would have you believe they are big, bad, and scary. Little towns can be very judgmental if they don't understand something, and the people of Snowflake don't understand the Reign of Terror. This is why TRoT keep mostly to themselves. We spend about 95% of the time in this bubble that they have created: The cabin, the clubhouse, trailer of Oz's, but in this time we learn that they are family...blood or not they stick up for each other.

You've heard the term info dump well I'm going to say we had a slight character dump. Sometimes to many characters is a bad thing, but I enjoyed getting to know all the characters in Nowhere but here. I think it took me a bit before I warmed up to any of them because they seemed to hold back so much, but once they warmed up and opened up to each other that's when I fell in love.  The story is so much more than these macho guys in a biker club.

We meet Oz who at the beginning is not yet patched into the club and who becomes the official babysitter of Eli's daughter which could really ruin his plans to become part of the group. I loved getting to know OZ on the outside he has this shell, but inside he is gooey. His love for his "family" is strong, and we find this out when things start to happen at the end. I really didn't feel much for him at the beginning of the book because I spoiled myself to Razor (I read his story first) I eventually grew to love him though. I think he's the bad-ass biker of the younger adults.
Emily is the long lost (okay well she's not really lost) daughter of the groups main guy. When her mom thinks that the grandmother that Emily never knew passed she decides they'll go to the funeral and when they arrive in Snowflake they find that not everything is as it seems. Emily is torn between learning who her dad and these people he calls family are, and hurting her dad and moms feeling I think. She ends up spending a few weeks with them,  and in the process develops feelings for a certain bad ass biker dude. -coughs- OZ -coughs I had fun watching Emily go from this shy girl who didn't know her real dad or his family to this girl who's brave enough to follow clue from an old woman and ends up in a bad predicament. 

The semi-ending had a plot twist that maybe some people will figure out, but I for one didn't. I think it definitely adds to the drama of the book.
Happy endings always (most always) make the book that much better, and I will say that even though this happy ending may not look it I believe it is.
If you get a chance read Walk the Edge which is the 2nd book in the series. It's Razor story and I guarantee you'll love it more than this one.

Here's the condensed version--cap it before you tap it. (page 42)

Our fears are what stifle us and we're only scared of what we don't understand. (page 168)

I want you to discover your biological family, but I'm your dad and you're my little girl. Always. (page 169)

I may not understand a lot about all of this craziness, but I understand that Olivia loves you like you're related to her. Like she never had a choice in loving you, but my dad did. He could have taken one look at me and decided he wanted nothing to do with a woman who had a child. He had a choice and there isn't a day I don't think God that he chose not only mom, but me. (page 261)

Can't or won't? That is a fucked-up question because it means the same thing. No, it doesn't. One means you can help but you're refusing to. The other means you would love to help, but you don't have the ability to. (page 275)

Do you remember how I said I didn't know if I liked you?

Yeah? I glance down because shyness overwhelms me. I like you.
Hey Emily. I force my gaze to his and when I do, he performs another heart stopping brush of his fingers across my leg and the world fades away except for the two of us. I like you, too. ((page 295)

Oz kisses the top of my head. Go to sleep. I'll stay up and chase your monsters away. (page 360)

What do you say, Emily? Will you come back to Snowflake this fall and jump with me into some leaves? (page 384)

Technically, by blood, I'm more gangster than you. The utter tease in her voice causes me to sweep an arm around her and roll her onto the blanket.(page 478)

What you've experienced is love. I know love when I see it. It's how I look at Cyrus. It's how Eli looks at Emily and Meg. It's what you to share whenever you look at each other. (page 481)

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Happy Reading and Blogging, Ashley

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