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BOOK REVIEW: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

| 1 July 2015 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Harlequin UK
Mira Ink
June 2015
Hardcover, £7.99
Reviewed by Aly Locatelli


It’s what people do. Judge before they bother getting to know someone. Judge before they understand what the club’s about.

Seventeen year old Emily has had a simple, safe life so far. With doting parents, a good school and social life, and safe plans for her future, Emily doesn’t want to change a single thing. Although she is curious about her biological father, she’s made a point of never asking her mother about him. After all, he chose a motorcycle club over being a parent; what’s there to talk about?

Being curious would mean that I don’t appreciate all Dad has done for me and I do appreciate him. I love him more than he could imagine.

That is, until she receives an invitation to her grandmother’s funeral. A grandmother she never met and barely knows anything about, the mother of her biological father. When her adoptive father tells her they’re going, Emily is miserable about the decision.

I was supposed to go on vacation with Trisha next week to her grandmother’s in New York. I had just discovered that I was selected to be the head volunteer at the food pantry. I had just gotten the attention of the cute guy in my math class. I was just on the verge of making some dreams a reality.
A lot of supposed-tos and just-abouts and now I’m stuck here — in Snowflake — in hell.

But it turns out that Emily’s biological grandmother isn’t actually dead. The invitation was for a wake — one they decided to have before Olivia passes. Not everything is as it seems, either. Now that Emily knows her grandmother is alive, there’s more at stake: Reign of Terror’s rival bike club, the Riot, has heard about Emily, and she’s in danger. And her personal bodyguard? None other than Oz, the hot guy who wants to join the club and apparently can’t stand her.

“You suck at running away. I found you in less than ten seconds.”
“Are you going to continue to rub it in that I failed?”
“I was going to, but that question stole my thunder.”

To keep her safe, Eli, her biological father, makes a deal with her: stay a few weeks until everything calms down, and get to know his side of the family. If, by the end of the two weeks, Emily still wants to go home for the summer then she’s free to do so.

Although Emily doesn’t want to stay, she agrees and begins work on unravelling the family’s secrets. Why did Emily’s mother run away with her when Emily was just a baby? Why did Eli wait until Emily was ten to inform her that he was her father? And why is no one allowed to tell her what really happened? And what on earth is Oz hiding from her?

“If you want to keep Emily out of trouble, then help her discover the truth.”
My muscles lock up. “You mean tell her what I know.”
“No, I mean help her find out. Even you don’t know what it is that Eli and Meg are hiding and, you’re right, Emily asking about Honeysuckle Ridge will get her in trouble. If you want to protect her, then help Emily discover the truth. Become her ally.”

Is Emily ready to find out the truth and face her family’s past head on? And will Emily ever forgive Eli for letting her go when he should have fought for her?

Nowhere But Here surprised me. I wasn’t a huge fan of McGarry’s Pushing the Limits series, but this book had everything the first series lacked. It was funny and sweet and not the eye-roll inducing sort of dramatic, but the sort that made me clutch my chest and think, ‘Oh, those poor characters.’ It was incredibly well written, fun and fast paced. The blooming romance between Emily and Oz, their constant tug-of-war and love/hate relationship, and Emily and Eli’s growing friendship as Eli tried to catch up on everything he’d missed from his daughter’s life added a further entertaining and engaging element to the story.

“Do you have a boyfriend?” Eli doesn’t look at me like he has with the two million other questions since we left Olivia’s.
“Yes,” I answer. “We’ve been together for a month. He’s the captain of the football team and he expected sex on our first date. Initially, I said no, but then he was a little grabby and I figured everyone my age is doing it, so I thought why not? I went home and told Mom and she put me on birth control so she’s cool when we do it in my bedroom now.”
Eli slams on the brakes and my body whips forward against the seat belt then rams back into the seat.
Completely red-faced, Eli glares at me with black, soulless eyes. “What did you say?”
“No,” I tell him calmly. “I don’t have a boyfriend.”

Although Emily could be a little too innocent at times (like when she said that ‘thugs’ didn’t exist in real life, and when she was surprised to learn that people drank lemonade with a lemon slice and ice) it was enjoyable to read from her point-of-view and the author did a brilliant job of showing the constant internal struggle whenever Emily wanted to know something about Eli — was she betraying her father by asking about Eli? Would it be unfair of her to leave, having spent so little time with Eli’s side of the family? Was she betraying her mother by telling Eli things she wouldn’t tell the woman who raised her?

Oz’s point of view had similar internal struggles — his desperation to be admitted into the club full-time and start working for the security company; his tug-of-war relationship with Emily, never knowing how to handle her; and the way he did a 360 when he realised that, by judging Emily before knowing her, he’d done the one thing he hated most in the world.

Overall, a lovely, fast-paced, funny read and I look forward to the rest of the series!

Nowhere But Here is the first book in the Thunder Road series by Katie McGarry.

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

About the Author ()

21. A reader, a writer, a reviewer and a full-time sloth lover. I am addicted to coffee and my laptop, and love reading especially when it's rainy outside.

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