Series: Thunder Road #1
Source: Kindle Version
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 1st 2015
Age Genre: Young Adult
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'm a huge fan of this author - read all her books, and loved them all. She's got that rare ability to just suck me in until suddenly it's 4a.m. and the book is finished. And she does it even when the book is a huge, intimidating hardcover. Just like that.
So I'm not saying this lightly - Nowhere but Here was, to me, severely lacking. Did I still finish it in more or less one sitting? Yes. Did I get any of the feeels? Nope.
Because this is such a loved author, I'm going to go on a rant here for a sec. Again, it doesn't mean I didn't like the book. It was just not on par with McGarry's other works for me. I still loved Oz (after I got over how judgmental he was to Emily at first). I still liked Emily. I loved the family dynamics between the club members, even if I didn't like much else revolving the club. But. BUT.
Nowhere but Here sins in one of my biggest story peeves - the entirety of it is built on a truth no one is willing to share. Everyone but our mc, Emily, knows it. But no one will just own to it and tell it straight. Instead, they play this game of hide-and-seek with the truth. Everything, and I do mean everything, including the disastrous results, could have been avoided if even one person decided to share the whole truth with her.
Gah. The book tried very hard to convince me everybody had excellent reasons for keeping num. I didn't buy it for a sec.
Combined with this is the character of Olivia. Also known as The Catalyst. I. Didn't. Like. Her. I hate people who are so blatant about the fact they think they know what's best for others, who basically dismiss their entire plans for life as wrong. And combine that with riddle-giving and vague info dumping and you get a major no-no from me.
Speaking of things I didn't buy? The whole surroundings and environment. The setting for this novel was so over-the-top that it was all a little ridiculous to me. Not to mention this first book is supposed to make me fall in love with this club. Instead, I loved the people, hated every time "proper" club activities came up. I was downright disgusted by it. Pouring drinks on your kids as celebration? Walls of bras and underwear gloriously displayed? Dens smelly and sticky from god-knows-what? Yes, very captivating.
Even the secret was way over-the-top and the whole climax? It was so flat to me. They didn't even feel like real characters. Not only was I not excited, nervous or anxious, I was exasperated. It feels like McGarry was trying too hard to go at dangerous and edgy and whatnot while not really understanding the whole scene at all.
Final point of aggravation? The relationship. McGarry is usually so good with making the feels real and with having me 100% believe the love. I didn't here. It was like, oh, yes, they're finally talking and becoming fri--WHAM WE'RE IN LOVE.
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