Monday, May 25, 2015

Early Review: Nowhere but Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry

Title: Nowhere but Here
(Thunder Road #1)
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Pre-order: Amazon  |  B&N

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

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 couldn’t imagine loving this book as much as I love the Pushing the Limits series… but I do. I was afraid it was going to be risky territory because I have a weakness for MC books and a certain TV show, and I was afraid maybe I had seen/heard/read it all… but I hadn’t. And I didn’t plan on connecting this much with these characters… but I did. And I wasn’t going to be so wrapped up in this book that I couldn’t put it down… but I couldn’t. And no way was I going to fall deeply in love with this story and a fictional character… but I am. Sometimes being wrong feels so very right.

There are so many secrets, lies, and half-truths in Snowflake, KY, that Thunder Road might as well have been called Deceit Road that runs through the Clandestine Valley. Serious trouble with a side order of chaos is heading straight for Thunder Road; and now that poor Emily is meeting her “other” family for the first time, she’s smack dab in the middle of it. All she wants is the truth, but she’d better be careful what she asks for. The truth may set you free, but the lies could demolish you on the way.

Oz and Emily have lived extremely diverse lives, and Oz is not thrilled to have Emily dumped into the middle of his life – especially not with everything that’s going on. But Oz wants to become a part of the club more than anything on earth – and if babysitting Emily will ensure that? Then that’s exactly what he’s going to do. Like it or not. But what do you know… he just might like it.

The characters. I’m in love. So many amazing characters, I don’t know where to start. I suppose I’ll start with Oz and Emily: love them. Love how they antagonize each other, then slowly form a friendship, and then dance around that friendship as it grows into something bigger than they could have ever imagined. They may have different backgrounds, but one thing they do have in common is their preconceived notions of one another. Emily’s thoughts on the motorcycle club probably mirror those of a lot of people on the outside looking in. I love when stereotypes are shattered.

“But maybe the world isn’t so black-and-white. Maybe there’s room for shades of gray.”

Olivia: she stole my heart. She is the glue in this amazing family, and I hate what she is going through even though it’s the catalyst that brings everyone together. Razor, Chevy, Violet, and Stone: LOVE them. I can’t wait for Razor’s story in the next installment. Violet surprised me, and I’m so happy about that fact. I was all prepared for a bitchfest of epic proportions and how she would treat Emily’s sudden appearance, but Violet was amazing. I love it when women – young and not so young – support each other and cut out the catty nonsense. Violet is awesome, and I want more of her story because she has a heck of one to tell.

Now, on to my favorite character: Eli. 

I love this man. And unlike my beloved Isaiah from the PtL series – who is much too young for me – it is totally legal for me to love Eli because, like me, he is not a teenager; he is very much an adult. There is also a connection between Eli and Isaiah that just blew me away!! You’ll want to pay attention to details for that bombshell. It had me scrambling for my copy of Crash into You to double-check some facts. Amazing! But back to Eli. Eli is Emily’s father and whoaaa, Daddy. He is… well, he’s… I mean… he’s got… oh, forget it… he’s RAWR. Just RAWR. He is strength and honor and code and brotherhood; and his past is full of mistakes, but he’s working so hard to make his future right and to guarantee that his daughter will have the best and brightest one she can. His story broke me, it truly did. I have fallen, and I can’t get up. Those tattoos on his arm? Yep. Hook, line, and sinker. But you’ll have to read the book to find out about those ;)

I ran the gamut of emotions with this read, and I never should have had any doubts when I started this one. Katie McGarry does it again – fabulous, fleshed-out characters; a gripping plot; and her usual gorgeous and entrancing writing. Don’t let the fact that this is a motorcycle club deter you – as you’ll read in the acknowledgements, the author knows her stuff. Don’t discount this because it’s in the YA genre either… when you’re in the midst of this book you’ll be right where you want to be. I can hardly wait to see where Ms. McGarry takes me next. 

A huge thank-you to the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 
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