Today I'm reviewing the one...the only...Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry!
Before I begin:
Yes. My review will be full of swoon-worthy quotes.
Yes. You will be subjected to a lot of fangirling over a certain blue-eyed guy with a motorcycle.
And yes, you will probably want to have an Oz of your own by the time you finishing reading this.
So without further ado, let's get this show on the road! (pun totally intended)
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. (x)
My thoughts on the book
**I was provided with an ARC copy of the book via Netgalley - however, all opinions expressed in this review are purely my own. To find out more, please visit my disclaimer page.**
My rating: 5+ stars
Nowhere But Here is a book that will take your heart on the ride of a lifetime.
Katie McGarry is a genius. She has a knack for creating characters who connect with readers without even trying. Raw dialogue, witty banter, and a bundle of emotions pour effortlessly from the page and into the minds and imaginations of the readers. Reading one of her books is always a treat, and Nowhere But Here was no different.
You may be wondering, though, if it's that good.
There's been a lot of talk about this book and a lot of expectations. You may be wondering Is the plot as intriguing as McGarry's previous novels, or whether the main male character is as hot as McGarry's other smexy males.
Well you can stop wondering and rest your fangirl/fanboy hearts and minds, readers. Because it is all that and more!
Let's start with Oz.
How does one describe a male as
drop dead gorgeous amazing as Oz? Well, I've always been a firm believer that - as the saying goes - "A picture is worth a thousand words." So here are two pictures that I hope give you a small insight into the character that is Oz.
We interrupt this review to bring you an important community service announcement.
*clears throat* Uh...right. What were we doing again?
Right. The review. Okay - time to focus!
But Oz's worth doesn't only lie in the fact that he is dangerously good-looking.
He is also the kind of male character that you love to love because he's so raw. There's no illusions with Oz - not for our protagonist Emily, or for the reader. What you see if what you get.
Nowhere But Here gives us a male character who is perfectly flawed, a.k.a human. Oz is constantly torn between doing the right thing and doing the right thing for himself. And it is this inner battle of his that speaks so much to the reader and allows Oz to break free of typical contemporary romance stereotypes.
The female protagonist is also a force to be reckoned with.
I've read far too many books where either the male protagonist or the female protagonist was pinned as a 'type' - where they're given a straight-forward manual on 'how to be a troubled person' without any logic or reason backing it up.
Nowhere But Here surprised me. It didn't make excuses for either of its characters and their actions, especially Emily. I loved how unapologetic Emily's character was. Yes, she made it difficult for her grandmother and her father to know her. Yes, she judged 'the book by its cover' when it came to the motorcycle club.
But there was so much logic and reason behind it. She's shown as a young woman who makes her own choices and lives by them. It feels natural. There's no fairytale-like atmosphere where the protagonist learns from her mistakes, becomes a whole new person, and everyone lives happily ever after. Katie McGarry factors in real life and real life issues, making Emily all the more stronger for being the person that she is in the circumstances she's been put into.
But what would a Katie McGarry novel be without some swoon-worthy romance?!
Ah, the romance. Those chapters and/or scenes that give you heart palpitations from the get-go, and that will have you fervently wishing for a McGarry male of your very own!
These scenes are lethal. Slowly and steadily the romance unfolds, and tensions rise so high that you can practically feel the characters' attraction to one another through the pages.
So with that in mind, here are some hand-selected scene that is sure to have you on the edge of your seat:
'"You're right. You should go," I say.
"I will," he responds.
"Good night, Oz," I whisper.
"Good night, Oz," I whisper.
His fingers begin this slow brush along my stomach. Each goose bump-inducing glide edges farther up a centimeter and then down with each cycle. My breathing hitches.(...)
"Good night," he says against my mouth.
"Good night," I repeat, and as I say it, my lips touch his. Energy builds between us and my legs becomes restless with this pent-up urge for more.
Oz takes in my lower lip and I'm overwhelmed with this sensation of awareness, this realisation of each and every nerve ending I possess. Oz's hand, which had trailed south, tightens on my hip.
His lips pause on mine. He's waiting on me.'
But my favourite part of the novel is the life lessons.
And this is where Katie McGarry, for me, shines as an author. I have a weakness for books who slip in beautifully constructed words of wisdom - little phrases that I can take away from it and that I can use to motivate me or help me through difficult times.
Nowhere But Here has some real gems. One of my favourites is:
"Running is still running. It doesn't matter if it's a physical move from one place to another or if it's to within yourself."
And that quote actually sums up Nowhere But Here quite well.
It's a story about learning when to stop running away...and to start running towards the future, what you want, and what you're meant to be. It's about learning when to heed the lessons learnt from the past, and when to leave the past behind and forge your own path. It's about life, love, and family.
And it's definitely a story that I recommend you all read when it comes out on May 26th!