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For Romance Lovers | Book Review: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

A sexy new YA contemporary – Nowhere But Here – coming atcha!

Book Review: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

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nowhere but here katie mcgarry book review

Title & Author: Nowhere but Here (Thunder Road) by Katie McGarry

Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary, Romance

Release Date: May 26, 2015

Series: Thunder Road #1

Publisher: HarlequinTeen

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“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.”

New to Katie McGarry

Katie McGarry is the author of the smash-hit series Pushing the Limits. I have not read those books, but the premise of Nowhere But Here caught my eye.

What we’ve got is a motorcycle club (not gang!) rivalry mixed with deep, dark family secrets and unexpected love.

For a contemporary story, this book is pretty long! It’s 496 pages and while I felt glued to the story most of the time, I did feel a drag take place about halfway through. I hate feeling like I’m getting the run-around, and I think a few things could have been condensed to prevent that.

What really kept me invested to the story was Emily’s journey in reconnecting with a family she barely knew she had. I loved that aspect of the novel and wish as the reader we got to “see” her do that a little more.

On to the romance because that is a huge part of Nowhere But Here. It’s a personal pet peeve, but I dislike when characters in books are obviously attracted to each other but openly detail how much the other person is annoying or irritating.

*major side eye* I mean, some books add tension and doubt better than others (like “well they really seem to hate each other…maybe they won’t get together?”) This book did not.

Emily and Oz’s relationship became physical early which stopped me from feeling their emotional connection and rooting for them in that way.

The motorcycle club aspect of the book was researched thoroughly by the author (I think Katie McGarry even interviewed a real club!), but in book form it read as sort of ridiculous at times. I personally wasn’t able to buy into it.


Previous McGarry fans and lovers of contemporary may enjoy this debut series about hidden pasts and new beginnings. The story is engaging despite dragging in certain parts. While I won’t be continuing the rest of the series, Nowhere But Here is a contemporary book ideal for romance lovers.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.