Saturday, 23 May 2015

Book Review! Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road, #1) by Katie McGarry

Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road, #1) by Katie McGarry
Publication Date: May 26th, 2015
Genre: YA, NA, Contemporary Romance
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.

NOWHERE BUT HERE is the first book in Katie McGarry's new series, Thunder Road.  This series revolves around a motorcycle club called Reign of Terror.

Let me just start by saying I didn't know what to expect when I received this ARC being that I've never read anything regarding motorcycle clubs. Of course I've heard about them but only in a stereotypical sense, the very violent side of things. So I had no idea what I was getting myself in to, nor did I expect to love it as much as I did! I'm so glad I took a chance on this book. Oh and did you know the author actually did some first-hand research?! If that's not dedication I don't know what is. I can't say it made the story more realistic because, essentially, I'm Emily in the beginning. Entirely unprepared and uneducated on this subject.

Characters are so integral in books. If I don't feel a connection to the main character(s) then it's pretty hard for me to enjoy a story. Secondary characters are also very important to me because they're sort of like the backdrop in a play. Without them it's just the main characters performing on a baron stage and that's not exciting at all.

"Our fears are what stifle us and we're only scared of what we don't understand."

Emily was an incredible character but I definitely did not get off on the right foot with her. She came off as whiny and holier-than-thou, bleh. But this girl wormed her way in to my heart sure enough. I really enjoyed reading and learning about her, before I knew it I had formed a deep connection with her so much so that I felt what she felt. That's very rare for me. I can usually understand  the emotions of characters but it was like I was Emily. She was brave and resilient and everything I love in female leads. She was stubborn and rightly so but she also learned to trust and that it's okay to let people care for you so fiercely.

"My body is a gift, not something to be carelessly given away."


I loved Oz with my entire being. Seriously, someone point me in the direction of an Oz. He was both ends of the spectrum being tough and dedicated to a fault but also caring and aware of others in a way many male protagonists aren't. What I liked the most was that he wasn't ashamed to care. We all know that when guys give a shit or show any emotion other than anger or indifference he's labeled as lesser. Oz blew those stereotypes out of the park and I adore his character for that. He wasn't ashamed to admit that he was attracted to Emily nor was he ashamed to mourn when need be. Basically, he wasn't just made of stone and hormones. He was a real good-to-honest man that you hear about, those men that seem too good to be true.

"Oz kisses the top of my head. "Go to sleep. I'll stay up and chase your monsters away.""

There were too many secondary characters to talk about individually. I was so overwhelmed by all of them and I wanted every back-story I could get. They were each complex in entirely different ways and all of their experiences interconnected until they eventually reached one singular point; the Reign of Terror MC. The sense of unbreakable togetherness within the motorcycle club was totally unexpected. Some people don't even get that sort of family from their blood relatives, I don't remember having that sort of comradery with anyone and I crave it. Also the guys closer to Emily's age were a wonderful break in the drama bringing a touch of humor to the scene.

"I think Oz and I are going to have to give you the birds and bees talk sooner rather than later. Here's the condensed version - cap it before you tap it."

THE NAMES THOUGH OH MY GOODNESS; Hook and Pigpen to name a couple. They made me giggle because I really feel like these tough guys have such mundane real names like Paul or Michael...

I do wish we'd seen more of Meg and Eli (bio parents) and I really would have liked more resolution between them. The snippets we get are powerful but I feel like their relationship is one that is still left hanging. I also would have liked to read more about Emily and her new-found family after everything that had happened. Throughout the book she had a lot of prejudice and I think an extra chapter or two showing her interacting with the club would have really bumped up the character development aspect.

The amount of relationships should have made things confusing for me but it didn't! I actually really liked this aspect because each one was so different. There were father/daughter, grandparents/granddaughter, cousins and I'm sure many many others. Some were focused on through a high powered lense whereas others were barely zoomed in on. This is another reason I'd have liked that extra bit at the end, I'd like to see how the relationships have reformed.

"Kissing her, holding her, it was like being called home."

Hopefully we'll see more of Emily and Oz in Razor's story. I am BEYOND happy that the next story is his because he was a very deep character and I know McGarry barely scratched the surface with him. We only got tiny glimpses and half-facts and I'm desperate to learn his story. I'm excited to see new characters but also hope we get a good dose of the old. I'm such a sucker for companion novels where characters are taken from the last book and put in to the next, it let's me read first-hand and then also from an outside perspective when they're no longer the protagonists.

Overall, a strong start for the Thunder Road series, the perfect mix of action, humor and an irresistible romance. I'm looking forward to the second book! Oh... I just had to make my version of the Reign of Terror's emblem if you didn't notice at the top of the post:

*This book was given to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My opinions were in no way influenced by this.

KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website,, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.

1 comment:

  1. I really like the emblem that you made. I really enjoyed this book as well. The characters were really well written. Oz is like the perfect boyfriend that we all want to have. Great review.

    Grace @ Books of Love