Published by Harlequin Teen on 5/26/15
Genres: Young Adult
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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 into 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 liked this YA Motorcycle Club romance. I liked it a lot. I mean, just the fact that it is a YA Motorcycle Club romance added to its allure, but upon reading it, I loved that it was more than just a cliche MC read. Or maybe, it’s exactly the cliche. Let me expand.
Nowhere but Here is really a book about family and it touches upon themes like grief, belonging, love, loyalty, the consequences of secrets, and more. It follows Emily, a very sheltered (and judgmental!) seventeen year old; and Oz, a sweet “bad boy” who was raised amongst bikers who live by a different code than most of society. Emily and Oz are the stars and their relationship is definitely the focus, but Katie McGarry took the time to build a world around them, and the cast of characters were all pretty well developed, and played a role and added dimension to the protagonists by adding to their backstories. I loved that aspect of this novel. This is a pretty long novel for a YA contemporary (it’s nearly 450 pages long), but I appreciated the time spent on establishing all the relationships.
My favorite aspect of this book was also my most frustrating. Nowhere but Here addresses the preconceived biases felt and expressed by most about motorcycle clubs, and all of those prejudices are felt and expressed by Emily. Man, was she frustrating. I understood that she was thrown in a world completely different from her own, and her past played into her distrust and self-righteous attitude. She needed time to grow, but she took too freaking long to realize.
That being said, I loved that this really was a family saga. Aside from the element of mystery, the plot was about Emily and her family, as well as Oz and his family. It was about how the mistakes made in the past have an affect on our present, and what we need to do to prevent those mistakes from happening again. If you like any of those themes, then you’ll enjoy this book. I read through this book quickly, as the writing is straight forward, and the narrative quick-paced for me. There’s a layer of sadness to this book, but the overall mood is light, with some thrilling moments thrown in, as well as some sweet and romantic ones.
This is a solid read, and I say that with respect because I was impressed. I really liked this one, and I’m recommending it. I would describe it as Kristen Ashley MC light, with an emotionally dynamic plot and characters.