Author: Katie McGarry
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Harlequin Teen via NetGalley
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.Review by Nara
Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighbourhood. 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 feel like I'm getting a little tired of the same Katie McGarry formula. I do admit that she does it quite well, but I can't deny that I'd prefer it if she tried some variety in her narrative structures. It's always dual POV with one male and one female. The characters always have tragic backstories. I just want something new from her. A simple one person POV. Something where only one of the characters has some sort of tragic past. Anything!
All that being said, Nowhere But Here is still a pretty good novel. I can't deny that McGarry is pretty good at writing contemporary romances. Her couples are always so shippable, and at least one of the POV characters is always hilariously snarky. The backstories are set up in a way to maximise feels, and the books are full of drama, drama, and more drama.
Definitely a selling point of this book is that it's about bikers. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of the criminal side of things in terms of it being about bikers, because bikers don't have the best reputation in the city that I live as some of them are involved with drug trafficking and things like that. But in the novel, the club the characters are a part of are a legitimate club, not a bikie gang. And it's certainly interesting to read about the mentality of the characters in the club and why they want to join.
I feel like while Oz and Emily are well developed characters, I did struggle a bit to connect with them to a level where I felt any strong emotion toward them. Strangely, unlike basically every other Katie McGarry book, it was the secondary characters that shone. The other members in the Reign of Terror club were a heck of a lot more interesting to read about than Emily, who was a little bland, and Oz, who was a typical bad boy. Which is why I'm actually more looking forward to the other books in this series that focus on the other members in the club.
Anyway, despite me getting a little bored by the constant Katie McGarry writing style, Nowhere But Here is far from a bad book. If you enjoyed her other books, you probably will enjoy this one to some degree.