Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry ~ 496 pages ~ published 5/26/15 by Harlequin Teen
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.
What I Thought:
I listened to the audio book for this, which was probably a good thing because otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have finished it. It had a female and male narrator, and their performance was pretty good, which captured my interest. I will say that by the end of the book, I was rooting for the book’s central couple to get together, but it took quite a while for me to even like them, let alone have any particular feelings about their relationship.
I’ll be quite honest, at first I thought that Emily was a super whiny, damsel-in-distress type of character, and I typically don’t care for females like that as my heroines. Oz seemed a little bit more bearable, but he also seemed to enjoy staring at Emily’s chest far more than I cared to hear about it.
However, as the book went along and the central obstacle became more clear, the characters became much more well-rounded. I found out that Emily had trauma in her past, including an emotionally scarring event that colors the way she reacts to lots of things, that explains away some of the initial whiny behavior that I found so off-putting. And Oz begins to like Emily for more than her body – he actually *gasp* likes her for her mind and personality too!
If I had stopped listening to this book after the first six or seven chapters, I would probably have given this a much lower rating. But, upon finishing the book, I was pleased to find that the characters ended up having some depth to them, to the point where I was, in fact, rooting for them (which is generally the point in a YA romance, don’t you think?)
Overall, I give Nowhere But Here 3 STARS. It is the first book in a series. I don’t think that I will be reading any of the other books in said series, but this does read well as a stand-alone too.
Are you interested in learning more about this book/series? Check out the links below!