Book Review: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

May
25
4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Books, Reviews

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarryNowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
Series: Thunder Road #1
Published by HarlequinTeen on 2015-05-26
Genres: Family, Love & Romance, Retelling, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
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four-half-stars
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.

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.

You guys might know how much I love Katie McGarry’s Pushing the Limits series. Because I do love it. A lot. When I heard she was starting a new series, I was VERY excited! One of my top missions at ALA Midwinter was to get my hands on this new book! Turns out they didn’t have a lot of copies but I was able to talk to someone who was awesome and sweet and told me to email them later. And I did. Pretty much as soon as I got home! And she sent me a copy!! I was SOOOOOO excited when I opened this book! Seriously, if you’re a fan of Katie McGarry, or any author really, then you know what it’s like when you finally get their next book in your hands. Excited almost doesn’t cover it. And I’m so happy to be able to say that it totally lived up to my expectations!! I loved it!

Nowhere but Here was pitched as a West Side Story meets Sons of Anarchy. I haven’t ever seen SoA, so I can’t really speak to that comparison and it’s been at least ten years since I’ve seen West Side Story, so I was a little rough on that story line but as the book progressed, it definitely became clearer how it was a WSS retelling. And I think, with my less than perfect memory of that story, it was done really well! I’m not sure if that means anything, but the end of Nowhere But Here was really great and where I saw most of the similarities and where I became most invested in the book. And I loved that it was different from how I thought it was going to be. If I hadn’t been so distracted by what I thought was going to happen, I probably would have seen it, but I didn’t and I loved that.

I will say the pacing was a little off for me in this book. The beginning was slow and it took me a little bit to really feel invested in the characters. I was also a little annoyed as the book went on and I was still getting no answers to any of Emily’s questions. She grew up with her mother but is staying with her birth father and his family, who are members of a motorcycle club. She has discovered that her past might not be quite the same as she was led to believe by her mother but no one will give her any answers or clues about why her mother lied to her and why everyone is still keeping her past a secret. She wants to know who she is, who her family is, and who she can trust. As the book went on and I was still not getting anything from anyone, I was annoyed. But just before I put the book down, things started happening and it got much better!

One of my favorite parts of this book was the chemistry between the two main characters, Emily and Oz. The book is told in first person dual POV and even though we get Oz’s POV, there is still a lot he keeps from Emily and the readers in the beginning. And Emily is pretty judgmental and closed off in the beginning. But when he starts opening up and trusting Emily and believing that there might be more than even he knows, the two really start working together and it’s so much better than when they’re working against each other. The chemistry is always there, just like in all of McGarry’s books, but I just enjoyed it a lot more when they didn’t fight it so much. Both characters have reasons to be on their own and not trust others, so when they start opening up to the other, a lot is changing for both of them. And there is one scene in particular between Emily and Olivia that comes right after Emily and Oz have spent a lot of time together, when the readers finally get to see their relationship in a new way and I loved it!

Despite the slow beginning and trying to figure out all of the characters, this book really is worth reading. Especially if you’re a Katie McGarry fan. I loved Oz, once I started to learn more about him, and I loved Emily, once she started opening up to the idea that maybe her life before wasn’t better than the new ones she was seeing. I loved Emily and Oz’s chemistry and seeing their relationship develop beyond that. This book is definitely a Katie McGarry book! Which means if you love her Pushing the Limits series, you’ll probably enjoy this one as well. But it also means that if you don’t like those books, this one probably isn’t different enough to be worth reading for you. I do hope you guys will enjoy this book, though. It’s full of suspense and mystery and chemistry and family and drama and love and second chances and figuring out what’s right for you rather than the life that’s been laid out for you. I loved it and am looking forward to Razor’s story next!!



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New YA Releases for June 2015

May
22
5 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Books, Posts

Did you guys survive May?I did but my wallet did not. Luckily for us readers, there were a ton of great books last month! I hope you were able to read some of them. I was and I loved it! I read so many good books from May that I can’t even list them here without creating a big long post and this one is suppose to be about June books. I thought maybe June would be calmer with the releases but the month starts out strong! It does get much lighter as the month goes on, so don’t freak out too much when you’re checking out June 2.

I’ve already read The Devil You Know and if you’re looking for a quick, creepy book, this one is it! Also, I read The Night We Said Yes and it’s a perfect beginning of summer YA contemporary. Now I’m looking forward to reading The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, The Witch Hunter, More Happy than Not, Finding Audrey, and Every Last Word. Everyone seems to be enjoying Emmy and Oliver, too, so I’m interested in that one.

What books are you looking forward to in June? Here’s a whole list of books I’ve found that are releasing next month. And if there’s one you’re exciting about that isn’t on the list, let me know what it is in the comments!

June 2

The Devil You Know The Summer of Chasing Mermaids The Witch Hunter More Happy Than Not

Joyride Siren's Fury (Storm Siren, #2) Hidden Huntress (The Malediction Trilogy, #2) Royal Wedding: A Princess Diaries Novel

Proof of ForeverThe Master Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #3) Spelled Like It Never Happened

Skyscraping The Edge of Forever Book Scavenger Powerless (The Hero Agenda, #1)

The Good Girls (The Perfectionists, #2) Sweet Deadly Design Devoted Nearly Found (Nearly Gone, #2)

June 9

Even When You Lie to Me The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly The Invasion of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #2) The Stars Never Rise (Untitled Series, #1)

Hello, I Love You Last Year's Mistake Finding Audrey Amber Smoke (The Escaped #1)

Alive Delicate Monsters Mindwalker (Mindwalker, #1) Those Girls

June 16

The Night We Said Yes Every Last Word Between the Notes Scorched (Frigid, #2)

After Hours The Revenge Playbook Get Dirty (Don't Get Mad, #2) Deadfall (Blackbird, #2)

June 23

Emmy & Oliver The Leveller (The Leveller, #1) A Book of Spirits and Thieves (Spirits and Thieves, #1) Tangled Webs (Tangled Webs, #1)

June 30

Under the Lights (Daylight Falls, #2) Between Us and the Moon Storm (Paper Gods, #3) Faking Perfect Shadowshaper

What June book are you most excited for?



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Book Review: Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen

May
21
2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Books, Reviews

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Lion Heart by A.C. GaughenLion Heart by A.C. Gaughen
Series: Scarlet #3
Published by Bloomsbury USA on 2015-05-19
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Love & Romance, Retelling, Young Adult
Pages: 348
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
four-stars
The eagerly-awaited conclusion to the Scarlet trilogy delivers another action-packed and romance-filled adventure.

Scarlet has captured the hearts of readers as well as the heart of Robin Hood, and after ceaseless obstacles and countless threats, readers will finally find out the fate of the Lady Thief.

Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape from the Prince's clutches, she learns that King Richard’s life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine demands a service Scarlet can’t refuse: spy for her and help bring Richard home safe. But fate—and her heart—won’t allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long, and together, Scarlet and Rob must stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England. They can not rest until he’s stopped, but will their love be enough to save them once and for all?

Guys, have you been reading this series? If you haven’t yet, I suggest you change that. Especially now that they’re all out. These books are about Robin Hood and Scarlet, who is a girl but pretending to be a boy, and the story of how they fall in love and how they try to save their people from the sheriff of Nottingham and Prince John. The series is full of emotion. There is a ton of heartbreak, love, happiness, loss, and fighting. Everything you would think of for an epic Robin Hood love story is in here. I highly recommend you read them!

I know the title of this post says it’s a review for Lion Heart but I always find it somewhat difficult to review the third, and final, book in a series. For readers who haven’t started the series, I don’t want to give away too much of the journey to the finale. And for readers who have just the last book left, I most definitely don’t want to spoil anything for them. So I think for this “review”, I’ll speak more to the reasons why you should read these books than any sort of specifics on the newest book. With lots of GIFs. I hope that’s okay with you guys.

Reason number one why you should read these books is because they’re epic!

And you can’t argue with Tom Hiddleston! These books are full of epic everything. Intense emotions, tons of action, drama, romance. Everything. If you aren’t into lots of drama, you might not like these. But if you are, read these!

Another reason to read these books, they have a main character who is so many things all at the same time but mostly she’s a fierce and loyal warrior who just wants to keep her people safe. Seriously, if you like stories like Throne of Glass or Snow Like Ashes that follow strong female characters trying to protect the people they love, this is one you’ll want to read. Scarlet is fierce and vulnerable all at the same time. She wants to fight and serve her people but doesn’t think she’s brave or want to be a hero. I love her and all of her complex emotions and flaws.

Romance. Guys. Romance. It’s Robin Hood. Who doesn’t love romance in Robin Hood stories? I remember absolutely loving Robin Hood and Maid Marian in the Disney version of Robin Hood when I was a kid. They were my favorite. Even more than the standard Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast. Robin Hood wasn’t a Prince, he was a hero and I loved that! Plus, you could tell how much they loved each other. This might be a minor spoiler I suppose but Robin Hood and Scarlet fall in love. And it’s epic and full of ups and downs and it’s a long time before they admit it and they don’t even know if they can be together. There is a lot standing in their way. And one of the biggest questions in this series is whether they’ll ever find a way to be together. That you’ll have to read the books to find out. But, holy cow, I loved seeing them fall in love.

Now that all of the books are out, you can binge the whole series! And this is such a great series to binge because the endings are a bit cliffhanger-y. Seriously, the end of Lady Thief and then having to wait an entire year between the two nearly killed me! Before I started Lion Heart, I actually reread the first two and it was such a great idea. I loved it! There are so many small moments that I had forgotten but make up such an important part of Rob and Scar’s relationship. They went through so much, not just Rob and Scar, but the secondary characters as well. It was good to be reminded of their entire journey to get where they were in the final installment. Here’s just a small sampling of emotions I experienced while reading the series:

 
 

   
 

  
 

  photo anger.gif
Basically what I’m trying to say is…

I love this series and think that if you’re a fan of young-adult fantasy or retellings, you should definitely read these books. You should know that there is a dialect in the book that can be hard for some people to get past. And they are very dramatic. If that bothers you, you might not love them like I do. But this series stands strong throughout the three books, which can’t always be said. Lady Thief was definitely my favorite of the series and the last wasn’t as completely epic as I had hoped for, hence the four stars, but some things in a story just can’t be changed. I really hope you guys will give these books a try. The characters really make it worth it. Even though you’ve probably “met” Robin Hood before, all of these characters are ones you’ll want to meet again in this series. If you have read the books, let me know what you think!! Who’s your favorite character? Tell me everything!!



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Waiting on Wednesday: Manners and Mutiny by Gail Carriger

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted each week by Breaking the Spine and lets us spotlight a book that we are eagerly waiting to be released. This week I’ve chosen:
Waiting on Wednesday: Manners and Mutiny by Gail CarrigerManners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on 2015-11-03
Genres: Action & Adventure, fantasy, Science Fiction, Steampunk
Pages: 304
GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
When a dastardly Pickleman plot comes to fruition, only Sophronia can save her friends, her school, and all of London...but at what cost? Our proper young heroine puts her training and skills to the test in this highly anticipated conclusion of the rousing, intriguing, and always polished New York Times bestselling Finishing School series!

I know it’s very early to be waiting for this book since it doesn’t come out until November but I have been waiting for this book since I read the last one last November! I love these books! They’re just a lot of fun. And they have great characters. The last one left with some things about a couple of characters up in the air and I can’t wait to find out what’s happened to them! (Though this is by far my least favorite cover the series!) Have you read these books? I love Sophronia!

What are you waiting on this week?



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topten

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted each week by The Broke and The Bookish and allows us to combine our love of books with our love of lists. This week’s topic is: Freebie.

Top Ten Tuesday’s topic this week is a freebie, which means we can choose absolutely anything we want. And if you know me at all, you know that basically puts me in a panic. I need direction, rules, easy to follow instructions, preferably in a form similar to Ikea’s with cute little drawings that make me happy along the way. Complete freedom makes me break out in a sweat. So for this week’s TTT, I decided to go back to past topics, close my eyes, and choose whichever topic my mouse landed on randomly. Of course, I didn’t like the first topic, so I tried again. And bam! Favorite love stories. I’m game for this one. So here we go…


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)

Ron and Hermione: I know. I know. There are people out there who hate this relationship and people who think Hermione should  be with Harry but I love Ron and Hermione. I think they balance each other out and have grown from friends to much more and I hate the epilogue of the movie where they both look miserable because that is not at all how I picture Ron and Hermione as adults. And while I would never argue that their’s is the greatest love story of all time or anything, but I loved them together and it’s a list of favorite, not bests.



Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)

Perry and Aria: Their romance is epic. I love it. They come from different worlds and hate each other but once they spend time together and learn about each other and their worlds, they become a team. And they fall in love. They fight for each other and themselves and the people they love and I love them.



Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon and Blue: Okay, this is probably because I just read this book but their romance was so freaking adorable, I loved it. I don’t usually do cheesy but their emails to each other and how they fell for each other before knowing each other’s identity was so great. I love it when Simon says that he doesn’t know who Blue is but he knows him. Gah. I loved it!



Lady Thief (Scarlet, #2)

Rob and Scar: Another epic, classic love. But with tons and tons of drama. And this one is cheating a little bit because I kind of have a thing for Robin Hood. But Rob and Scar together are so great! And the ending they get in Lion Heart is great. I love how much they love each other and fight for one another.



Breathe, Annie, Breathe

Annie and Jeremiah: My favorite Miranda Kenneally book and couple. They start out up and down and all over the place. And eventually settle into friendship when Annie says she’s not ready for more. And he totally supports that. But he stays close and they spend time together and eventually she’s ready to move on with him. And I loved it. I love this book. You should read it!



Delirium (Delirium, #1)

Lena and Alex: Delirium was one of the first books I read when I had just discovered this whole Young Adult book world out there and after I fell in love with The Hunger Games and was desperate for more. And I completely fell for Lena and Alex. He freaking taught her how to love and why it’s so important and she took risks for him. How does that not make a great love story?! Spoiler alert. It does!



The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel; Clockwork Prince; Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #1-3)

Tessa and Will (and Jem): Okay, I know but I’m a huge sucker for these books. I can’t help it. I love Tessa and Will and Jem. And as long as we don’t talk about the epilogue, I seriously love these books. I know, you can judge me all you want but Tessa and Will will forever live on in my heart. The tried to resist their feelings, they fought to be together, they loved each other for a long time, and had a very sweet ending. I love these books and think they’re on a completely different level than The Mortal Instruments. But I have no idea why.



Open Road Summer

Matt and Reagan: From Open Road Summer. Mostly what I loved about their love story was at the end of the book. Sure, Matt was swoony and I identified with Reagan and everything that they went through was meaningful, but I loved that at the end they didn’t promise that everything was going to be amazing and perfect. They knew that they wanted to be together but also knew that relationships are hard. They admitted it and decided to choose each other anyway. I love that. Because it’s true. Relationships aren’t always easy with happily ever afters. It was refreshing to see that understanding in a YA book.



Tessa Ever After (Caged in Winter #2)

Tessa and Jason: I think this might be my only new adult book on here but I loved Tessa and Jason’s story! I loved it because they knew each other since they were kids and Tessa was strong and trying to make it on her own and they hadn’t always loved each other but it grew naturally and they both made the choice to take a risk on their relationship and I loved it!



Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1)

Anne and Gilbert: Always. As a kid, I watched these movies over and over again for Gilbert Blythe. I think he may have been my first real book boyfriend. And I loved him and Anne so much. Just watching their relationship develop and how they finally find love together and it’s better than anything else ever. Anne and Gilbert forever and ever.



Those are some of my favorite love stories. Of course, there are about a hundred more that I could list, but I won’t. What are some of your favorite love stories? What topic did you choose for today’s Top Ten Tuesday?



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