My rating: blue3

Hey, everyone!

I’ve finally read Katie McGarry’s Nowhere But Here. I had the book for two months but between school and library books, I didn’t have the time to read it. Now that I’ve read it, I don’t think that it was as good as her other books. I don’t want to say anything bad about Katie McGarry. All of the books I’ve read so far by her have been amazing, moving me to the core. For the Pushing the Limits series, there wasn’t one book where I haven’t cried. Yet for some reason, my eyes remained mostly dry throughout the novel (except parts which will remain unrevealed for non-spoiler purposes). While I was sad in some parts, but I wasn’t wailing like in Take Me On.

It might have to do with the characters more than the plot. I wasn’t a fan of either protagonists, mainly because I thought they were kind of annoying. For most of the novel, Emily was paralyzed by her own fear of almost everything, while Oz was pretty judgmental of everything outside of his sphere. It got to the point where he was being hypocritical, not liking people who judged his community, while judging others based on that. I get that characters need flaws and everything to be relatable, but when it gets to the point where you can’t even identify with them (like Emily), it hinders more than it helps. There would be moments where Emily becomes an admirable character, and I would think, “Why can’t she be more like this throughout the novel?” And she was. Those moments are scattered in the novel and are one of the ways that makes reading this story bearable.

I guess one thing I could say about their characters that I liked was the fact that they were similar but didn’t even know it. Both are unwilling to venture out of their comfort zone, and are able to overcome their hardships once they break away from that. It just so happens that they have to overcome it together. There were also similar family-wise, with both of them unable to depend on their family during a point of their life and stopped depending on them ever since. I like how they try to rebuild these relationships, proving that it’s never too late to do so, and that you’re part of the problem sometimes, even if you think you’re not.

As for the plot, while it was okay enough for me to read, I wouldn’t have continued reading without the incentive of a) the secret surrounding Emily (which apparently wasn’t so secret) and b) the fact that I bought the book and thought that it would be a waste to DNF. Don’t get me wrong; the plot was okay, or at least better than the protagonists. But it was really predictable; I knew what the big twist was before it happened. I only needed it confirmed, which is why I read the whole book. And I haven’t watched Sons of Anarchy or West Side Story (which the book is apparently based on) , so I didn’t get any ideas from there. Sometimes I like parts of the book to be predictable, but not the main secret about the protagonist. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it was too predictable for my taste, but overall, the book was readable and I liked how the characters developed.

All I have to say about Nowhere But Here. It was actually hard to write a review for this book because I felt like I had nothing to say about this novel, at least nothing good. And while I love Katie McGarry’s style in general, I have to be honest and say that I didn’t particular love or hate this book. More of a sort of like…. which is why I’m giving this book a 3.5 star rating. That’s all I have to say about this topic. Keep reading!

-Sumaya

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