Monday, November 16, 2015

Mini-Reviews: Katie McGarry Edition

Title: Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits, #1.5) 

Author: Katie McGarry

Rating: 3 Stars

McGarry's books are the type of guilty-pleasure reads I genuinely feel ever-so-slightly guilty about reading. Not only are they chock-full of the type of predictable drama romantic comedies are full of--an ex-girlfriend appears out of the blue, a more sophisticated guy is interested in your girlfriend, etc.--but they also contain a nearly sickly-sweet romantic couple. Yet, I find that McGarry's writing is simply irresistible. She makes you FEEL for her characters and though I could see the conflicts coming from a mile away, they still made me gasp and my heart squeeze in worry. It's all Standard Romance Plot but, sometimes, that's precisely the kind of novel a girl needs to forget about her finals.

Moreover, what I did really enjoy about Breaking the Rules is the manner in which McGarry writes Noah and Echo's relationship. By the end of Pushing the Limits, it seems as if these two are riding out into the sunset and living their happily-ever-after. The fact that neither Noah nor Echo are completely healed from their pasts is a relief. The fact that they haven't had sex by the opening of this novel and take time to talk about it and discuss their insecurities and wait until they're both comfortable is yet another relief. Most of all, though, the fact that their futures aren't set in stone and are subject to change is a wonderful message. At its core, Breaking the Rules is a romance novel, sure, but it also has plenty of note-worthy New Adult qualities that I support. Now, if only Noah could get rid of that terrible habit of calling Echo his siren and we'd all be that much happier...

Title: Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road, #1)

Author: Katie McGarry

Rating: 3.5 Stars

McGarry has a rare and fortunate talent in that her novels are compulsively readable. Despite the fact that Nowhere But Here takes awhile for its true plot to emerge, despite the fact that I cringed once or twice at the stereotypes and presumptions made in this narrative, despite the fact that there remains a tad bit too much angsty sexual tension (the kind where you roll your eyes and want to beat your head against the wall in annoyance, not impatience), I still managed to finish this. And, what's more, I might even be sticking around for the companion novel.

While I've struggled with McGarry in the past and fully expected Nowhere But Here to be my last venture into her work, I managed to become sucked into the world of motorcycle gangs that she depicted. I adore a YA romance that features family and individual growth and, alongside some action, that's exactly what this is. It still contains classic McGarry tropes that I don't love but, nevertheless, they aren't enough to completely drag down this narrative. If McGarry is a hit-or-miss author for you, I'd say it's worth giving this one a shot.


  1. I found that I just couldn't get into Breaking the Rules, which really disappointed me as I do love love love her work. I think for me it may have been because Pishing the limits wasn't my favourite book or set of characters in the series. I may give it another go if I fancy it. Nowhere But Here, was brilliant. I loved that one. A different side to Katie's writing. Although it did take a while to get into to but after that I whizzed through it. Great mini review, hope you stick around for the sequel. :)

  2. Sad to hear about No Where but Here but Pushing the lImits series is also one of my guilty pleasures... minus the guilt. :D I love them for what they are... entertainment. Brilly reviews.

  3. I am one of the few people who didn't get the appeal of McGarry's works. However, I did enjoy Nowhere But Here - albeit, only mildly. I get how addictive they could be, though.

  4. Glad Nowhere But Here managed to suck you in Keertana! I'm a huge Katie McGarry fan so I'm sure I'll love it (I don't know why I haven't read it yet), and I'm excited that family plays such a big role. Contemporary YA novels that feature interesting family dynamics always make me happy. Thanks for your thoughts:)

  5. Katie McGarry is an author I STILL have yet to read from, but I have a heard a lot that all of her books have a thing or two that's similar about them. Oddly enough, that makes me excited to read her works. It's nice when an author has a "signature" style of some sort. :) From these two, I'm more inclined to pick up Breaking the Rules. Sometimes it's lovely to have a mindless romance read at the ready. And a couple who TALKS? Heck yes. Awesome reviews, Keertana!

    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

  6. I'll have to try the author one day because many are loving the books and I'm quite curious to see how it is I confess.

  7. It's been a while actually since I've read a Katie McGarry book! I think the last one I attempted to read was PUSHING THE LIMITS #2, but that kind of exasperated me a bit because of the overangst, lol. I am interested in NOWHERE BUT JERE though... just because of the motorcycle gang and family dynamics!

    Faye at The Social Potato

  8. Nowhere But Here was enjoyable but not a complete win for me. I had issues with the heroines judgmental attitude and I wish she was nicer to her grandmother! I don't remember all the specifics but I thin I was very annoyed with her mother as well.

    I haven't read the Noah and Echo novella. I liked where the author left them in the first book. Wasn't so pleased by their appearances in her companion novels either. Great minis, Keertana!

  9. Lovely minis, Keertana! I'm a huge fan of Katie McGarry's books. I just love how romantic they are, but to me they never seem to cheesy. Sometimes they *do* get a little dramatic, but I usually like the characters so much that I can get past it.

    I have to say that Breaking the Rules is the one KM book I downright hated. I was so annoyed by Noah and Echo's relationship! It seemed like all their obstacles were so contrived, for the sake of another story. >.<

  10. Oddly, McGarry is one of those authors that seem to work for everyone but me. I always find her characters utterly unconvincing, but I also always just keep trying, which says a lot about my stubbornness, I suppose. Perhaps one days she'll write something I'll actually enjoy.

  11. I'm not usually someone who reads just straight-up romance, but Katie McGarry's books sound wonderful - even if there were a few minor flaws here and there. :) Definitely going to have to give them a try now. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous reviews Keertana! ♥

  12. As I write this comment I am still cracking up over "Now, if only Noah could get rid of that terrible habit of calling Echo his siren and we'd all be that much happier..."

    I remember when I first read Pushing the Limits, I was head over heels in love. I thought it was the best book ever written, but over the years, I have realized that if I re-read the book, I would cringe too much and not be able to finish it... It's one of the reasons why I never read anything else by the author. I think she has a really addictive writing style but all the tropes, Keertanaaaaa.

    I am really happy to hear that in Breaking the Rules, Noah and Echo don't have a perfect HEA and are still dealing with issues. I think that is a lot more realistic and now I kind of want to read the novella and catch up with the two...

    I am glad that you manage to enjoy the books though, Keertana!! :) You don't need to feel guilty about that :D

    Great minis, hon!

  13. (Typing this from my phone from the under the desk, so hopefully this goes through!!)

    Really interesting to see your thoughts on both of these! I definitely think Katie McGarry plays into some tropes but I LOVE her books because of the emotion and character development she manages to weave into her novels. I definitely think that Nowhere But Here is one of her weaker novels though. The romance was a bit sprung on, in my humble opinion, and I do agree with your thoughts! I haven't read Breaking the Rules but you've convinced me to grab a copy. It's nice to see that the romance continues to develop and Noah and Echo's pasts haven't vanished.

    Love these mini reviews Keertana! Hope you're doing well. <33

  14. Lovely mini reviews, Keertana! I’m not sure about Nowhere But Here, but Breaking the Rules sounds interesting. I totally get your “that's precisely the kind of novel a girl needs to forget about her finals”. When I’m busy and stressed out in real life I tend to such guilty-pleasure reads myself.

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