Series: Thunder Road #2
Published by Harlequin TEEN on March 29th 2016
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon
One moment of recklessness will change their worlds.
Smart. Responsible. That's seventeen-year-old Breanna's role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyber-bully's line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas "Razor" Turner into her life.
Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don't belong. But when he learns she's being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it's time to step outside the rules.
And so they make a pact: he'll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she'll help him seek answers to the mystery that's haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they're both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they're going from here.
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I’ll be upfront about the fact that I haven’t read the first book in the Thunder Road Series: Nowhere But Here. Actually, I should change that to haven’t yet, considering its sitting on my shelf and I’m currently looking at it. I don’t have a good excuse, I just haven’t gotten there yet. As with all of her books, I urge that you read it (even if I’m being a mild hypocrite). With that being said, Walk The Edge can be read as a standalone. Yes there are interconnected characters but each book focuses on different couples. The story was always easy to follow and I was at no time lost between the plot and being introduced to characters or settings. Katie also gave me enough detail to figure out some concepts from the first book without giving everything away. At some point, I promise I will get to reading it.
I’ve never read a Motorcycle Club (MC) book before, so going in to it I had no idea what to expect. Guns? Drugs? Swearing? Girls? I assumed yes, but of course dialled down since this is a book intended for teenagers. Yes there was some swearing, yes there were some guns, yes there were some girls, but it was handed in a tasteful manner and nothing was shoved in your face. This club prides themselves on not only brotherhood but being completely legal, so you’ve got nothing to worry about on that front. There were a few times that I didn’t understand the dynamic of the club, but I think that was more so because I’ve never witnessed a group that tight knit before. They’re literally a brotherhood, take a bullet for one another type of family. It’s intense but it makes sense. By the end I was satisfied with how Katie managed each club character at different times.
“Demons haunt the souls of some of these men. It’s what drives them to belong to a part of society most can’t understand. Razor’s not exempt and loving someone like that can be hard.”
Everything pertaining to Breanna and Razor’s relationship, I really enjoyed. They were not only complimentary to the other character but were quite evenly matched. The uncertainty of what to expect in the beginning was fun. Breanna was breaking out of her shell and Razor was acting differently than Bre had ever expected he would. They each had to overcome stereotypes time and time again but it was great how once they met, they saw the other for who they truly are.
“I’ve hated Snowflake for so long,” she says. “But then I met you. And you’re the person this entire town has trashed, a person belonging to the group I’ve been raised to believe is evil, and you’re the only person who is able to make me feel as if every part of me is beautiful.”
“Everyone says it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks, but you know what? It does. Yeah, I walk into school with the attitude of screw them. I’m going to answer every question. I’m going to show the world who I am, and I’m not going to apologize for it, and then…” She fades off. “And then people stare at you as they cover their mouth with their hand, lean over and whisper. Then people whisper back, all while staring, and they laugh. Then that rare burst of confidence—shatters.”
I think these two were absolutely perfect for each other. Razor helped Breanna embrace who she was and with finding passion, and Breanna helped to ground and focus Razor. They brought out the best in each other, the hidden sides that no one cared to see.
Yes this story has romance, but it’s about so much more than that. First I just want to take a moment to say how easy and simple this romance was. There’s no bull, it’s so refreshing to see characters trust their instincts, go against stereotypes and to just see what happens.
“She is beautiful. Inside and out. My fingers tunnel into her hair again, but this time, I gently knot them in. My heart beats hard, and I open my mouth, hoping that doing so will force the right words. That I can explain how being near her makes everything that’s impossible about me seem possible.”
Breanna was the quintessential smart girl. You know, the one who knows all the answers, does well in school and always follows the rules? That’s her. She’s not only incredibly smart, but remembers an insane amount of facts. From important to random, there’s always someing swirling around her brain.
Fun fact: did you know that honey is basically bee vomit? It’s just regurgitated nectar.
Fun fact: on average there are 14 deaths by vending machine accidents annually
Fun fact: 1954 was a low mint year of the Canadian penny.
Those aren’t nearly as fun as Breanna’s facts, but they’re some random things that float around in my head from time to time.
I was not expecting her struggle and I think it can really put a lot of things in perspective in the real world. You never know what someone’s situation is like, and you never will from having an outside look. Why do humans feel the need to tear each other down? We’re so much stronger when building each other up. Bre has shot after shot taken against her and with the help of Razor, realizes and accepts who she is and what her potential can be.
I don’t know what to say about Razor other than I loved him. He was rough around the edges but he was a protector. He was loyal and imperfect and sweet. His character developed tremendously and he was a great hero.
“I loved my mother. Loved my father. Loved Olivia, Oz, Chevy, Violet and this club. Then there was meeting Breanna and the emotion of being around her is nothing like that definition of love. This is heartbreaking and consuming and addictive. It’s terrifying and peaceful, crazy and serene. It’s a million things in one brief moment and it’s something I don’t understand and never want to live without.”
Her head’s on my chest and my arm keeps her tucked close. My world, for the first time in years, is full of peace. “You’re my girl, Breanna. You’re my girl.”
“I’m in love with you. This isn’t a memory, but a promise, do you hear me?”
There is a lot going on in Walk The Edge, so make sure to pay attention. There’s 3 conflicts that the reader witnesses, along with some twists and turns that you won’t see coming. There’s a problem in Breanna’s life, one in Razor’s and one that involves them both. While I enjoyed these issues for the most part, there was one overall comment that I had about the issue both of our main characters face. Personally, I thought it may have been a little over the top and exaggerated, in relation to both this specific plot point and the antagonist. Yes this book deals with an extremely important message, especially in today’s society, but I think it was a little heavy handed. This could be the perfect approach for the intended audience, but as being a woman in my early twenties (who these issues can still affect), it was a little much.
“No one deserves to have their private moments put on display and to be called names.”
This, right here, sums up a large part of today’s teenage culture. We need to be preaching this. Everywhere you look these days, kids, preteens, teenagers all have cell phones. They take pictures and videos to document online on a daily basis. You cannot tell me you’ve never seen something posted online that could be construed as embarrassing to the subject of said photo. People want to share with their peers, but don’t always understand boundaries or when it’s taking something too far. We need to be advocates to stop these problems before they arise and to teach young adults about being responsible with what they post. Whatever you do can have consequences in the real world. How often do people then double check what they see online? Rarely anyone does. Why go ask someone if it’s true, if the information is easily available online. This is how rumours start and how people get hurt. Privacy is a massive issue, and no one deserves to have theirs taken.
“Sometimes people are too busy hearing what they want to hear, seeing what they want to see, and they don’t care what’s real, only what they think is real.”
Usually I don’t discuss theme too much, but I love how Katie used the underlying concept of trust in various different ways for a maximum impact. Razor had to learn if it was possible to put trust in his brothers. Breanna had to learn if she could put trust in her family. On on top of those, they both had to learn how to trust the one person they never thought they’d interact with.
Whether I write about it in a review or not, I always try to associate a song with each book I’m currently reading. While getting to the end of Walk The Edge, the song Am I Wrong by Nico and Vinz kept playing in my head. Then I got to the end and saw Katie had included a playlist, so I was a little floored to see the same song on that list. Clearly it’s a good choice. Between the two verses I’ve included and the chorus, it can be used in several ways to support the story and I think it’s pretty genius how they work so well. This almost seems made for Walk The Edge.
Am I wrong
For thinking out the box from where I stay?
Am I wrong
For saying that I choose another way?
I ain’t trying to do what everybody else doin’
Just ’cause everybody doin’ what they all do
If one thing I know, I’ll fall but I’ll grow
I’m walking down this road of mine, this road that I call home
So am I wrong?
For thinking that we could be something for real?
Now am I wrong?
For trying to reach the things that I can’t see?
But that’s just how I feel,
That’s just how I feel
That’s just how I feel
Trying to reach the things that I can’t see
Am I tripping
For having a vision?
I’ma be on the top of the world
Walk your walk and don’t look back,
Always do what you decide
Don’t let them control your life, that’s just how I feel oh whoa
Fight for yours and don’t let go,
Don’t let them compare you, no
Don’t worry, you’re not alone, that’s just how we feel
Once in a blue moon, I read a book that makes me go back and ponder the cover. Not just a quick glance, but dissect the details and notice all the thought that went into creating it. Walk The Edge has one of those covers. When you finish and look back, it hits you like a train how perfect this is. From symbolism and scenery to emotion, character and placement, it completely blew me away. This has been one of my favourite story to cover relations in a long, long time.
Katie may very well have my favourite prose of any writer that I’ve ever read. It’s incredibly natural, easy to follow and pleasing to read. Occasionally an author can go a little heavy on smilies, synonyms or by trying to create intricate sentences, but Katie keeps it easy. You get what she gives, and while I believe this can actually be a harder way of doing things, when done right it can make the style stand out that much more. Now let me tell you this: she does it right.
Katie’s style follows a natural progression while she builds layer upon layer of dimension (and later development) to both the plot and the characters. She creates characters that you root for, characters that could easily be you – they’re real people with real issues. Katie conveys emotion in a very believable manner. When her characters are overwhelmed, the reader is overwhelmed; when her characters are hopeless or unsure, the reader can sense that as well. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Katie McGarry is one of my favourite authors. I’m not narrowing this to just Young Adult authors either, I’m talking about everyone. She’s made a fan out of me and I bet if you give her a chance, she will out of you too.
*An ARC was received from the author and InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.
“I’m here about your mother.” The asshole knows he has me when my eyes snap to his.
“She’s dead.” Like the other times I say the words, a part of me dies along with her.
This guy has green eyes and they soften like he’s apologetic. “I know. I’m sorry. I’ve received some new evidence that may help us discover what caused her death.”
Anger curls within my muscles and my jaw twitches. This overwhelming sense of insanity is what I fight daily. For years, I’ve heard the whispers from the gossips in town, felt the stares of the kids in class, and I’ve sensed the pity of the men in the Reign of Terror I claim as brothers. It’s all accumulated to a black, hissing doubt in my soul.
It’s what everyone in town says happened. It’s in every hushed conversation people have the moment I turn my back. It’s not just from the people I couldn’t give two shits about, but the people who I consider family.
I shove away those thoughts and focus on what my father and the club have told me—what I have chosen to believe. “My mother’s death was an accident.”
He’s shaking his head and I’m fresh out of patience. I’m not doing this. Not with him. Not with anyone. “I’m not interested.”
I push off the railing and I did out the keys to my motorcycle as I bound down the steps. The detective’s behind me. He has a slow steady stride and it irritates me that he follows across the yard and doesn’t stop coming as I swing my leg over my bike.
“What if I told you I don’t think it was an accident,” he says.
Odds are it wasn’t. Odds are every whispered taunt in my direction is true. That my father and the club drove Mom crazy, and I wasn’t enough of a reason for her to choose life.
To drown him out, I start the engine. This guy must be as suicidal as people say Mom was because he eases in front of my bike assuming I won’t run him down.
“Thomas,” he says.
I twist the handle to rev the engine in warning. He raises his chin like he’s finally pissed and his eyes narrow on me. “Razor.”
I let the bike idle. If he’s going to respect me by using my road name, I’ll respect him for a few seconds. “Leave me the fuck alone.”
Damn if the man doesn’t possess balls the size of Montana. He steps closer to me and drops a bomb. “I have reason to believe your mom was murdered.”