Review and Excerpt: Long Way Home by Katie McGarry

Posted January 25, 2017 by Shannon in Blog Tours, Excerpt Reveal, Giveaways, Reviews / 1 Comment

Review and Excerpt: Long Way Home by Katie McGarryLong Way Home (Thunder Road, #3) by Katie McGarry
Series: Thunder Road #3
five-stars
Published by Harlequin TEEN on January 31st 2017
Genres: MC, Second Chance Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 448
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Seventeen-year-old Violet has always been expected to sit back and let the boys do all the saving.
It’s the code her father, a member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, raised her to live by. Yet when her dad is killed carrying out Terror business, Violet knows it’s up to her to do the saving. To protect herself, and her vulnerable younger brother, she needs to cut all ties with the club—including Chevy, the boy she’s known and loved her whole life.
But when a rival club comes after Violet, exposing old secrets and making new threats, she’s forced to question what she thought she knew about her father, the Reign of Terror, and what she thinks she wants. Which means re-evaluating everything: love, family, friends . . . and forgiveness.
Caught in the crosshairs between loyalty and freedom, Violet must decide whether old friends can be trusted—and if she’s strong enough to be the one person to save them all.

Buy it here: Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | iBooks | Kobo | 


Review

Let’s start on a good note, shall we? Oh who am I kidding, it’s all going to be good. Want to know why? Because I LOVED THIS BOOOOOOK! I LOVED Violet. I LOVED Chevy. I loved the story, the writing, the mystery and suspense, the character development, the themes. I loved everything down to the punctuation, that’s how good this book was.

“We’re like fireworks, Violet. Beautiful separate, but phenomenal when put together. Of course, you can’t have all of that without a few explosions.”

Where were books like this when I was 17? Not only is it insanely entertaining but it deals with some fantastic issues and themes that are important to discuss and think about. Especially at that age! I fell in love with the characters, I fell in love with the story, I fell in love with their relationship and love for each other. So if there’s a replica of Chevy out in the real world… I’ll be waiting.

All in all, this book comes down to one major theme: Just because you are a woman, doesn’t mean you don’t have a voice. Use it, yell it from the mountain tops. As a woman or a girl, you will never, ever be less than a man. Your opinions, thoughts and emotions will never be any less valuable. Believe that and surround yourself with those who will yell along side you rather than try to silence your voice. This is exactly what Violet embodies and I couldn’t love her more for it.

“Can’t, let and won’t. Three words not to use with me. I’m not asking your permission. I’m informing you of the decisions I’ve made. You don’t see me telling you that you can’t be part of the club or I’m going to let you be part of the club or that I won’t stand for you to be part of the club. You’re a big boy, Chevy. You can make your own big-boy decisions and I’m a big girl and you need to learn to accept my big-girl decisions. You want a dog to order around and be obedient, I bet you can adopt one at the pound.”

Something really exciting about this book is the pacing. There’s always something going with the plot or characters so it never lulls and the reader is always engaged. There was more than one occasion where I was on the proverbial edge of my seat, trying not to jump ahead to find answers! And here’s my advice for this book: don’t start it or read the first few chapters (after that you should be clear! You’ll know what I’m talking about when you read it.) if you don’t have the time to sit down and dive in. I made the mistake of reading on my lunch break fairly early on and thought that I was going to hyperventilate. I had to get back to work but the characters were in a predicament and I couldn’t just leave them there!!! Has that ever happened to anyone else?

“Razor strolls up beside me. Strolls, because I’m angryhobbling and my full throttle is his stroll.”

I think part of why this is quite so good is because the author is amazing at creating multidimensional stories. There’s many characters and factors at play in each situation. There’s always more than meets the eye when trying to dissect the problems. And more than that, it’s not a simple conflict that blows up and then gets dealt with at 80-90% mark before a cliched HEA. No no, Katie wouldn’t do that to us. The characters are strong but each with their own individual issues that they need to overcome. Whether it’s alone or with the help of the entire group, there’s never a dull moment because there’s just so much to keep your attention. It’s interesting and engaging time and time again.

If I could describe Chevy in one word, it would be SWOOOON! My heart just felt for this guy! It was evident how much he loved Violet and how hard their breakup was on him. Can we get a hallelujah for a guy with feelings? *gasp* And I guess he was kind of awesome and tough and protective when he needed to be too. But then with Violet he was tender and loving. He knew exactly what she needed from him and never hesitated. Plus the ending? Oh, don’t mind me. I’m just going to clutch this book against my chest and cry some happy tears.

“I couldn’t stop them from […]. I couldn’t stop them from hurting you, but I can keep you warm. Let me do this. It’s not much, but it’s all I got.”

One of my favourite things about Violet was her strength. She’s feisty, independent, loyal and has a take no prisoners type of attitude. But let me go back and reiterate her strength. She was by far, one of the strongest heroines I’ve ever read, and that’s what really made the story for me. She stood up for herself time and time again. She knew what was best for herself and her family, so she worked towards that. She learned to rely on those around her because they’ll be there when it counts and she showed the same loyalty and love back to them. All in all, she was pretty kickass as far as fictional characters go.

“The club demands trust, loyalty and respect and I demand the same. I deserve that and you deserve someone who can be happy with the scraps you’d be willing to throw them after you swear your allegiance somewhere else.”

I have never picked up an MC book before, simply because the topic just doesn’t appeal to me. When starting this series, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Yes, I love Katie and I trust her but this is an area where I’ve never been before. What do I think now after finishing the third book? Bring on the motorcycles! I loved it! The club dynamic, the bond, the rules, the hierarchy, it was so intricate with layers and layers of detail that I was immediately immersed in their world. I love these characters and I love this series. As long as Katie keeps writing them, I’ll keep reading!

“One by one, like dominoes on the downfall, the men gathered around hit their fists against the table. It’s a show of support, a show of brotherhood, and my chest feels tight. Too many emotions flood me and I have to lean back in my chair to keep myself under control. This moment right here—it’s what Mom doesn’t understand. Doesn’t get that I’ve watched this type of solidarity my entire life and all I’ve craved is to be a part of it. To be more than Cyrus’s grandson, Eli’s nephew, James’s ghost in living flesh. More than just being a blood destiny.”

The connection and feelings that the two main characters have with each other is practically relationship goals. I’d be fine with that! Chevy is so swoonworthy and Violet can just break my heart with her vulnerability and feelings. These two together are pure magic.

“Loving him was easy. It’s life that’s hard.”

Oh and have I mentioned the angst? Um, hello! So, so good.

“I thought loving people was supposed to be easy,” he says quietly. “But it’s the hardest thing I’ve done. I wish I knew how to love you right.”
We stand there, willing the other to relinquish control, but we’re too far on the other side of this war to make concessions. Like being on a carnival ride with no restraints, my heart bounces between being bruised and broken and all combinations in between.

I usually shy away from second chance romances because I have a hard time believing the connection/desire to be together again. I find that quite often it’s just a quick way to completely leave out the building of a relationship and go straight from seeing each other straight to being in love. But would Katie do that? Definitely not!! I felt these two growing stronger together. Sure, their feelings never faded but they did break up for a reason. The reader gets to experience Chevy and Violet have their second chance at first love and I believed in every single word.

I may have mentioned already that I love this book, don’t worry, I didn’t forget. But even just simple things about it like the friendship between Oz, Razor, Chevy and Violet. I love how close and tight knit this group is. How they can communicate with something as simple as a hand signal or a look. How they can understand each other and read between the lines of what they aren’t saying. This entire friendship just makes my heart squeeze together in happiness.

“A playful wrestling match that’s half serious, half not, and, at least once, either Razor or Chevy pops up with Oz in a hold and they egg me on to take a swing.
I can’t do much more than laugh as Oz always finds a way to slip out of their hold, but ends up back on the ground. It’s eight all over again. Ten all over again. Thirteen all over again. Sixteen, too. It’s every year, every age, three boys who are becoming men with just enough of Peter Pan in them to keep them young.”

Not only one of my favourite previous characters from Katie, but one of my favourite characters EVER graced me with his presence!!!! HELLO Isaiah Walker! My boy! He’s back! The twist that he and Rachel added to the story plus how this tied both series together was fantastic. Cameos from other characters are great, but with Isaiah being one of my favs, I was pretty excited to say the least.

I’m a sucker for playlists in books and am always excited to get to the end so I can go through Katie’s. Once again, not a single complaint on my end! Not only do all the songs fit perfectly but I love most of them already. Now whenever I hear Where It’s At by Dustin Lynch, I’ll think of Chevy and Violet. <3

I find that a lot of readers these days aren’t huge young adult fans. I understand that you want the steaminess that a romance or new adult read can give you, but I appreciate a well written young adult novel more for giving me the same feelings, intimacy, and making me fall in love with the couple, all without the explicit details. It forces the author to dive deeper with the character’s emotions and bring them to the surface, to show the reader how much they’re actually feeling. I personally love this about YA and Katie checks every box.

“I got you what you wanted.”
“Are you carrying?” she asks quietly.
“Do you really want the answer?”
“You hate carrying.”
Yeah, but I love her. Never stopped.

On the topic of emotions, it was an extremely visceral feeling I had alongside Chevy and Violet. When they were scared, I was scared. When they were frustrated or angry, I was frustrated or angry. When they were falling in love, I was already there. *Cue the harps playing*. What good is a book of it doesn’t make you think? If it doesn’t make you feel? Have no fears because Long Way Home will let you do both.

“I’ve got you, Violet. I swear to God I’ve got you.”
And there’s no more thrumming.
Just his heat, warm covers, his heartbeat, his promise, the rise and fall of his chest and my body wrapped around his.
This. Just this. I’m finally home.

I seriously can’t state enough how much I loved this book. This series just keeps getting better and better with each addition! Now is it too much to hope for a fourth book? Perhaps Addison and oh, I don’t know… Dust? I don’t think I’m ready to let these characters go yet! But either way, they’re living forever on my bookshelves. I don’t know how she does it, but Katie McGarry creates a winner time and time again. Long Way Home is some of her best work to date and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next! Need a fantastically written, swoon worthy, suspense story with themes to make you think? Check out this book and author. You won’t be disappointed!

 

*An ARC was received in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Excerpt

 

VIOLET
“Your car’s broke.” Chevy glances in my direction again, and there’s a softness in his eyes that I hate and love. It’s the same unguarded look as when we whispered our most intimate thoughts into each other’s ears.
I hold his gaze for as long as he can handle. “Thanks for the update, Captain Obvious.”
Chevy mimics tipping a hat that isn’t on his head. “My pleasure.”
The right side of my mouth edges up. Damn him for being so charming.
“Stone,” Chevy says. “Have you made big plans for tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow?”
“Violet turns eighteen.”
Chevy and I had so many plans for eighteen. Spent too many nights in each other’s arms planning out how we were going to celebrate this year. Dinner out of Snowflake. Prom. Laughter with friends. Midnight and dancing on a blanket in our field.
“Mom’s mad at Violet and she said we might not do anything because of Violet’s attitude,” Brandon blurts out and he scratches his chin twice. “Violet cut class and the school called Mom to tell her. Mom’s really angry. She yelled. A lot. And Violet wouldn’t yell back. Violet always yells back, but not this time.”
Chevy’s adorable smile falls into a frown and it’s really a shame. Brandon looks over at me for confirmation that I’m not mad at him for spilling about my fight with Mom, because I’ve reminded him several times that personal conversations should stay personal, and I step toward him then briefly squeeze my fingers around his wrist.
My brother isn’t trying to tattle, he’s nervous being out in the dark and upset over the fight Mom and I had before we left for the game. He has a problem with letting negative emotions go. They circle his brain like vultures do with roadkill.
Headlights shine in the distance, and my shoulders relax. Last thing I want to do is get into a discussion with Chevy as to why I didn’t tell Mom that I handed Chevy my note. This has been an awful day, and I’m ready to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed for days, maybe weeks.
I step out onto the road, and using the flashlight cell, wave to signal Mom. This isn’t the first time Dad’s car has broken down, and unfortunately, it won’t be the last. Mom has passed us before. Though I’m not convinced those times were a mistake as much as Mom attempting to teach me another lesson of how unsafe I am in the world.
Footsteps against the rocks and Chevy eases beside me. The car weaves in and out of the center lane, and my arm hesitates in the air as unease tiptoes through me.
Chevy places his hand on my bicep and forces it down. “That’s not your mom’s car.”
It’s not. Mom would never drive like that and those aren’t the headlights of a minivan. Those belong to something with some muscle. A scary sixth sense creeps along my skin.
Growling engines, then three single beams appear. Motorcycles. Those motorcycles aren’t chasing the car, they’re following. My stomach lurches as I stumble back. Chevy steps forward and he draws his knife out of the sheath.

five-stars

About Katie McGarry

KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.

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