Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Length: 298 pages
Source: Nowhere But Here Pre-Order Bonus
Tough and independent, 17-year-old Abby lets very few people into her inner circle. It’s common knowledge in her Kentucky town that she deals drugs, but not even her closest friends know why. But when a deal goes south and Abby’s suddenly in danger, she finds herself reluctantly forced to lean on daredevil Logan—a boy whose restless spirit matches her own.
Logan has his own reasons for wanting to keep Abby at arms’ length. But he never expected to find in her the one person who might help him face the demons he’s tried so hard to run from.
Together, Abby and Logan will have to make a decision: let their current circumstances weigh them down forever…or fight for the future they both thought was impossible.
Protagonists: Abby sells drugs, it's the way things have to be and she can see no way out. There are reasons she does what she does, and until recently she's been very closed off, only allowing one friend, and even then the relationship has been strained. Now her attempt at a normal life has interfered with her darker side and those she's come to care about are in danger by being near her. Logan is a daredevil who won't back down from a challenge, but he has something to hide, something he's kept secret from even his best friends, something that may just kill him. Together they navigate their lives as well as Abby's difficult situation. I love these characters. I've loved these characters since we first met them. They're the type of broken that make you want to hug and hold them tight and to tell them that everything's going to be okay. I love that they had great development, both separately as well as together. Every character that McGarry writes has so many layers, secrets they keep from the world, from themselves, and they are characters that you just grow to love if you don't already love them right away.
Romance: This is something that hasn't been done in a McGarry book yet. We have two characters that we already know, normally at most we know one character from previous books, not this time though. The chemistry between Abby and Logan is electric, it begins with flirtation, nothing they take seriously because neither of them "do feelings," however when you play with fire you're going to get burned, and this romance was smoking hot. Besides the crazy chemistry physically they also have a deep emotional connection. I've said this before, but Katie McGarry can write some of the best romances I've ever read. Everything just fits so perfectly, even if it doesn't look like it will from the start. I loved this romance and loved these characters together. At first I thought Abby and Ethan might be a thing but after reading this I can't see Abby with anyone else but Logan.
World-Building: The hook for this book is learning about Abby's past and present. There's a lot in the third and fourth PTL books that have remained mysterious surrounding Abby and in this book the walls come down and the mystery is revealed. We learn why Abby sells drugs, and why she can't easily stop. We learn why she keeps her walls up, and where she comes from. Going into this book I knew that while future PTL books aren't ruled out, that this would be the last one for a while and it really felt like a finale. There are so many characters we see again, and really see how large this group has grown since the beginning. These books are extremely character driven and since it's a contemporary there's not too much world building in the sense of being introduced to a new world. This world is ever expanding however, and seeing all these stories, these friendships and romances that have survived for so long is just spectacular.
Predictability: On the whole this book wasn't all that predictable. As always McGarry plays the foreshadowing game well. She gives enough of a hint at what's to come so that nothing will blindside you or feel forced, but still keep quite a few surprises up her sleeves. There are some great twists in this book, things I didn't see coming and things that I had only toyed with being true. Even the stuff I could predict was fine by me because it felt orchestrated that way, as if you were supposed to know all along.
Ending: One of my favorite things McGarry does is make sure the ending is realistic and not too idealistic. An ending with happy joy and rainbows and no consequences can really kill a good story. Don't get me wrong I love a happy ending, I just don't like when it comes too easily or without a cost. I won't say if this book ends happily, but if you've read a Katie McGarry book before you won't be disappointed. As I said, this felt like a final book to this companion novel series, everything wraps up nice and neatly, and while I could live in this world for years on end just watching these characters interact, I'm satisfied with how everything ended and don't feel a deep ache for more.
Oh My God! I loved this book so much, I can't even properly put into words how much. This is most definitely both my favorite Katie McGarry book (Sorry Dare You To) and so far my favorite book I read this year. Seriously I'm so bummed that I can't get a physical hardcover of this book to put with the rest of the series because to me this book is an essential read for any Katie McGarry fan. P.S. if Katie does write more PTL books seriously all I need is for Ethan to find his HEA, and as long as she doesn't introduce any more super compelling characters I'd be good with her putting this world to bed on the full length novel front at least.