Review: Nowhere Else But Here* | Rachel Cotton | Blog Tour

Nowhere Else But Here | Rachel Cotton
Published: 3rd May 2018 by Ink Road 
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

They say don't judge a book by it's cover but I 100% judged this book when I saw it's beautiful cover featuring two people lying together, complete with the sparkling galaxy letters of the title. Did the story inside live up to the beauty? Partly.

Nowhere Else But Here is seventeen year old, Rachel Cotton's debut novel and it tells the story of two teenagers who lead contrasting lives. Rose is controlled by rules whilst Theo is her reckless classmate who one day goes missing. A couple of days later he turns up on Rose's doorstep asking for her help. From here on in, the two's lives are never the same. 

Now there were parts of the book I liked: the story is sweet and there are a number of plot twists, Theo is extremely likeable and the characters are well thought out. What I didn't enjoy was the pacing and repetition. In the first few pages of the first chapter for example, the weather is mentioned four times: "the sun was at least a sign", "the heat of the evening sun", "last of the summer warmth", "slightly red from the sunburn". This just felt so unnecessary, being told it was sunny once would be enough. 

This issue of describing the same thing too much or describing things in depth that didn't add anything to the story made it feel like I was reading super slowly. I think if some of this had been cut out, the pace would've been much quicker and overall the read would be more exciting. As the story goes on the pacing does get better but it takes a while to slog through the opening.

However, as a debut novel this is good and it's amazing that Rachel is just seventeen. A young adult book, written by a young adult is a perfect combination. Despite the writing and style not being my cup of tea, it's clear Rachel understands teen emotions as she is living them right now. Rachel is able to bring a warmth and light to her characters that can only be shown through youthfulness.

As a hopeless romantic myself, I couldn't help but fall in love with the sweet interactions between Theo and Rose and the darker subjects are cleverly covered whilst still maintaining a teen feel. The characters are definitely the strongest point of the book and I'm sure everyone can relate to aspects of one, or both of the leads.

For a sweet, summer, contemporary read, you don't need to look any further than Nowhere Else But Here. There are flaws but it's a carefree read and I look forward to seeing how Rachel develops as a writer in the coming years.

*this book was sent to me for review purposes from Ink Road. All views and opinions are my own.