Nowhere Else But Here by Rachel Cotton
Rose Valentine has found out the hard way that life’s easier when you stick to the rules and stay out of other people’s business. But her classmate Theo Lockhart is too intriguing to ignore. He’s handsome, sure – and he makes her laugh. He’s also aloof, moody and impossible to connect with. He’s a mystery; one that Rose secretly dreams of solving.
Then, when Theo disappears from town, Rose is certain he’s done a runner. Certain, until he pitches up on her doorstep, desperate to hide out at her house. He’s on the run – but why, and who from? And why on earth did he choose her?
If she lets him in, Rose will be going against everything she holds true. It’s reckless, risky – and definitely not in the rulebook.
But something about Theo makes Rose long to break the rules. His troubled presence, beset by unspoken fears, turns her world upside down. Yet neither of them can escape the real world beyond the safety of Rose’s bedroom. After a week like none other, how can life ever go back to normal?
This novel is of the of the YA romance genre. It is possibly best suited to the pre-teen and younger teen age category. The novel focuses on the on/off romantic relationship between Rose and Theo. With added a mystery thrown in, as Theo has recently disappeared. Whilst the search is orchestrated, and the flyers displayed.
Rose wonders, where is Theo?
‘Theo Lockhart. The boy no one at our school really knew – and the boy everyone now believed something awful had happened to’ – Rose
We know that Theo is the local enigma, the boy that intrigues the legion of teen girls. But what about Rose? Her parents work long hours at the same law firm and she is left to her own devices. She is organised, self-sufficient and strong minded. Rose doesn’t follow others into danger. She likes a tidy, ordered existence. That is until Theo appears late one night. . .
“I need your help” – Theo
With the arrival of Theo comes a million internal questions for Rose. Why her house? She only knows him from being partnered in chemistry class. Why has he chosen her to seek help from? And how much trouble is Theo Lockhart in?
Theo makes Rose promise to not call the police – no matter what. He begs her for a place to stay just for a few days. For the first time, Rose relents and invites in Theo and all of his personal baggage.
‘Theo liked being a loner; it suited him’
The two begin to form a strong bond. We learn more about Rose’s upbringing and how much she misses her brother, who is away at Uni. Rose’s carefully structured existence is finally disrupted and she begins her own form of soul searching.
‘Theo actually cared, and that mattered to me more than I though it ever would’ – Rose
Teen love is so much different to the adult world. I don’t say this just as someone who has experienced a teenage boyfriend. I say this as the grown woman, that married mine 17 years ago. Youth has an emotional intimacy that you just don’t have as a guarded adult. I remember long conversations into the night, planning our whole lives out. Much like Theo and rose within the novel. Everything seems so easy when you are young and full of hopes and dreams. So, I really enjoyed reading on, as their relationship blossoms, with Theo as Rose’s secret stowaway.
‘I wanted to know everything about Theo. He was a puzzle I was intent on solving’ – Rose
When there is a public press conference for Theo, with his parents present. The pair begin to feel the burden of their secret. But Rose is growing more and more addicted to his presence in her home and life.
‘For all these years, you’ve been so nice to me and you always thought I didn’t notice’ – Theo
Eventually the secret is discovered. Theo and Rose are left to find their own path, in the aftermath of their secret being exposed. Whilst Theo must confront some home-truths about why he ran away in the first place. . .
The novel has strong themes of trust, falling in love and finding a place to belong. 4*
‘Theo Lockhart would always be a mystery to me, but I wouldn’t have it any other way’ – Rose
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