March 05, 2012

Rock On: A story of guitars, gigs, girls, and a brother (not necessarily in that order) by Denise Vega

Description: Ori Taylor is the lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter of the Band To Be Named Later, a garage band he started with his friends. After years of being known as the mini version of his sports-star brother, Del, Ori is looking forward to stepping out of his older brother's shadow, learning to perform in public, and rocking the Battle of the Bands contest. Oh, and maybe finally working up the nerve to talk to a girl in person instead of just over e-mail. But when Del suddenly returns from college, he expects Ori to step back into his role of little brother, just when Ori is starting to come into his own.
With his confidence wavering, will Ori be able to overcome his stage fright and lead the band to rock glory? Will the Band To Be Named Later ever get a real name? Will their best performances remain in the garage?
Denise Vega's deft exploration of brothers, bands, friends, and crushes promises to have readers tuning in page after page, because among all the ups and downs of being a teen, one thing's for sure: It's hard to rock out in high school.
Epic Wins:
  • Orion Taylor- The shy rock-star type? Yep he is totally modest but plays a mean guitar. Such a refreshing character. He's the narrator so you get to see the inter-workings of his mind. His passion for music is incredible, he lives and breathes it, even if it's on boxes and strings.
  • The band to be named later- I loved how they all managed to work together- instrumentally and as friends- harmoniously. I liked how they didn't have a name till the end and I LOVED what their name meant.
  • Del Taylor- Del is a before and after story in Ori's head. Before- That awesome brother who would do anything to help out his little brother. The golden child and a total chick magnet. After- A pain in the butt who personally sees to Ori's misery. It was interesting to see what caused this change and how it was finally resolved.
  • I have to preface this with the fact that I took three semesters of ASL (American Sign Language). We studied all about Deaf culture and it really opened my eyes - which I didn't even know were closed- about just how amazing Deaf people really are. So I had a little nerd attack when I found out one of the characters was Deaf. 
  • I am a huge fan of the website, comments, and people who made those comments. Those sort of breaks from the story make it fun for me. Plus you get to see a different side of the characters.  
  • Vela Taylor (and her fanatic friends)- They mention it in the book but Vela was 'unhateable', so in the end she was instrumental- okay that pun wasn't intended- in patching things up between her brothers. She was always in support of Ori's band and she brought along her group of friends to cheer them on. 
  • All the band members (Nick, Gwyn, Tray, and Allie- even though she wasn't 'in' the band)- They were such clear characters you can truly imagine. 
  • Jane- She was different from the silly girls who tried to throw themselves at Ori and his friends. Her passion came through words so I could relate to her through that. I loved that Ori starts to convert her poetry into a song, I thought it was sweet.
  • I liked all of the side characters- like BoyMagnets and PurpleGrrl- and there conversations on the blog. They were funny to read over. 
  • I ADORE the cover for this one! It's so unique with the wires spelling out the title- plus it fit the so well with the story. 
Overall: A cute story about a family, music, and love all strung together in this amazing books. I'd recommend this to anyone who is a fan of A) Music B) A cute love story. 

just sayin,


  1. This one does sound like it stands out in teen books. There is a book sort of like this with a paranormal twist that you might like. The book is called Fairy Metal Blues by JL Bryan.

    Thanks for the great review, so glad you loved this one!

  2. interesting book! :) thanks fr the review


Let me know what you think was an epic win or an epic fail, or if you feel like it make robot sound like beep beep boo bop. Really I could careless just keep it clean.