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Rock On: A story of guitars, gigs, girls, and a brother (not necessarily in that order) Hardcover – March 5, 2012

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In this thoughtful tale, sibling rivalry is taken to the next level. Both Ori and Del prove to be likable characters in their own respective ways."―SLJ

"Vega has imbued her tale with well-developed characters...readers will appreciate Ori's gently self-deprecating humor and the lively Web postings and texts woven throughout that help tell the story."―Kirkus Reviews

"Ori's honest voice will have readers caring about the outcome...Blog entries from the band's Web site are interspersed, giving an amusing glimpse of the drama among the band's budding groupies, while third-person flashbacks to Ori's younger days take readers behind the music-and behind Ori and Del's strained relationship."―Publishers Weekly

"Readers will feel like they have insider information on what it is like to be in a band....This book will be enjoyed by teens who like music, poetry, or a good family story."―VOYA

"A smart, absorbing read about music, relationship complexities, and reconciliation."―Booklist

"Engaging and smartly paced....Vega has a way with details, creating a pattern of incidents and emotional beats that builds assuredly to the final face-offs between bands and brothers. Likable three-dimenstional characters and rock-solid friendships add considerable appeal to this feel-good tale."―The Bulletin

From the Author

It might seem strange for someone who is (a) not a guy and (b) not musically inclined to write a book about a naturally gifted guitar-playing singer-songwriter dude, except...(a) I grew up listening to my dad and my brother play their guitars, (b) Dad would spin the Beatles, Jose Feliciano, the Kingston Trio, John Denver and Charlie Byrd, among others, on the record player and (c) I spent hours listening to albums and singles (yes that would be vinyl cuz I'm old) and going to concerts (yay, Red Rocks!), absorbing the music and lyrics until they were part of me and I was a part of them. I love music--how it makes me feel, what it promises, where it takes me.

And I'm also fascinated with the relationships between brothers, which is a big part of the story.


Rock On is my love letter to all the bands and musicians who pour their hearts and souls into their music, changing lives in the process, and to all thewho love to hate to love each other.


Keep on rockin'!

Download "Waiting for You," a song from the book, in Amazon music!
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (March 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316133108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316133104
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,788,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I love reading, camping, hiking, music of all kinds except country, french fries, chocolate, and guacamole (separately, not together). I can't stand cheese of any kind--that means I don't like pizza, lasagna, and lots of other things that most normal people like. Depending on when you read this, I may have some animation up on my website about being a cheese hater, starring Kaysa the mouse.

I live in Colorado and love hanging out with my family and friends when I'm not reading or watching old episodes of shows I love.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrea T on May 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Few things things please me more than a story about a young band. When you add in the fact it's written from a guy's point-of-view, has an awesome cast of friends, a sweet, but halting love story, and a troubled family dynamic, well that's practically a siren song for a girl like me. I couldn't resist reading ROCK ON.

Ori Taylor is a musical prodigy, playing by ear since the age of seven. His band, a band with no name and no bassist, is comprised of his best friends and managed by another best friend, Alli. I loved these kids. They were cool, focused, had each other's backs, and had confidence (without being cocky) in their future success. I was relieved that there wasn't a rivalry amongst Ori, Nick, and Troy. Their only worries are deciding on a name, finding a bass player and beating out their Battle of the Bands competition. But when Jane shows up with her bassist cousin, Ori's world is truly about to be rocked.

It seems like Ori has it all, yes? His older brother, Del, thinks so, too. And he's not happy about that. Del was a high school star athlete, and he's lost it all. When he moves back home, he sees Ori moving into his territory, the guy all the girls are interested in. Del, no longer the protective older brother, is determined to make Ori as miserable as possible, taking everything Ori wants. Maybe even the girl. Let me make my feelings for Del clear. I HATED HIM. I know, I know... He's hurt, and lost. Whatever. He was so freaking mean. I haven't been as angry at a character in forever. Sure, I've know characters who've done worse. I think my anger stems from the fact that Ori is just so stinking sweet. If he was my brother, I would have whaled on Del endlessly. (ask my brother, I'm capable.
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By Little Willow on August 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Rock On: A Story of Guitars, Gigs, Girls, and a Brother (Not Necessarily in That Order) by Denise Vega lives up to its title. Here's why.

Ori has a band. A band without a name.

Ori has an older brother named Del. The boys were very close until Del went away to college, only to return home unexpectedly, with a chip on his shoulder.

Ori has a guitar. It's a loaner. He's working at a music store and saving up for a sweet Les Paul.

Ori has friends. Good ones. And together, they make good music.

What Ori doesn't have - yet - is the confidence that he needs to lead the group, and to walk out of his brother's shadow and forge his own path. But maybe, if he lets out the music that's in his head, his heart, and his fingertips, he'll get there.

You've got to love a lead vocalist and songwriter who is searching for the right things to say and the right notes to play. Ori's just that. I think he'd get along well with Nick from Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.

I really enjoyed the scenes with Ori's friends. The group's dynamics are great. When they get together, whether it's to make music or just to hang out, they are comfortable with one another. They are solid friends, and their dialogue sounds authentic. None of the main characters are profane or inane, and every person in the group is important to that group. No one in the band tries to be the star or upstage anyone else; each member is good at what they do, and they just want to play music. They are getting their feet wet by performing at local venues and preparing for a Battle of the Bands competition for high school groups.
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By Kris on June 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a fun book filled with music, family, friendship, and teen angst. Ori has lived in his brother's shadow for so long that he doesn't know his own worth, and he is now in the process of growing independent. Ori is a likable narrator. Ori's brother Del has changed since coming home from college, not having been able to handle the change. In order to feel better about himself, Del wants to make Ori look bad just when Ori is trying to create his own identity through his band. At the same time, Ori trying to find the confidence to stand on the stage in his own right, find a bass player and a name for the band, and talk to the girl he likes. Every teenager has gone through this process of changing, growing independent, and finding one's identity and will be able to relate to Ori. Even Del is relatable in his own way.

It's cute how the story includes blog posts, texts, and emails. They give us insight into how the characters interact with each other and share information. I do feel that it is a bit overdone, at least to maintain my interest. You can't read a chapter or two without coming across digital media as told through print. With the format and the way the story is told, I feel that this is a story more for tween girls. No boy I know would want to pick up this book after reading the synopsis, much less the first page. Older girls might pick up this book for a quick, fun read.
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Format: Hardcover
This book made me want to stand up and say encore, encore!! Okay so you can probably tell I loved this book, yes I did. Since I am a rocker by heart I absolutely enjoyed this great read. It was a cute, clean, and endearing book about the life and times of a up and coming high school band. The struggles of the music prodigy lead singer and lead guitarist Orion, his relationship with his big brother who he has always felt inferior to, his struggle with girls, and his dream of hitting it big with his band. This book was a refreshing book for the young adult genre. I would highly recommend this book to everyone especially young adults! Denise Vega I want to be your friend :)
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