"Rock On" Hits All the Right Notes

 Title:  Rock On:  A Story of Guitars, Gigs, Girls, and a Brother (Not Necessarily In That Order)
Author:  Denise Vega
Format:  E-Galley
Length:  296 pages
Publisher:  Little Brown 
Rating:  4 stars
 High school sophomore Ori Taylor, lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter in a nameless rock band, has always been known as the overlooked younger brother of Del, a high school sports star. But when Del suddenly returns home from college just as Ori is starting to gain some confidence in himself, Del expects everything to return to the way it used to be.  -Goodreads

My Thoughts
This contemporary read was a welcome breath of fresh air after the seeming never-ending influx of wings, fangs, and fur that seem to be the staples of YA at present.
This is the simple story of a boy, his music, his friends, and his brother. 

The first half of the book focuses on Orion Taylor, high schooler, lead guitarist for a band that has no name, and younger brother to a golden boy who has lost his shine.  The sibling conflict is only eluded to for the first 45% of the book; giving readers lots of time to build up a healthy resentment for Del, Orion's 'ohhh so full of himself older brother.'

The story starts to come together when readers are allowed to finally see Del's side of the drama and the reasons behind his behavior are explained.

Though the focus of this story revolves around the relationship between Orion and Del; there are a great many sub plots that keep you coming back for more.

Subplot points of interest
1.  Finding a name for Orion's band
2.  The identity of the band's new base player
3.  Orion's love interest

This is a book that puts a 'moment in time' under a microscope, allowing readers to take an up close and personal look at how what is or isn't said or done can affect a life forever.  There are so many 'would you just spit it out moments' in this book that readers will have no problem following this story through to its end just to see what did or didn't get resolved.

At it's heart, this is a book about love.  The love of two brothers for each other, the love of friends, the love of a girl, and the love of rock and roll.

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