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Rock On

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  553 Ratings  ·  120 Reviews
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 only as the kid brother of sports star 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 worki ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Books with music as their main theme are hard for me to resist. They take me back to a time when I was a teen in choir, marching band and learning to play guitar (mind you I was not good at any of these things). Also, like most people with a pulse, I like music. Rock On by Denise Vega is all about the music.

Read the rest of my review here
Mark Stevens
Jul 26, 2013 Mark Stevens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Rock On” is lively, energetic and it’s packed with that youthful, energetic spark. That love of music. I’m a full four decades older than the protagonist but “Rock On” took me smack back to high school and right back into the middle of trying to put a band together. “Rock On” captures that indescribable sensation of what it’s like to play live music—and all the woes and complications and emotional struggles that go with it. I liked the interspersed bits from the “Colorado Kicks” web page / fan ...more
Susan Gottfried
Once again, there I was in the library, promising myself I wouldn’t check anything out, no matter how tempting.

…and there I was, walking out of the library with a copy of Denise Vega’s Rock On. On the cover, a picture of a girl and a guy, each with a guitar. And a cute little tag line: A story of guitars, gigs, girls, and a brother (not necessarily in that order).

The cover’s language is quite right. Rock On is the story of Orion Taylor, who is forming a band that he intends to win the Battle of
Jay Jason
Jun 12, 2012 Jay Jason rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, blog
The more I think about Rock On, the more frustrated I get with it. I was expecting so much more than what I got. The more I read, the more annoying the characters got, and the more predictable the plot became. What I wanted was some kind on victorious retelling of a high school bands rise from preforming in their lead singer's garage to making millions and playing music in front of thousands. What I got was a bad disney-esque situation comedy about a lead singers angst to his brother and crush.

Apr 21, 2012 Britta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What comes off as a story of a high school band is really much more. It is a story of brothers trying to make their own names for themselves while struggling to stay friends. This book was sweet, definitely, and fun how it tried to be unique, but somethings I wish the author left out.

This book is narrated by the lead guitarist, Ori Taylor, which was nice. But in between some chapters there would be pages that would be as if the reader was looking at the band's blog. That was cool and different a
Tammy Walquist
Aug 15, 2012 Tammy Walquist rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I came into this book off a high from finishing two other fantastic books. I had a bad attitude about it and when it started by featuring a website with posts about a high-school band, I must confess I almost put it down. However, it only took me about a chapter to get completely caught up in the world of Orion Taylor and his band, working hard to prepare for the Battle of the Bands in months, looking for a bass player, oh and a name for their band too. I was instantly caught up in the dra ...more
This is a fairly slim volume with a pretty good amount of substance in it.

It's primarily told from Ori's first person POV, with bits of exchanges from the band's website and some text messaging; most of that worked very well and provided some good comedic relief. I did object to the inclusion of a couple of email and text exchanges that Ori was not privy to, but that only happened about twice, so I forgave it, kind of. Ori had a strong, believable voice, and I enjoyed both his passion for music
Dee ✘
Apr 03, 2013 Dee ✘ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
I received a copy of this book from the author. (thank you!)

There's not really much to say. It was a light and fast paced read and I enjoyed it. (even though I haven't had much time for reading lately)

I liked the blog posts and the texts, I was always looking forward to them.
Del was a jerk, but it was nice seeing him and Ori work things out and get their relationship back.
The band was cute. I liked Ali and Nick, I don't have much to say about Troy, Gwyn was a nice addition, and Ori, well, he wa
-Slight Spoilers-
Overall Eating: 3.75 stars
It was the Camp Rock 2 that everyone wanted. Although a bit stereotypical and trope-filled, the characters were solid, had great personalities, and the choices they made, especially Orion's, were very strong. They were the right thing to do, and it made Orion stronger than a pushover little brother. I especially loved the blog dialogue that created a wonderful subplot, although a little more about the relationship created from the blog would fill the in
Realistic YA books are always ones I seek out. I love seeing the development between characters and observing the interactions and relationships that can blossom. That is just one of the reasons I decided to pick up "Rock On." (And the fact that it was a novel about music just made me little heart pound with excitment). This novel was definitely a fun and enjoyable read; however, it seemed like it was lacking some sort of attractive element.

There is something about YA music stories that just se
Apr 06, 2012 Hobart rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
I can't remember what it was that made goodreads suggest this book to me, but I put it on my To Read list over a year and a half ago, and really only picked it up because it was front-faced on a library shelf I walked by last week, and my stack was pretty light. Glad I did pick it up though.

I've got a soft-spot for rock band novels -- ever since The Buffalo Nickel Blues Band , which I read about 400 times in junior high. The Commitments (one of my all-time favorites), Eddie and the Cruisers
Mar 08, 2012 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 f
Dec 03, 2011 Jessi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stepping into the world of high school friendships, romance, and sibling drama that Denise Vega has created is like walking into a world that you're already familiar with. The characters are very realistic and easy to relate to--they could just be another group of kids at your high school--and the story has something for everyone. Whether your in it for the romance or the rivalry, you won't walk away disappointed.

Ori always looked up to his brother going up, but after being put on academic proba
Sep 28, 2011 Ambur rated it really liked it
I've mentioned that I love music, so I pretty much jump at the chance to read anything music-related that I can get my hands on, and in the case of Rock On, I'm extremely glad that I did! :D

One thing that I absolutely loved about Rock On was that it was from a teen boy's perspective, which I found really interesting...I also absolutely loved Ori (or Orion) and his passion for music! :D Ori was pretty much a prodigy and had been playing guitar for years. I was never a prodigy myself and only play
Greta is Erikasbuddy
Mar 24, 2012 Greta is Erikasbuddy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Team Disney Girl
I have a problem with books written by women that are told by boys. Especially if it is told in 1st Person POV. I think the reason might be because I have a son who is a freshman in high school. I'm always comparing the literary boy with the real thing. And folks... my son doesn't have a swoony sensitive bone in his body. Sometimes I'll read passages out of these books and he just laughs at me and tells me that he would NEVER think like that.

But is it because my son isn't musical?

Nah... he has f
Rock On by Denise Vega is a very natural story. It's one of those "moment in time" stories that I love because of the realism and character study. While I love watching how the characters grow, develop, and change (oh, and make mistakes...lots and lots of mistakes), Rock On is also a fun contemporary read even if you don't like contemplating character development.

The full title of Rock On is Rock On: A Story of Guitars, Gigs, Girls, and a Brother (Not Necessarily in that Order). That pretty much
Waiting For Wentworth
This was a fun book and a very realistic story. 16 year old Ori and his friends have a band, and they have a dream of making it big. Their first major goal is to come up with a name for the band as they work towards getting ready to compete in the High School Battle of the Bands. Ori is musically gifted and loves to write songs, and what is going on in his life is reflected in his lyrics.

I really enjoyed all of Ori's friends and band mates. They were all unique characters, and even though none o
Dec 03, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book was a lot of fun. It definitely contained a conflict, but it was one of those books I knew would turn out fine. What's so great about it is that there's some nice character development and it's perfectly suitable for younger teens. So if you're one of those parents who stays very conscious of what your child reads, this one is perfect. There's a few curses and that's it.

Orion is serious about music. It's his passion, but he also hides beh
Aug 03, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, 2012
Orion has a dream of being a rock star, but in the meantime, he's playing with his high school band and gearing up for the Battle of the Bands against other local groups. Music is his life and he gets completely lost in it, which is a nice distraction from what's going on at home. His older brother, once the golden boy who could do no wrong, has moved back home after dropping out of college and aggravates Orion at every opportunity, seeming determined to steal everything good out of Orion's life ...more
Book Sp(l)ot
Orion, "Ori," Taylor lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for The Band to Be Named Later (that's not their named, they don't actually have a name yet), has always been Del Taylor's little brother. The big-star's ignored little brother. That was supposed to change now that Del was in college. Sure people would still ignore him, but at least he'd be able to concentrate on his band and their music.

Just as Ori's starting to listen to his friend that maybe he's not the dorky, ugly, rightfully-overlo
Thank you to Hachette Book Group Canada for a copy of this for review!

It’s no secret that I love books about music. Some of them I can really identify with and other’s I have a hard time connecting with, but I can still really appreciate the story.

Rock On was an interesting story. I loved the music talk and the songwriting, but something kept me disconnected from the story. It could have been because the main character was Ori, a guy, or it could have been because I was always a solo musician an
WTF Are You Reading?
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
Kelly Hager
Mar 06, 2012 Kelly Hager rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ori and his band are pretty good. Yes, they're high school students and no, they've never really had a gig before, but still...they're pretty good. (Also, there's the small problem of Ori's stage fright and the fact that they don't have a name...yet.) But even so, he's sure they'll win the Battle of the Bands.

Ori's other problem (no band name and stage fright being the two big ones) is that his older brother Del is home from college. Normally, that'd be great, because Del's his best friend. But
Mar 16, 2012 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such a fun book. I always enjoy books that are all about music, and this was no exception. What I really liked was that this was really more about the music and the band and took a nice hard look at the family dynamics at play in Ori's life. Ori has always been best buddies with his older brother Del, who was basically big man on campus. Now Del is back from a failed stint at college and he's a completely different person. It was really interesting to see how Ori is affected by his broth ...more
Crystal (Kris)
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 ...more
Aug 20, 2012 Emma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: music-lovers, people, people who like love, or love love.
I LOVED this book. I read it waaaay more than once, and i don't really know why. Let me think:
1. <3 Orion Taylor
Ori is the main character in the story. He is a master of the guitar and the lead singer of his (for now) nameless band. He's cute, and he's sweet, and i'd like permission to marry him, please. Like, right now.
2. Gwen
I can appreciate a wicked cool girl like Gwen- a deaf bass player who applies for a spot in Ori's band and gets it. Her fashion sense is edgy and her sound, as far as
Isaac Aufrecht
Oct 10, 2016 Isaac Aufrecht rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine being in a high school rock band with your friends. Think of all the people cheering for you and the exciting gigs you could play at. This dream was already a reality for the lead singer of the Band to be Named Later, Orion Taylor. Orion began playing the guitar at an young age; his early expertise startled his guitar instructor. Later on, Orion and his friends--Troy, Nick, and Alli--all worked together to form a band in high school. Throughout the story, they played at different gigs, w ...more
Saania Zee Jamal ϟ
Personally, I have to say this book was such a bore. I don't even know why I'm giving it an extra star but maybe it was because of the fct that I actually managed to finish it -no matter how painfully slow the process may have seemed- but what can I say? It's just not my kind of book and my attempt at trying to enjoy -key word being TRYING- a book outside the realms of fantasy by giving this book a shot was definitely the wrong choice.

There was once a time wherein it was my dream to make it big
Chelsea Mejia
Jan 29, 2014 Chelsea Mejia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book Rock On by Denise Yega is about a boy named Ori Taylor. He is the singer, guitarist, and song writer of the Band to be Named Later. He has a brother who he always looked up too. even though his brother is older than him they would still get along well. Then his brother needed to go to college. Del, Ori’s brother, has always been the star athlete, popular, always getting the girls. Ori has always been behind him, in his shadows. When Del goes to college Ori tells himself that he will ste ...more
Mar 28, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I love a vampire, werewolf, dystopian society book, I found that I REALLY liked this one too! It is about time for some more realistic YA stuff to surface. Rock On: A Story of Guitars, gigs, Girls, and a Brother by Denise Vega was a perfect break from all of the current popular YA books on the market. We meet Orion, our somewhat shy and very girl-clueless main character who just happens to be a guitar god. We follow him along the typical boy/girl and boy/family struggle but it isn't a drag ...more
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I've been writing since I was a kid but it took awhile to get published-I had to work at improving my craft! Click Here was the sixth novel I'd written, the first to be accepted for publication. It went on to become a bestselling title for the Scholastic Book Fairs/Clubs, won the Colorado Book Award for Young Adult Literature, and was a 2008 Louisiana Reader’s Choice Nominee. I was excited and ner ...more
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