By Denise Vega
Available 5 March 2012
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?
This Blonde’s Review:
Ori and his friends dream of winning the Battle of the Bands. Ori is working towards getting his dream guitar in time for the battle and getting to know a cute girl. Life should be looking up for him. When his brother, Del, returns from college and expects Ori to step back into his shadow things start to unravel. Del no longer encourages Ori or helps him get the girl. Instead Ori finds himself battling with Del at every turn. There are rival bands being intimidating, strange girls kissing him, and the girl he likes is spending time with his brother. All he has to do is hold it all together until the battle.
I love that the author made this story so real. The sibling tensions when one comes home feeling like a failure while the other is starting to shine are shone wonderfully in this one. Brothers know best how to get to each other, so it doesn’t have to be warfare for it to matter, but it won’t stay passive for long either. Lucky for Ori he has a great group of friends supporting him while he struggles to deal with the changes in his brother.
The sibling aspect is what stuck with me the most about this one, but that isn’t all there is to it. We also have the romance angle with Jane and Rock Star Blindness throwing something new into Ori’s life besides the way his brother is acting. He isn’t used to girls acting that way either and has to figure out how to talk to a girl.
This story is told in so many ways that I expected it to bother me when I started it. Denise Vega managed to pull it off and make me want the different viewpoints so I could get another take on what was going on. We have Ori’s current point of view, but we also have several flashbacks. Through this we’re able to see how much his relationship with Del always meant to him and how their relationship has impacted his life. We are also able to read the things people post on the band’s webpage and read a few reviews of the band’s performances. Rather than becoming annoying or disjointed the author makes it work and the story wouldn’t have been the same without it.
I enjoyed how real the relationships in this story felt. Too often the story is more important than the relationships, but this book was made by the ties the characters had to each other. Those ties made it much easier to feel for the characters and want what was best for them. As we all know, caring about our characters is an important part of how we feel at the end of the story. I loved reading about Ori, his amusing friends, and his frustrating brother.
If you enjoy reading stories that could be about real people with real life problems and how they overcome them you should pick this one up in March.