Group Review: Rock by Anyta Sunday

   When Cooper’s parents divorce, he finds himself landed in Week About—one week with his mum and one week with his dad.
Only, it’s not just his dad he has to live with. There’s Lila, too: The other woman, the one who stole the rock-solid foundation of his life.
And then . . .
There’s Jace. Lila’s son. Lila’s smug, regurgitated-fish-scale-blue eyed son.
All Cooper wants is to have his family back the way it once was, but there’s something about this boy that promises things will never be the same again.

   Resisting the realities of his new life, Cooper and Jace get off to a rocky start. But rocky start or not, after hundreds of shared memories together, they forge something new. A close . . . friendship.
Because friendship is all they can have. Although it’s not like they are real brothers. . .
   But how does that friendship evolve under the pressures of life?
Under pressures of the heart?

Yep - you've got it. A never before seen, unprecedented 10 stars for this book. We're breaking all our (non-existent) rules.

If you follow the blog, or hang around on Goodreads, it has quite likely come to your attention that I am somewhat of an Anyta Sunday fangirl. There is no dignity in being a fangirl, let me tell you. Despite the fact that I have this book on pre-order, as soon as a request came into the blog to review it I answered straight away with a resounding YES. I may have remembered to add a please, but I quite honestly couldn't tell you. I mean, I had the opportunity to read this longed for book ELEVEN whole days before it was released. Eleven days peeps. I have no shame in telling you that the arc came through pretty quickly and I sat down and read the whole book straight away. As an unashamed fangirl though, I did think it was probably best to get some other unicorns on board because I really do not want my review to be seen as biased. So here they are, the unicorns views on this stunning book.

Jade Jenni Lea
Have you ever been searching for that one story, that one hidden gem, that one perfect read and then after almost giving up in frustration you suddenly find it?

I have.

I’ve been hesitant to write this review because I just don’t know how to put into words what I went through while reading this book.

I was going to say this book destroyed me but though it may have brought me to my knees quite often throughout, in the end I survived and was left with a feeling of hope and happiness.

This isn’t a romance. No, it’s a love story. A love story between a boy and his almost step-brother. A love story between a boy and his family, both the one he was born with and the one he accumulates along the way. A love story between a boy and himself.

It’s a story about rocks. A story about family. About love and hate and betrayal and loyalty and joy and fear and insecurity and laughter and hope and sadness and life and loss.

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. OK, so it’s not very secret but whatever. I don’t read YA. I can’t stand YA. I may go so far as to say I loathe it. Yet this book made my ‘Best of the Best’ shelf before I even got a quarter of the way through it.

Gah! I don’t even know what I’m saying here. There’s too many emotions that I’m still feeling even a week after I finished reading.

This, I think, is Anyta Sunday’s masterpiece. It is the best book of hers that I have read. It is the best book I have read all year. I can’t even categorize this because it is in a class of it’s own. I have put this book on a pedestal with a giant spotlight on it and there it shall stay for all time.

I want to say this book was superb but that’s not good enough. I want to say it is wonderful, magnificent, amazing, stunning and awe-inspiring but those aren’t good enough either. Is there something better than fabulous, stupendous or incredible? Something that transcends marvelous, remarkable or spectacular? I can think of only one word.


Bloodstone Breann
There’s nothing loud or overstated about rock. The plot unfolded organically and beautifully. There was heartbreak and moments that I didn’t want to go on, but it wasn’t necessarily because of what was happening (although, there were some gut-wrenching moments) but it was mostly because of my affection for Cooper. His character was so completely developed and real that both the smallest and biggest moments of his life brought me to tears.

I don’t want to go over the plot because I really think it needs to be experienced by the reader through the author’s words. Not my mediocre attempt at rehashing them. I’m even hesitant to call this angst, because then I feel like it sounds forced. Nothing was forced. Even thinking back at the events there weren’t any super huge happenings, nothing I’ve never read before at least. For me, it was all about Cooper. I fell so hard for him that his everyday occurrences (although, unfortunate at times) hit me with so much force I was crying (read: sobbing) throughout the last 50%. And why? I was asking myself the same question. I mean, really? That made me sob? Yeah, it did. I’m telling you, the writing is superb. I had no choice but to feel every moment in Cooper’s life.

Cooper and Jace. Gah. How I loved them together. They formed this inseparable bond, one that Cooper wholly believed in. Even though they were in and out of each other’s lives for years, it didn’t lessen what they had created and shared when they were younger. In fact, I think it proved the pure skill in the writing. They were apart, but I felt, (oh lord how I felt!) that they were completely meant to be. There was symbolism and so much meaning behind every moment they shared. Every moment had a purpose. There wasn’t any wasted space in this novel.

Leave the mascara off, grab your tissues and your unicorn stuffie. You’ll need it. But when it’s all said and done you’ll want to go back to page 1 and get to know Cooper all over again. Don't worry, it’ll be so worth it.

Jordanite Justin
How do you write a positive review for a book that absolutely destroyed you? A book that continuously stomped on your heart time and time again? While I was reading Rock, Lori, who’d already read the book, asked me if I was enjoying it. WHAT? HELL NO I was NOT enjoying it. It’s was slowly fucking KILLING ME! I’m an emotional reader anyway, but the characters created here are so real I physically ached for them. I wasn’t sure how I would feel at the end but I couldn’t put the book down. So with Lori cheering us on, me and my battered heart ignored RL (real life) responsibilities and plowed on. 

Back to my original question, how do you write a positive review for a book like this? Well first I’ll tell you that taken as a whole, it was worth every freaking heartbreaking minute! All of the angst, all of the dread, all of the sorrow was worth it when I read the final page and sighed “WOW, what a fucking ride!” Anyta Sunday puts you through a range of emotions in Rock. I laughed, I swooned and I cried. A LOT! But I don’t regret any of those tears and you won’t either. 

I highlighted several things but now I really don’t want to use any of those highlights in my review. They’re personal and I want you to experience them for the first time in the context of the story as a whole. 

There was one scene that felt unnecessary and slightly contrived. No one else in our group has mentioned it so it’s likely my issue alone. Even if you have a similar reaction to the scene, it’s insignificant and it certainly didn’t detract from my love of the story. 

This is one of the most amazing books I’ve ever read. I give a lot of five-star ratings but few books touch me the way this one did. It’s not an easy read but I cannot stress enough how AMAZING this book is. I highly recommend Rock and I happily claim my spot as “Anyta Sunday’s new bitch”.  

Get your copy NOW!

Lorimar Lorix (me)
I cannot begin to express how much love I have for this book - though I am going to attempt to here.

Friends to lovers is my favourite theme in reading, and this book covers this, but really it is so much more. So much more. I'm going to do my best to review this without any kind of spoilers as well.

So, for those of you not familiar with Anyta Sunday I have to tell you that she is  one of the most skillful story tellers I have had the pleasure to read. It is a pure gift. Her stories are a carefully woven fabrication of characterisation, story arc and emotion. This was absolutely no exception, in fact it's one of the best examples I've ever had the pleasure to read.

Anyta's characters are never, ever two dimensional. Nor are they so quirky as to be ridiculous.Their oddities and quirkiness is part of who they are; not there as audience titillation. They manage to balance this wonderful line so they are human and real and have ticks, but not so they become a parody of a human being. Nor are they ever boring.
I don't know about you but, I've read so many stories where it is hard to tell one character from the next because their thoughts, actions and reactions just blend into one. The skill of this author is being able to tell who you are reading about with no clue other than voice and actions. Even secondary characters are fantastic. I loved Cooper's sister - angry at the world...but able to admit that much of it was her own stubbornness. Lila and even Cooper's dad. They are all amazing characters. It is not a two man show, despite Cooper and Jace being so damn wonderful.

Story Arc:
Feeding a story to a reader, bit by bit, so that even near the end you can't quite be sure of the outcome, is another skill this author possess. She manages to draw you into a story and keep you there, feeding you titbit's as the story unfolds, balancing those wonderful characters with action.
You know those books you can't put down? The ones that have you up til 3am, or burning the dinner, or getting to school/work late or cancelling your party invite because surely a party is not going to be as good as reading this book (come on admit it, it's safe to say it here) - yeah, you know those? This is one. The worst offender IMO. Prepare for a book hangover of highest proportions.
Anyone who thinks the only type of book that is a page turner is a rip-roaring mystery or high action adventure book, really need to read this author. I also need to add a note about the meticulous research the author does. It's rocks in the case of this book - yet we're not dumped with information about rocks, just fed little bits pertinant to the story. Amazing.

Emotion. Oh sweet chocolate bars, the emotion. Anyone who followed our updates on GR will know that not only are tissues required but wine, headache tablets (for the sad induced headache), pepto-bismal, something to cuddle...I'm sure I've forgotten something. Again, this author nails emotion. I NEVER cry when reading - I did in this book. I laughed and I cried and I felt so damn much. Yet, my overriding impression is one of joy and happiness. The sad feels come from being so invested in the characters you want nothing more than their happiness. And in this book, that may come at a price. Please, please don't be put of this by mention of emotion. I'm not an angst fan (honestly JJ, I'm not) but it works so well here. It's not angst for angst's sake. It is just part of the characters' journeys.

I really truly cannot sing high enough praises for this book. I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone. I feel so sad for people who don't get to read this book, who don't get to know the joy of these characters and their story. Please go and read it and then tell your friends about it. Share the love - I know I will be.

This book is available to pre-order now and is released on October 1st. I absolutely and most highly recommend it. A couple of the Unicorn's don't like books with feelz so much - I've challenged them in the CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME to read it though. We'll keep you posted on how that goes down...

To find out more about Anyta Sunday and her books visit Goodreads.

A copy of this story was given to us in exchange for an honest review (though some of us have already ordered our own copies!!)

No comments:

Post a Comment