Melissa reviews Rock by Anyta Sunday, published October 1st 2014 by Sunday Publications, 251 pages
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?
It’s taken me a while to write this review because this was a difficult story to read. It’s full of heartbreak and feelings of betrayal, enemies to friends to lovers, family drama and most of all, uncertainty.
The story begins with Cooper arriving home to the news that his parents are getting a divorce. He’s not surprised by this news, yet he is at the same time. He’s not blind to his parents troubles but I would think like most children he doesn’t fully understand what goes on between a man and wife behind closed doors. Cooper’s sister is siding with their mother and wants nothing to do with their father, or his new family. Cooper, stressed over what’s going on, turns to his rocks, his worry stones, his secret keepers, his friends.
Cooper loves his father and his mother, but with maturity beyond his years, he does spend time with his father (after about a month of not). The real torment starts when Cooper meets his step-brother, Jace. Jace calls Cooper’s father, dad. Dad. Cooper does not like this revelation and is resentful of the fact that his father has spent so much time with Jace that he calls him dad. The two boys get off to a very rocky and angry start; Jace does try but he can afford to be magnanimous as it’s not his family that was broken up like Coopers. However, through time and perseverance, Jace wears Cooper down so they can be friends.
They grow closer through Cooper’s love of rocks, Jace’s love of music, and caves with glowworms that look like stars. It’s lovely to watch these two boys grow to trust and care for each other. They still have some hard times, but they’re boys, so of course they do. The book takes us from Cooper and Jace as young teens on to adulthood, with so much going on in the years between.
I really don’t want to reveal a big spoiler, so I will say that Cooper and Jace both develop feelings for the other, but they are step-brothers (right?) and fear what their parents would think.
Eventually, they can’t go on the way they are and decide no matter what their family feels or thinks, they want to be together, forever. There are a roller coaster of emotions in this book and I kept wishing for them to stop fighting and get together, to finally say enough. My heart broke for Cooper when Jace (who is bisexual) had girlfriends, and boyfriends. My heart broke for Jace when Cooper had a boyfriend. Their timing always seemed to be off.
This left me with a severe book hangover and you should be prepared for the same; have lots of time to sit down to absorb this book in large stretches of time because you will not want to be interrupted once you start. Highly recommend this book. If you don’t like angsty books, you should steer clear; but it has a beautiful ending.
A born and raised New Zealander from Wellington, I’ve been exploring the literary world since I started reading Roald Dahl as a kid. Stories have been piling up in my head ever since. Fast forward to my mid-twenties and jump a few countries (Germany, America, and back again), I started to put them to paper.
My genre of choice is romance, both adult and YA, gay and straight. You can take a closer look at my books, available as e-books for download in many formats!
When I’m not pushing my characters deeper into adventure, I chase my son around the house and fight my two comical cats for the desk chair.