Sep 18, 2014

My Year Of Epic Rock by Andrea Pyros Blog Tour Review

How to survive the seventh grade? Make some Noise!

A funny relatable tale about friendship, first crushes and…anaphylactic shock?  
It’s the first day of seventh grade, and Nina already can’t wait for the year to be over. When her best friend ditches her to hang out with the popular new girl, Nina is forced to socialize with “her own kind”- banished to the peanut-free table with the other allergy outcasts.

Nina thinks she’s finally found her feet when she forms a band with the other allergic kids called the EpiPens. But then a whole new set of middle school mine fields head her way- like how to win her BFF back and what would happen if she finally kisses her crush for the first time after he’s just eaten a PB&J sandwich.

This rollicking middle-grade debut from journalist Andrea Pyros rings with authenticity, and is a must read story for any tween who has ever struggled to find her place in middle school.  Nina’s journey from shy follower to seventh grade rock star will encourage young readers to stand up for themselves, find their true friends, and make some noise!
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At First Sight
I love the cover of this book.  I think it is a perfect fit for the story and when I saw it the first time, that's what made me want to read the synopsis and request it on NetGalley. (Thank you to Sourcebooks Jabberwocky for the review copy.)  

Characters and Relationships
I loved the Characters in this book.  Nina was a great lead character and living with an 8th grader myself, I felt like she was very authentic.  She has a lot to struggle with as her BFF has made a different BFF over the summer and leaves her hanging for most of the book.  Although she has many allergies, she has been careful enough to eat away from the "peanut free" table throughout her school years, but soon she finds it's the only place that she is soon socially accepted.  The new friends she makes sitting at the peanut free table decide they want to be in the talent show and they start a band fittingly named "The EpiPens".   Nina is the drummer of the band and the story follows her adventure as she reconnects with an old friend, Ethan, and the rest of the EpiPens as they prepare for the talent show as well as navigate in and out of other social situations, learning who her real friends truly are.  

Is This A Kissing Book?
Being a middle grade book, this is definitely not what I would classify as a kissing book.  There may or may not be a little bit of a kiss somewhere, but I'm not here to spoil anything that may happen. You will have to read it and find out how things end up for yourself.  

Dont' Leave Me Hanging
No cliffhanger here.  This was a perfect stand alone book!

The Best Gems
  • T-shirt that reads "Enjoy youself.  It's later than you think."
  • Thin Vitae
  • Flute players in a rock band
  • The band name "EpiPens"
  • Cruel to be Kind
  • Nina's favorite breakfast smoothie
  • Mom's allergy free recipes
  • The dairy farm field trip
The Sum Up
My Year of Epic Rock was an adorable book from start to finish.  As I said before, the voice was authentic as was the story.  I loved following Nina through her ups and downs and feel like this would be a great read for anyone ages 11 and up.   Although I may not read it again, I think it is one that middle school age kids may enjoy over and over.

About the Author

Andrea Pyros has worked as a magazine editor, celebrity interviewer, and cookie wrangler. A native of New York City, Andrea now lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband and their two children, one of whom has food allergies and the other of whom refuses to eat eggs even though he can. 


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