Friday, August 8, 2014

Review: My Year of Epic Rock by Andrea Pyros

If life was like a song…
Nina Simmon’s song would be “You Can’t Always Eat What You Want.” (Peanut allergies, ugh!) But that’sOK, because as her best friend Brianna always said, “We’re All in This Together.”
Until the first day of seventh grade, when Brianna dumps her to be BFFs with the popular new girl. Left all alone, Nina is forced to socialize with “her own kind,” banished to the peanut-free table with the other allergy outcasts. As a joke, she tells her new pals they should form their own rock band called the EpiPens. (Get it?) Apparently, allergy sufferers don’t understand sarcasm, because the next thing Nina knows, she’s the lead drummer.
Now Nina has to decide: adopt a picture-perfect pop personality to fit in with Bri and her new BFF or embrace her inner rocker and the spotlight.

As someone who loves music and played in a band in college, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to read this book.

In My Year of Epic Rock, Nina finds out that her best friend has ditched her to become best friends with a popular girl in their class. She ends up spending time with other kids in her class with food allergies and after one thing leads to another, they decide to form a band for their school's talent show.

I thought this book would have more scenes showing what it's like to play instruments and be in a band, but that's okay because the book already has plenty of things going on.

Nina's relationship with her former best friend felt pretty authentic to me. I was pleasantly surprised, though, that Shelley, the popular girl who becomes friends with Nina's best friend Brianna, wasn't the typical mean girl and was actually quite nice.

Nina's band was lucky because they have a great studio to practice in and they have someone who can advice them on song choices. Based on experience, studio time is expensive. Also, I thought it was cute that during their first ever practice, they assumed that they would already be able to play a song together from the get-go. Unless all of you have had years of practice and can play a song by ear, or based on chords provided, or already know how to play the song, that's not going to happen.

Anyway, what I didn't expect but I liked anyway was the focus on food allergies. You really get a feel for what it's like to have food allergies. This would be a great resource to help kids understand their peers who have allergies.

Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Jabberwocky for the e-ARC. Publication date of My Year of Epic Rock is on September 1, 2014.


  1. It's a fun, easy read.
  2. It helps kids understand life with food allergies.
  3. It mentions a number of great songs. 


  1. Some may crave more band scenes. 

And being around him felt like the best Friday-before-spring-break feeling in the world. 

  1. You or your child has food allergies.
  2. You want to help your child understand what it's like for people with food allergies.
  3. Your child has had a falling out with their best friend.



Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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