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14 December 2010

Book Review: Five Flavors of Dumb

Five Flavors of DumbFive Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
Cover graphic and description courtesy of Goodreads.

Publication Date: 11 November 2010.

I received an ARC of Five Flavors of Dumb from Good Golly Miss Holly.

The Challenge: Piper has one month to get the rock band Dumb a paying gig.
The Deal: If she does it, Piper will become the band's manager and get her share of the profits.
The Catch: How can Piper possibly manage one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl? And how can she do it when she's deaf?

Piper can't hear Dumb's music, but with growing self-confidence, a budding romance, and a new understanding of the decision her family made to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, she discovers her own inner rock star and what it truly means to be a flavor of Dumb.


The Tweet
Piper has 30 days to find a paying gig for the band Dumb. The twist? Piper is deaf. Can this enterprising young woman meet the challenge?

What Worked (for me)
Despite the jacket copy, Five Flavors of Dumb wasn't just about a deaf girl trying to manage a rock band. It's about a young girl discovering herself and becoming the person she was meant to be. This might sound cliche, but Five Flavors of Dumb is a great coming of age novel that explores hardship and perserverance through tough times. I liked how John incorporated deaf culture into the story, but didn't make it the main focus. Readers learned about the divide between those who have cochlear implants (like Piper's sister, Grace) and those who don't (like Piper), but the story's focus is on Piper and the relationship she has with her family, as well as those she forms with the band members of Dumb.

Besides Piper, the other character I really liked was her brother Finn. Because Finn is hearing, Piper sometimes uses him as a go-between when she was trying to communicate with other hearing individuals. I liked how Finn was willing to help his sister out, but still stood up for himself when he felt Piper was using him for her own means. Finn made Piper see that sometimes when he was interpreting her words, others translated those words as his own.

Five Flavors of Dumb is in turn funny and serious and grabs readers with it's honest look at a girl struggling to define herself. Piper is an excellent main character who was easy to connect with. Add in the rock history and Five Flavors of Dumb is a great story that will interest many different readers.



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