04. September 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Teen Books · Tags:

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John, 338 pages, read by Angie, on 09/01/2012

Piper somehow finds herself the manager of high school rock band Dumb. She has one month to prove herself as a manager by finding them a paying gig. The only problems: the band is falling apart and Piper is deaf and knows nothing about music.

I really liked this book. It seemed very real with complicated characters and a great story. I love Piper’s journey in the book. She goes from shy wallflower to badass chick. I like her interaction with the band and I liked that all the band members were distinct characters. The girls in the band got a little more attention than the boys (except Ed); we really don’t know that much about Will and Josh. I also really liked Piper’s relationships with her family; they are complicated and messy and real. She resents her baby sister Grace because her parents raided her college fund to pay for Grace’s implants. So now Grace will hear when Piper never will. She is angry with her father because he never learned sign language and doesn’t appear interested in her. Her mother is so busy working and taking care of Grace she has no time for Piper. And her younger brother is at times a pain and a helper. I really liked that Piper doesn’t use her deafness as a crutch. In fact she uses it to manipulate people (which I loved) and help her get out of situations. This isn’t really a book about a deaf girl managing a band it is about a girl coming into her own and figuring out who she really is and who those around her are.

That isn’t to say that the book doesn’t have it’s problems. The band was a little stereotypical with a nerdy drummer, reclusive bassist, over the top self-absorbed singer, angry girl guitarist and pretty girl who knows nothing. Even with the stereotypes though I still enjoyed them. There is also this whole journey to learn about rock legends like Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain. I liked the journey but I can’t believe someone wouldn’t know who Kurt Cobain was especially living in Seattle. Didn’t seem very realistic to me. After all he is mentioned on every MTV and VH1 special imaginable. I also thought the ending was pretty predictable. It left no problem unsolved and no bad guy unpunished. I like my endings a little more vague than this.

But this book is still excellent and worth the read. I devoured it and really enjoyed Piper’s story.

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