Title: Five Flavors of DUMB Author: Antony John Publisher: Dial, 352 Pages (November 11th 2010) From:Antony, Thank You!
Synopsis:THE CHALLENGE: Piper has one month to get a paying gig for Dumb—the hottest new rock band in school.
THE DEAL: If she does it, she'll become manager of the band and get her share of the profits, which she desperately needs since her parents raided her college fund.
THE CATCH: Managing one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl who is ready to beat her up. And doing it all when she's deaf. With growing self-confidence, an unexpected romance, and a new understanding of her family's decision to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, Piper just may discover her own inner rock star.
Review: 4 Stars - Antony John’s Five Flavors of DUMB has a bit of everything. Highs, lows, family and all the troubles growing up with siblings, romance, teen issues, music with highlights that include some amazing and extremely interesting facts from musicians from the distant and not so distant past. John has taken a girl with a disability and made her into a hero of sorts, creating a character that has something to teach us all and does an amazing job doing just that.
Piper, our main character of the story is deaf. She lost her hearing at a young age and is the oldest child of three. Her teenage brother is a trouble maker, but had much to give to just who Piper was as a person. Her younger sister – an infant - was born deaf and without Pipers knowledge her parents raided her college fund to give her sister cochlear implant surgery to correct this defect.
All hell breaks loose – so to speak - leaving Piper feeling not only alone, but not knowing what to do to make her college dreams come true. In walk the members of DUMB. A band from her high school who just won a recently battle of the bands. She stands up to them and offers a deal that’s too good to pass up. Get DUMB a paying gig within a month and split the profits evenly or just walk away, no harm done. Piper thinks it’s easy, a no brainier so to speak. However, being deaf might just create a bit of a problem when you’re dealing with music and the musicians behind the music.
With a cast of characters or flavors as Piper likes to call them, trouble and up hill battles are right around the corner. How this quiet meek girl can turn this and her life around in just 4 weeks is anyone’s guess?
I enjoyed watching the characters come together when they needed each other most. I loved the walks down memory lane, learning about rock stars from the past who have long since left this world – all untimely. Piper is such an amazing character to read and I found that if I thought back to my teenage years I could more then relate too much she was going through. John has done wonders with this character and put just the right spin on things to make these teenagers feel more then real.
The romance was perfect and worked well fitting in with just who Piper was. It was great to see her change not only because of the members of the band and because of her love interest but also because of her family.
All in all – John has created a pretty amazing teen novel, finding just the right rhythm to have a hit on his hands. Fans of strong likeable characters and music will find much to love. I for one will be eager to read more from this author in the future and will be on the look out for his next novel. I highly recommend this book to lovers of YA – big and small. *note, there is some swearing in this book. Not all that much, but some, so please keep that in mind for younger readers.
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