Sunday, October 14, 2012

Book Review: Five Flavors of Dumb

Title: Five Flavors of Dumb
Author: Antony John
Publisher: Dial
Rating: 4

Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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.

Review: It took me a while to catch on to Piper's way of communication mainly because she can sign and talk. This threw me off a few times, but I got the hang of it eventually. Just because deaf people can't hear, doesn't mean that they don't have other ways that they can "hear." I kept telling myself that Piper could "hear" Dumb perform by feeling the vibrations. Reading Five Flavors of Dumb, you have to keep your mind open to this and other different things that Piper experiences because most young adult books don't have the main character deaf or blind, instead they are, in a way, "perfect."

That's one of the main reasons I enjoyed reading this book. Five Flavors of Dumb is unique compared to other young adult novels simply because Piper is deaf. Parts of Piper's story I could relate to. When her younger, also deaf, sister Grace recieves ear implants and starts to hear again, Piper feels left out. In a way, most older siblings feel that the younger child is more important. I feel like that sometimes. Later on in the story, I was happy to see a different side of Piper's father who I wasn't the biggest fan of in the beginning but was encouraging towards the end.

The band members in Dumb, Finn, Ed, Josh, Kallie, Tash and Will all help Piper find a sense of belonging. After becoming the band's manager, she has something to claim as her own even if nobody really had faith in her. She had faith in herself. She never gave up. She stood up for what she believed in. Piper is the perfect role model for anyone with or without disabilities. In a world full of "perfects" this book helped me escape into a world full of "uniques" which is why I'm sure most teens would enjoy reading it.

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