Sunday, May 29, 2011

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Piper is pretty convinced that her life sucks. Her best friend (her only friend) just moved away. Students and teachers ignore her. She dreams of going away to university in a year, but her parents just spent her college fund on a cochlear implant for her baby sister. This hits Piper particularly hard because she, too, is deaf, and sees her parents as wanting to ‘fix’ their other daughter so she won’t be an embarrassment to them like Piper is. Then she sees Dumb perform. They’ve recently won a Seattle Battle of the Bands, but no one is sure why. Twin brothers (one a silent perfectionist, the other the egomaniacal front man) and a punk bassist make up the band. In a rare moment of bravado, Piper volunteers to manage them, promising to get them a paying gig within a month. Soon, two more members join the group: a nerdy drummer and a hot girl who can’t really play guitar. It will take all five flavors of Dumb to get them – and Piper – on the right track.

The ways that relationships play out over the course of this book are what make it so strong. The family dynamics in particular are so complicated - Piper feels hurt and betrayed by her parents, her brother has his own issues, and her parents are trying to do what they think is best for all of their children. Piper isn't always easy to get along with, but I was able to empathize with her. This is a great choice for people looking for a music-based book, a book with a deaf protagonist, or just a good book, period.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Rock Star Superstar by Blake Nelson
Adios, Nirvana by Conrad Wesselhoeft
The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk
Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby
Struts and Frets by Jon Skovron

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