Thursday, December 18, 2014

[Review: Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John]

"Five Flavors of Dumb"
Author: Antony John
Series: None
Pages: 338
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Music
Date Published: November 11th, 2010
Publisher: Dial
Format Read: Hardcover from the library


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.

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To Five Flavors Of Dumb,

I'm in love with you. There, I said it. You're the kind of book that I can get lost in. A book about music, that is about the emotion and the feeling that it gives you. A book that about strong family dynamics. A book that has other issues then the drama of a high school band. And a swoony love story that doesn't take over the rest of the plot. You book, are a great one!

-The White Unicorn

I have to admit that I wasn't expecting much when I started reading this book. I knew it would be fun and I thought the premise was promising, but I never would have guessed how amazing the story would be. John has written a book that is truly special. It's an ode to the music that came out of Seattle, and the grunge era that I personally love. There are whole passages about music and the feelings it gives the characters that made me teary eyed, and not many "music books" can do that for me. 

I adore Piper. She's a total smart-ass and she knows it. In fact that's how she ends up as Dumb's manager. She mouths off a bit and next thing you know she's in charge of a three person band (which quickly turns into a five person band). Thing is, she's deaf. It's a brilliant plot device and John uses it to really bring us into Piper's almost silent world. The thing is, you never feel cut off, because she can feel the feelings of music better than most people with full hearing. It also brings us a lot of family drama, the kind that is realistic, not the soap opera kind. The band and the people Piper meets a long the way help her lighten up a bit (okay, more than a bit) and find out who she really is. 

The book even delves into the culture of Seattle's music scene. The band ends up at Kurt Cobain's house, as well as Jimi Hendrix's (even though his isn't standing anymore). I loved that John made sure to dive into the music history of the book setting. It makes me excited that the younger generations are reading about these music greats in a way that makes sense to them. Also, I loved how much Piper's dad was a closet music buff.

The dynamics between the band itself were well played out. A lot of drama happens, but it was cool to see that in the end they were just a family of misfits that all fit together perfectly. Or almost perfectly, if we're being picky. It was also fun to see Piper become friends with the other girls in the band and to see her come to the realization that one of the fellows had been in love with her for years.

On top of all of that, I loved Piper's family. Her relationship with each member was different and interesting to watch. I really loved how Piper and her younger brother Finn interacted. He seemed like a really cool dude. 

If you love music and interesting characters that deal with big issues in realistic ways, this is the book for you!

    5 Unicorns = Get your hands on this NOW!

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