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Five Flavors of Dumb
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Five Flavors of Dumb

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  6,798 ratings  ·  877 reviews
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'...more
Hardcover, 338 pages
Published November 11th 2010 by Dial
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Just Listen by Sarah DessenIf I Stay by Gayle FormanThis Lullaby by Sarah DessenWhere She Went by Gayle FormanNick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn
YA Music Books
10th out of 295 books — 548 voters
Just Listen by Sarah DessenIf I Stay by Gayle FormanThis Lullaby by Sarah DessenNick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel CohnWhere She Went by Gayle Forman
Fiction Involving Music
16th out of 509 books — 751 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 14, 2011 Flannery rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People Looking for a Unique Voice in YA
Recommended to Flannery by: Nic
I’ve started a list of books set in Seattle and Western Washington. For obvious reasons, I like reading about people I could hypothetically pass on the street. (if they somehow managed to jump out of books…hey, I’ve read The Eyre Affair and Inkheart so I’m not ruling it out) I think about Sam and his friends playing potato hockey every time I go over to University Village. I think about Georgina Kincaid prowling the streets when it is eerily quiet outside at night, I think of Jade and Sebastian...more
Piper has one month to get her high school band, Dumb, a paying gig and if she succeeds she gets to become the band's much needed manger. The only problem is, how do you manage a crumbling band into rising stardom when you don't even know if they're any good?
See...Piper's deaf.

Going into this book, I had zero expectations and pretty much thought it was just another fluffy piece about high school, music and teenage angsts. wrong was I?

Five Flavors of Dumb is an inspiring and humorous s...more
Jun 25, 2012 Catie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Catie by: Flannery
Shelves: read-in-2012, ya
3 1/2 stars

I don’t often read or enjoy “feel-good” books and that’s most certainly what this is, although; I will grant that it does take a while to find its way into corn-country. However, sometimes I do get bogged down by all the darkness and depression. Sometimes I just need a little refresher. Luckily for me, there are a few things that can help circumvent my “corn-free” policy. A few of these things are:

Nerdery/Geekery in all its forms
Off-beat humor
A unique voice
Soft rock anthems
I sort of rode into my teenage musical awakening on my older siblings’ grunge/post-grunge coat tails. Well, since coats aren’t very grunge, maybe the tails of their oversized flannel shirts. Which means that as my social circle nudged the periphery of theirs, it was Nirvana and Pearl Jam playing in darkened living rooms, The Stone Temple Pilots and Silverchair’s “Frogstomp” in the car CD player etc etc

Now that I’m older, and I find myself getting a bit crotchety when I see a kid in those of thos...more
Rating: 4.5 stars

Favourite Quote: "Music. It's not about those things. It's about a feeling. It's about expressing yourself. It's about letting go."

I have being trying to write this review for days and I am having a hard time trying to sum up what makes Five Flavors of Dumb so special from most other coming of age stories. It could be Piper's believable and heart felt voice or the loveable bunch of supporting characters or the constantly entertaining plot or the wonderful writing. But whatever t...more
May 30, 2011 Cara rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: music enthusiast
You know how people say that something is made of awesome? Well this book is really made of awesome. The concept is golden. A girl who is deaf managing a band? Does that even work? Oh yes it can.

Piper Vaughan is eighteen, a good student that gets stellar grades, president of the chess club, and deaf. Oddly enough she gets recruited to be the manager of the local high school band Dumb. She has her reservations at first of course, but the recent emptying of her college fund drives her to try this...more
Mike Mullin
I wish I hadn't read this book. Well, not really, but there's a chance I might meet the author in November, and now I'm going to have to put on a wig and pretend like I'm not really Mike Mullin because I'll be too nervous to meet him.

Anyway, the book: insane humor and gentle humanity wrapped in a cloak of grunge rock attitude. Five Flavors of Dumb is six flavors of brilliant!
Steph Su
Antony John’s novel would more appropriately be called Five Flavors of AWESOME. This rocking good book will make you want to jump up and cheer, for wonderful characters, great narration, and an absorbing and uplifting tale.

I’m really quite bowled over at how well John captures the voice of a teenage girl. Piper may be deaf, but she struggles with many of the same issues as other teenagers: her dreams of independence and acceptance battle her sense of familial obligation, she wishes she could ble...more
Dec 29, 2010 Tina rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tina by: Capillya
Shelves: ebooks, 2010, contemporary, ya
Original post at One More Page

In 2007, I wrote a NaNoWriMo novel with my main character as the manager and the guitarist of a Christian band. I had a pretty good idea for a story, really, with the band looking for a female vocalist and I figured the hardest part was writing about their chemistry. It turned out it wasn't. The hardest part was writing about music because even if I've helped produced some concerts before, I still didn't know how it feels like to be in an actual band, or even to jus...more
One word: Emotional.

Which is crazy because that was NOT the way I'd expected to react to this novel. It's about a rock band! It's called FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB!

And yet this novel has so many layers and story arcs and relationships that I found myself getting totally, completely invested in it. The main character, Piper (yeah, she doesn't love the irony of it) is deaf, and yet finds herself manager of a mess of a rock band, with thirty days to get these guys a paying gig-- or lose her job.

It's an...more
I had very high expectations for Five Flavors of Dumb and therefore am a little disappointed although I can say that overall; I had a good time reading the book. It was a quick read, but on a whole, more on the forgettable side than something that made a lasting impression.

Piper is the new manager of Dumb, a high school band riding on a wave of quickly fading popularity after winning a local contest. Nothing special you say? Well, Piper is deaf. Will she be able to contradict her classmates’ pre...more
It's hard for me to put into words how much I enjoyed reading "Five Flavors of Dumb." Antony John presents a brilliantly savvy, realistic voice through Piper, a deaf teen who ends up - inadvertently - becoming a manager for a rising teen rock band called "Dumb". It became clear to me from the opening paragraph of the novel that I would be in for a ride with a protagonist that would actively question the decision of the band naming themselves Dumb. At first, I kept thinking this might be a lighth...more
Five Flavors of Dumb is a novel I’ve had on my radar for awhile, but one I simply brushed off a countless number of times. It was never a priority on my list, but when I found myself stranded waiting for a long time with nothing to read but this novel on my Kindle, I decided to give it a shot. Well, it would be an understatement to say I was pleasantly surprised because more than anything, I was simply astounded by the depth of this tale. Five Flavors of Dumb is more than “just another music...more
This was such a refreshing YA read. I loved this book, it was so different from others in that it wasn't a coming of age focused on a romance, but on the main character's own personal development.

Piper is deaf. She makes a deal with the members of the band Dumb to be their manager and get them a paying gig by the end of the month. She can't hear the music but to her its all about the feeling you got watching the band perform. As the book goes on she becomes really invested in shaping the band t...more
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
Five Flavors of Dumb is hard to describe and simultaneously do it justice-- most superficially, it's about a band named Dumb and a deaf girl aptly named Piper who serves as their manager.

Things I loved, and there are many. As a reader, my heart and soul is in characters, their development and their relationships with each other. And boy, was this book a rich breeding ground for that love. In most typical books, there are one or two characters who stand out in my mind as favorites, but in this bo...more
Kat (Le Pauvre Cœur)
True rating; 3.5

Being the manager of an oddball band called Dumb isn't easy. Especially when you're deaf.
Already struggling at home Piper Vaughn is doing just that.
Let's be honest; Piper's life kind of sucks. Her parents ignore her because of new baby Grace, particularly her father who doesn't know how to sign and fails to communicate even just by talking. It turns out her parents took money out of her college fund to buy hearing implants to Grace, so now she and her family are broke.

When Dumb...more
Five Flavors of Dumb is the cream of YA genre. I loved this book to pieces! Educational, inspiring and just plain fun!

It is a story about 18-years-old deaf girl who became school rock band manager. Quit simple plot, isn’t it?

At first I was a little bit concern about male author writing from female POV. But Antony John did a wonderful job. If I didn’t knew I would never guess it was written by a man.

Piper became one of my favorite characters! Not even once was she annoying or unreasonable in any...more
Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers (2010) and as part of the Nerds Heart YA Tournament 2011


Ana's Take:

Five Flavors of Dumb was one of my notable reads of 2010 and I was super happy when I heard it made the final of this tournament. I think this is a book that celebrates diversity in a very positive, uplifting way and it well deserves to be in the final. In the interest of being totally fair, I decided to read it again to see how it would fare on second reading. And do you know…I...more

Absolutely, positively, and profoundly AMAZING!

Piper is trying to bring the high school rock band "Dumb" some paying gigs on a certain dare. And given that fact that she is deaf isn't an incentive to the situation.

She struggles not to be jealous of her baby sister who has had a cochlear implant surgery and now can hear almost perfectly, of her brother who has escaped her fate altogether, angry at her father who refuses to sign when it is her preferable way to communicate.

Her band "Dumb", also h...more
Wendy F
I bought this book a long while ago. The back synopsis at the bookstore made me curious but once I got it I just kept pushing it off for other books.

What a friggin damn shame!

This was a really good book. I'm astounded that it was written by a man. I'm not trying to say that men can't write, they can. There have been many books written by men that I enjoyed, even books that contained a romance. I'm astounded though, because in my experience those books MC's are generally men (or boys). As I type...more
If the cover doesn't get you to read it, then the blurb will:

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 ro
I must confess I don't really like hard rock music. I never did but this book has really achieved something in giving me a better image of rock music.

Honestly, i dont find Five Flavors of dumb a catchy title but thanks to the high ratings given to this book here in goodreads, i got curious enough to give it a try. Indeed, this book is really great! I love every part of it--the characters, the plot, the theme. Who would have thought that a deaf girl can be a manager of a rock band and Piper is p...more
Inspired Kathy
Giveaway for this great book on my blog until 12/19/10!!


ARC Tour - 4.5 Stars - Great book!

Anthony John created a well written story with quirky, likable characters. A good mix of humor, romance, family drama, music and friendship make this an enjoyable read.


Content: Some language including 1 F bomb.
Parthiv Gajjala
Five Flavours of Dumb by Anthony John is a book which talks about the importance of friendship, love and most of all, emotions. Piper is a high school senior hired to be the temporary manager of a talented but disengaged school band called Dumb. The task is to get them a paying gig to be guaranteed a permanent job. All is fine, but how do you get them to stardom if you don't even know how they play! Hint: (Piper's Deaf)

Anthony John has done a fine job by writing the book through Piper's point of...more

It's so wonderful. I don't even have the words for it -- Piper's strength, Finn's awesomeness, Ed's adorablenesss, the growth of the band... READ IT. Go read it. And then you'll understand my speechlessness.

This was such a sweet book about a family, friendship, love and music.
Last 25% blew me away!
I am a big fan of Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain so this was pretty awesome to me.
Brandy Painter
Review originally posted here.

I almost did not finish reading this all of the way through. The prose did not engage me at all. There were many times within the first 100 pages when I was bored. Bored with the characters, who I found to be very two dimensional. Bored with the predictability of the plot. Bored with how many times the author used the band's name as a double entendre (actually that was old by the end of chapter three). I saw how the author was trying to be clever, but it seemed like...more
This book has been on my radar for a while when it first caught my attention back in November ‘10, when I saw that it had a deaf protagonist. It’s rare to find characters with disabilities in YA outside of an issues book, and the blurb sounded great. Combine that with the fact that everyone and their dog has been praising this book, and my need to read it grew pretty dang high, as did my expectations.

Let’s just say I was not disappointed. At all.

I’ll get the bad stuff out of the way first, becau...more
Piper's world has come to a screeching halt. Her future dreams crushed by the decision of her parents to spend what money she had saved on her baby sister's new cochlear implant. A decision that not only impacts her college aspirations, but also her potential relationship with her baby sister. Because, see, Piper is deaf too. Now her only opportunity to afford a very expensive college tuition is her sudden appointment as the band manager for Dumb. Just off a win at the local "Battle of the Bands...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
After spending years working with children with various disabilities, I find I can be pretty critical of books with characters with special needs. In the case of FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB, I was worried at first. Though I am hearing, I did my graduate program in education at Gallaudet. In addition to my experience as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher, I have also been a Special Education Administrator. I had to wonder, as I started, how much would this book irritate me or how much would it ring true...more
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Wild Things: YA G...: December 2013- 5 Flavors of Dumb by Antony John 1 10 Dec 03, 2013 02:32PM  
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  • Harmonic Feedback
  • A Little Wanting Song
  • Struts & Frets
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  • Split
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  • The Piper's Son
  • Sorta Like a Rock Star
  • Sean Griswold's Head
  • The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon—and me, Ruby Oliver  (Ruby Oliver, #3)
  • Stupid Fast
  • The Half-Life of Planets
  • Like Mandarin
  • Somebody Everybody Listens To
  • Rock On
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  • Fall for Anything
  • Flash Burnout
Antony John was born in England and raised on a balanced diet of fish and chips, obscure British comedies, and ABBA's Greatest Hits. In a fit of teenage rebellion, he decided to pursue a career in classical music, culminating in a BA from Oxford University and a PhD from Duke University. Along the way, he worked as an ice cream seller on a freezing English beach, a tour guide in the Netherlands, a...more
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“Don’t worry about wanting to change; start worrying when you don’t feel like changing anymore. And in the meantime, enjoy every version of yourself you ever meet, because not everybody who discovers their true identity likes what they find.” 119 likes
“He was depressed. He was addicted to heroin. And I think there comes a time when all the beauty in the world just isn’t enough.” 49 likes
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