Chris's Reviews > Five Flavors of Dumb

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
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's review
Mar 02, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: chick-lit, lis722, ya

When in a rush of uncommon bravado high school senior Piper offers to manage Dumb, her school's most popular student rock band, her family thinks it must be a joke. A retiring student and member of the chess team, Piper is neither the stereotypical band manager nor a typical teen: she is profoundly hearing impaired. After she discovers that her parents have spent the majority of her college money to treat her infant sister's deafness with cochlear implants, Piper's quest to get Dumb a paying gig leads her to consider her managerial role as a potential source of income (School Library Journal)
My Comments:
A smart, funny book with a smart, powerful female character. Piper may be “hearing impaired”, but that doesn’t stop her from taking on anything she puts her mind to – and succeeding. Instead of her deafness characterizing her and being a disability, it's just another part of her. In fact, the abilities of lip-reading and signing that she gained because of her "disability" turn out to be valuable assets that help Dumb get ahead. She is deaf, but deaf is not her. In this case, it’s managing a rock band, called Dumb. The parts of the book that deal with the music industry, creating and recording, are well written and I learned quite a bit. The author also pays a small tribune to Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain, (natives of Seattle?) But as much as music is central to the plot of the book, the story line of Piper’s family history of deafness, and her parents' decision to treat her baby sister, Grace, with cochlear implants was the most interesting to me. The scenes where Piper fought with her dad or exhibited jealousy towards her baby sister seemed real and genuine. The conflict with her dad over learning to sign was believable. I loved the fact that he enrolled himself in a signing class, as well as sister Grace much to Piper’s surprise, and Ed Chin, Piper’s potential love interest is also in the class. This book would be most interesting to high school girls.

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