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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Review: Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

What comes to your mind when you hear the word "Dumb"?

It's probably nothing good, but don't let that stop you from reading Antony John's book. It sure didn't stop me. :)

Title: Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
Pages: 352
Release Date: November 11, 2010
Published by: Dial
Source: Borrowed (Thanks Tina!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


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.

So how exactly would Piper manage a band when she has no idea what kind of music they play? Piper cannot hear Dumb's music, or any other music for that matter, because she's deaf.

Five Flavors of Dumb tells the story of Piper, a studious girl with good grades, a great student, and she's generally that. Good. But Piper is about to learn that managing a group of kids who play music is not easy, and that Piper would realize, along the way, that there's more to a band than just playing together.

I love how every bit of this novel just spoke to me. Real, and has insights on how it is to be a kid who just wants to make everyone realize that being deaf does not make a person feel less about herself. Piper is a girl everyone can relate to. I felt sympathy for her, hated her family for not understanding her, especially her father. It was pitiful how Piper couldn't even get support from her parents, and instead makes her feel that she is different, that she's DEAF, and along with that, that she would never be normal.

But as I read on, I feel somewhat ashamed that I judged all of them on the spot. Probably one of the biggest mistakes I made while reading, but it's what made it an emotional read for me. It's a good thing Piper's family was able to redeem themselves in the end. :)

Piper's journey with Dumb is full of lessons we can all relate to. In Five Flavors of Dumb, we see Piper grow and break out of her shell, struggling to define who she really is. She dyed her hair pink, for goodness sake! Incredulous, yet to Piper, it means a lot. And I love just how she was able to pull through everything with her strength.

It touched my heart to discover more about legends like Kurt Cobain, and geniuses like Jimi Hendrix. These great people have provided Piper a much needed dose of reality, and how it really is in the world of music. I was very emotional reading about these parts, and it kind of made me sad that I didn't have an opportunity to get to know these great people when they were still alive. However, their music made them immortal. In the eyes of the fans, of the people who loved them.

And as in all great stories are great supporting characters. Five Flavors of Dumb has a healthy line-up of supporting characters whom we can all understand somehow. They are the different "flavors", the different types of people that made up the band. Diverse and unique in their own way. I really loved Finn out of all of them. Finn, though young, is a person with a deep understanding of music, and maybe life itself even at an early age. I think more than helping Piper coach the other Dumb members, it was Finn's guidance that stirred Piper into the right path. Ironic, considering that Piper is older than Finn.

The only other book that I've read which I loved is Shrinking Violet, and even though I adored that book also because of it's musical theme, I have to say that Five Flavors of Dumb just rocked my world!

P.S. I wouldn't even complain even if this book doesn't have any romance in it, but it actually does! Which made reading it more enjoyable!

My rating

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!

Book Cover:

Book cover crush alert! The cover is just fabulous!



  1. Great review! I love the cover to this one and the whole idea of having a deaf manager of a band is cool. I think I might be getting this pretty soon:)

  2. Wonderful review! I haven't heard of this title before, but it sounds like an uplifting read. I love a book that can challenge our perceptions about people.

  3. Glad to read you loved it so much. I like the idea of music inspired stories as well so I'll have to grab a copy of this one. Thanks so much for the review!


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