Sunday, July 28, 2013


My awesome crit partner, Liz Arroyo, sent me FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB by Antony John. First, I was supremely excited because it was an unexpected book present. I love getting books as presents. They're the best, right? Second, isn't this an awesome cover? And then you've got the quote from The Philadelphia Inquirer saying this book is "A love letter to rock music." I grew up on alternative rock music so anything that takes me back to the days of Nirvana, Toadies, and Pearl Jam--I love. Third, there was a sweet note from Liz saying this book made her "laugh, cry, and cheer." So, needless to say, I was eager to tear into this one.

Here's a summary from Goodreads:

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.

What I enjoyed about this book:

  • The evolution that becomes Piper Vaughan, the main character. She irrevocably changes from the beginning to the end of the book--I love it when novels do this well.
  • The rock music (the music came off the page) and the realistic portrayal of the problems that come with trying to get a bunch of teenagers together to play music.
  • I don't know or understand the intricacies of leading life as a deaf teenager. Antony John does a great job of showing how Piper gets through life with her capacity to read lips, but that this too has limitations. He touches on the dynamics of a family that not only has one deaf child, but two, and then throws a third kid in the mix--a middle child that can hear perfectly fine.
  • Piper may be deaf but she's also been blind in some senses to the world around her, specifically Ed. He sucks at chess but joins chess club just to spend time with her. It's one of those not-obvious-love-stories that isn't all sweaty palms and burning cheeks. It's genuine and well written.


  1. Sounds like a great book! I love the way you described her relationship with Ed. And yes, unexpected book presents are awesome! :)

  2. This sounds like a great book. Love the premise!!!