I don’t read a whole lot of contemporary YA fiction. I think it’s best appreciated by...well...young adults. However, I did find the premise of Antony John’s new book, Five Flavors of Dumb, intriguing, so I decided to give it a try. And the book delivered!
Piper throws herself into managing the band. Unfortunately, Dumb needs serious help. The members have raw talent and energy but their possibilities are overshadowed by their disorganization and personality conflicts.
While Piper is doing all she can to get the dysfunctional band mates in line, we learn what is going on in her life. Her father was recently laid off. Then her parents raided her college fund to pay for cochlear implants for her baby sister. Now, her family is wrapped up in baby Grace’s recovery. With each of Grace’s achievements, Piper is left feeling increasingly alone and flawed. To prove herself, to find her own identity again, it becomes more and more important that the band succeed, even as it becomes more and more likely that it will self-destruct.
Five Flavors of Dumb is heartfelt, sensitive, and funny. There are surprises along the way as the characters learn things about themselves and each other. Piper is a strong and likeable protagonist and readers will root for her success.
And any reader can appreciate this book—whether you’re a teen or a parent of one!