Wednesday, December 22, 2010

YA BOOK REVIEW: Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

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 Vaughan is an 18-year-old girl whose life changes when she sees three classmates—the band Dumb—stage an impromptu performance on the high school steps. Piper feels the energy but can’t hear the music. Because she’s deaf, she can’t tell if they are actually any good or not. A semi-hostile encounter with the band members afterward leaves her with an opportunity to be their manager IF she can find them a paying gig within a month.

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!

1 comment:

  1. I have this book on my TBR list and I'm really looking forward to reading it! I don't read alot of contemporary YA fiction either, but this one looked really good. I'm glad you enjoyed it!