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Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary

Release Date: 11/11/2010

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About the Book: Piper has just taken on a challenge-get the band Dumb a paying gig in the next month and she can be their manager. Piper doesn't know much about rock music, let alone how get the five members of Dumb to actually play together as a band. The band is slowly falling apart, but Piper needs the job to pay so she can add to her college fund. It doesn't help that Piper herself has no idea if Dumb is any good. Everyone keeps wondering how a deaf girl can manage a rock band, but Piper is out to prove them wrong.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: First off, I have to apologize to Mr. John. I've had this book on my review shelf and it took me a long time to read it. I think part of me was afraid to pick it up because Antony John is a Missouri author and how horrible would it be to not like a local author?

Well, I shouldn't have worried-I loved this book! I should have read it when I first got it. Why did I keep putting it off?? Seriously, if you're thinking about reading this book, put everything else down right now and read it. You'll read it in one sitting because it's so much fun.

Piper is a fun character you can't help but root for. Her growth from shy girl who hides into a strong, kick-butt girl who can take on a band and the rock music world is so much fun to read. It's a journey you want to go on with Piper and cheer her on the entire way.

The cast of characters is eccentric and varied. I loved how each member of the band was different and added something else to the plot. I also loved that first impressions weren't always correct, but not in a cliched way. The character development throughout felt real.

There are lots of layers to the story in addition to Piper. There's Piper's relationship with her parents-Piper struggles to get along with her father who recently lost his job and never learned to sign, so Piper feels rejected and not good enough. She has a baby sister who is also deaf, but her parents have raided her college fund to pay her implants for her sister so she can have a chance at hearing, leaving Piper feeling left out. Piper and the band are also embarking on a journey to learn about rock music and the importance of music. It's such a richly layered story that kept surprising me at each turn of the page. I loved how much was packed into the story, yet it never felt like it was ever bogged down in too many storylines. Instead it added a nice depth and made it that much better.

There's a bit of romance mixed in with some humor which makes this book have nice mix. While some of bands exploits and experiences are a bit unrealistic, it's fun to dream! If you want a great book that you won't want to put down, pick up Five Flavors of Dumb-it'll leave a smile on your face!


  1. Saw this post in my Twitter feed and I completely lit up! SO glad to hear you loved it. I think it's top notch YA (and reading, period), and I'm glad to see more and more positive reviews popping up about it. =)

  2. sounds pretty interesting, hope they have this one at my library.

  3. I don't know why, but cover + title = me not interested at all. Ashamed to say I judge books by their covers; I'll go back and add this one to my queue, though!

  4. This is such a fantastic book! I picked it up after the ALA awards and am so happy I did. I read it towards the end of this past school year, so I hope it gains popularity this coming school year. Great review! :)

    -Sarah @ Y.A. Love

  5. I read this book recently and really liked it! I loved all the different things going on in this book and will definitely recommend it to students this coming year

  6. I really liked this as well, definitely recommend it!

  7. This was the book that kicked-off my 2011 reading and I loved it. I have recommended it so many times that it hasn't been on the shelf since we got it. What a fun, funny, feel-good book.

  8. I loved this book and so far, so have all the kids who have read it. I loved the rock history in it, and the characters were wonderful. It was such a fun read!

  9. Yaaaay! We love Antony John! I am thinking I need to give him my ILOA pin. ;)

  10. Thanks for the awesome review, Sarah, and to everyone for commenting. (Oh, yes, and thanks for opening up the comments especially so that I can leave this note!)

    It's so wonderful to hear that librarians are getting my book into their teen readers' hands. I'm indebted to you all - you rock!

  11. I really liked this book too -- so happy he's a Missouri author!

  12. Fantastic book! I really enjoyed all of the characters and the story was fun to boot.

  13. I LOVED that this book featured a main character that was deaf. I've only read one other book with a deaf character and it was a historical fiction and not very good. I'm not sure if this matters to anyone, but he did some good research with this book. Her being born to both hearing parents? The conflict of cochlear implant vs. signing? Lip reading? All spot on with deaf culture. He nailed the a fantastic family dynamic and add on top of that a slew of unique characters, a cool (and POC!) love interest, and a story centered around rock and you've got one heck of a good read on your hands. Very unique and one that definitely deserves more attention.


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