Monday, May 20, 2013

Book Review: Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Five Flavors of Dumb
by Antony John
338 pages
Publisher: Dial
Publication Date: November 11th 2010
Source: Purchased
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Eighteen-year-old Piper has gotten herself into a mess. Because of her big mouth, she has one month to get a paying gig for her high school's hottest new rock band, called Dumb. In Piper's mind, the band couldn't have a more perfect name. Just look at the members: one egomaniacal pretty boy one silent rocker one talentless piece of eye candy, one angry girl, and one nerd-boy drummer - five discordant personalities who, when put together, seem ready to self-destruct at any moment. Getting them an actual gig seems impossible. Add to that the fact that Piper doesn't know if their music is good or not, because, well, she's deaf.

But Piper is determined to get the band a gig to show her classmates that being deaf doesn't mean she's invisible. And as she gets to know the five flavors of dumb, some hidden talents, secret crushes, and crazy rock music emerge. She doesn't need to hear the music to sell it, but Piper wants the chance to feel the music too. Does she have what it takes to manage Dumb and discover her own inner rock star?
I heard a lot of good things about The Five Flavors of Dumb so ended up purchasing a copy from Half Price Books on a whim. Normally I don't buy books before reading them, but in this case it turned out to be serendipity because I loved Five Flavors of Dumb and am happy to add it to my collection!

Five Flavors of Dumb tells the story of Piper, a Deaf girl who ends up becoming the manager of her high school's up and coming rock band Dumb. The five members of Dumb couldn't be more different from each other, but with a little work and a whole lot of luck, Piper may just turn this discordant group of people into a success.

First off, Piper was such a fantastic protagonist. Antony John really hit it out of the ballpark when he crafted her voice and who she was as a person. I could totally see Piper's complete transformation from a shy girl who wanted so desperately to be seen as more than just the "deaf girl" to someone who was willing to own who she was, deafness and all. Piper just blossomed and came into her own and I love when a novel is able to craft that kind of character story. The supporting characters were all stellar as well. My personal favorites were Piper's awesome little bro Finn, and the nerdorable Ed Chen. ASIAN LOVE INTERESTS FOR THE WIN!

Aside from the great characters Five Flavors of Dumb was also hilarious and just plain fun. There were so many times when I was holding in my laughter or rolling my eyes at the shenanigans that the characters got themselves into. Talk show smackdowns, crappy recording sessions, and crazy hair dying escapades are just some of the things that occur. Believe me, you'll want to read it for yourself.

Five Flavors of Dumb is one of the best contemporaries I've read all year. It's fun, hilarious, and surprised me with its depth and insight. I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves music, contemporary novels, or is just looking for an awesome book to read.

Before I end this review I just have to mention the fact that I didn't realize that Five Flavors of Dumb was written by a guy at first. However, once I got to a certain point in the story it became glaringly obvious. You see, no girl would use the term "she popped out a boob and pulled the baby toward it" to describe breast feeding. I just about died at that description. So funny.

I am so mature you guys. NOT.

Julia :)


  1. This looks really good! I'm interested to see how John handles the protagonist being deaf and how her perception of the world is altered. I wish I didn't have a stack of books I wanted to read before anything else!!

  2. LOL that description! You're not the only immature one here *giggles* I'm so glad you liked this book and that it was funny and fun. I'm always looking for new books that make me laugh. I'll add this one to my pile.

  3. I'm SO happy to hear you loved this one! I read it a little over a year ago and thought it was so the best! I also loved Piper's voice and growth throughout the story and loved Ed!!
    LOL at that description!


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