My Rating: 3 hearts
Thoughts on the Novel: Since I enjoy reading about disability issues, Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John was a book I had in my TBR pile for a long time because it features a deaf protagonist who’s the manager of a band. I was curious to see how Piper got her position and how she interacted with others given her situation.
For me, Piper’s deafness was the most interesting part of the book because it really affected her family dynamics. Although Piper can read lips and can speak normally (because she lost her hearing at the age of six), her preferred method of communicating is through American Sign Language (ASL). With her deaf baby sister just getting a cochlear implant and her mother, a hearing child born to deaf parents, having to work more, Piper can’t help but feel neglected because her father doesn’t sign and her brother only signs when he wants something from her.
After she becomes the manager of a band, her parents and others view her deafness as a limitation, which Piper refuses to believe (and takes advantage of if she can do so). At the same time, Piper herself learns to look beyond physical appearance in order to appreciate some of the people that she’s surrounded by.
I wasn’t such a fan of the music aspect on the other hand because I found it extremely hard to believe that a high school band that could play a limited range of notes and was continuously fighting amongst themselves would ascend to fame so quickly and impress other well-known musicians. It was also hard for me to care about Piper going on a tour of famous dead musicians’ houses so that she could appreciate music for itself rather than for the potential of earning money.
Five Flavors of Dumb was released in November 2010 by Dial Books.
Comments About the Cover: The cover isn’t something that would cause me to pick up the book.