Sunday, August 25, 2013

Reivew: Five Flavors of Dumb

The Challenge: Piper has one month to get the rock band Dumb a paying gig.

The Deal: If she does it, Piper will become the band's manager and get her share of the profits.

The Catch: How can Piper possibly manage one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl? And how can she do it when she's deaf?

Piper can't hear Dumb's music, but with growing self-confidence, a budding romance, and a new understanding of the decision her family made to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, she discovers her own inner rock star and what it truly means to be a flavor of Dumb
. - Goodreads

Publisher: Penguin Group
Release Date: November 11, 2010
Page Count: 338
Would Appeal To: Music lovers (especially of Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix), fans of Amplified, those who like ABC Family's show Switched at Birth
Favorite Quotes:
"I'd heard of Seattle Today-- one of those breathtakingly dull talk shows that air in the late morning when the coffee has worn off and viewers are trapped in a pre-lunch stupor so disabling they can't even summon the energy to switch channels."

"Don't worry about wanting to change; start worrying when you don't feel like changing anymore. And in the meantime, enjoy every version of yourself you ever meet, because not everybody who discovers their true identity likes what they find."

 Reasons You Must Check Out This Book:
  • Perspective. How often do you get to read a book in which the main character and narrator is deaf? Piper's story forces readers to look at life from her point of view, as the invisible, the underdog, the misunderstood. Other people's behavior towards her is eye-opening. Lack of hearing is what most people might consider an impairment or handicap, but Piper functions just fine. It's other people who act awkward and unsure around her, which, in turn, has affected her interactions with her peers.
  • Family dynamics. It truly is a family story (it won the Schneider Family Book Award!). Piper's dad never bothered to learn sign language, so she is forced to speak and stop signing if she wants him to understand anything. The family's newest member, baby Grace, was born deaf but has a cochlear implant that allows her to hear much better than Piper's hearing aids. This causes tension, especially when Piper finds out where the money for the implant came from. And then there's Finn, the trouble-making freshman finding his way in the world, who knows sign language and is often forced to be Piper's interpreter. Mom is a full-time lawyer, so Dad is forced to stay at home and babysit. All these things lead to frequent blow ups, but also heart melting discoveries about the true souls beneath the outwardly frustrated personas.
  • Friendships. Unlikely friendships form between Piper and certain bandmates. She realizes that others are more "broken" than she'd assumed, that everyone has a story. I really appreciated the bond that formed between Piper and her brother Finn. Also, Piper realizes that some friendships fizzle because people change, and that's okay. You shouldn't try to stop it, but rather carry on and enjoy the new relationships in front of you for the taking. 
  • Masks. Everyone in the story is hiding their true selves in some way. But when they come out, they shine. 
  • Music. I learned so much about Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix. Next time I go to Seattle, I'm bringing this book and retracing some of Piper's steps. I admired Piper's courage as she took on being a manager without any idea of what to do but continued to stand up for her band, even if she thought its name was stupid. Also, though Piper can't hear much of the music, she does an amazing job of describing what's going on when the band is playing, by reading lips and watching body movements, even feeling the rhythm.
What Bugged Me:
  • I can't think of anything. Piper's dad's personality was really annoying, but he redeems himself by the end. There is a part where one of the group members doesn't get suspended and I thought the author had left out why, but he referred to it later with an explanation. The flow was awesome, so I can't complain about it being poorly written, but I didn't have as many favorite quotes as I usually do. However, I'm looking forward to the next book by Antony John, Thou Shalt Not Road Trip, especially after reading the excerpt of it in the back of this book! 

1 comment:

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.