Five Flavors of Dumb

Five Flavors of Dumb - Antony John It's hard for me to put into words how much I enjoyed reading "Five Flavors of Dumb." Antony John presents a brilliantly savvy, realistic voice through Piper, a deaf teen who ends up - inadvertently - becoming a manager for a rising teen rock band called "Dumb". It became clear to me from the opening paragraph of the novel that I would be in for a ride with a protagonist that would actively question the decision of the band naming themselves Dumb. At first, I kept thinking this might be a lighthearted foray in the vein of a book like Lemonade Mouth, but as I read forward through the story, it became so much more.To say that it's the story of a teen who struggles with managing the band, however, is not the only thread that manages to engage within the heart of this story. The story presents a realistic look at Piper's world - struggling with family issues, dealing with facets of her identity, and even finding the value in her relationships all while navigating historical threads of music and uncovering the passion and zeal that comes with the craft. Piper stands above many teen protagonists in that the issues she struggles with have weight. There isn't any conflicts that are introduced here for the sake of drama or exaggerated - the investment in not only Piper as a central character, but also the band members, Piper's family and surrounding characters creates an environment where one can feel for the events that transpire. I didn't cry reading this novel, but there were sentimental moments that got to me (including one conversation that Piper has with her father and the way he reaches out to her).I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to those who love coming of age stories, realistic teen fiction, and music. One of my favorite reads in 2011.Overall score: 4.5/5