Monday, September 26, 2011

Review #69: Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Salutations friends! Hope the past weekend treated you all well, and happy upcoming holidays to those of us celebrating Rosh Hashannah! Have a new review for y'all today. Well, more like a gush fest, but more on that later. Lets get to it!

Five Flavors of Dumb is by the sublime Antony John. Piper is a senior in high school, who because of her comments, becomes the manager of school darlings, the band Dumb. Small issue: Piper is deaf. She is also struggling with the fact that her parents have put so much focus on her baby sister Grace, who would have been fully deaf if not for the cochlear implants her parents just had put in. Piper has one month to get Dumb a paying gig. If she does, she becomes their manager for real, getting a cut of whatever they earn. What Piper doesn't know is that in saying yes, her life will change significantly. 

Oh holy cheese, this book is AMAZAZING!!!! I can't even fully explain how much I love this book. It completely and utterly took me by surprise, grabbed onto my shoulders, and still isn't letting go. It is a perfect emotional roller coaster, taking you from happy to sad, mad to "aww", and all the emotions that make life wonderful. You feel for the characters that you fall in love with, hate those who you don't like (I'll get to that later), it is truly an amazing book of the empth degree. You also learn a lot about music history, which I appreciated as a music geek.

I know I've talked about all these literary heroines who could potentially be my best friend, but I am adding Piper to that list. She's smart, sarcastic, witty and funny, vulnerable and cunning. In other words, she's real. I can believe that she could exist outside the realm of literature. Yes, she's deaf, but that doesn't consume her personality or the story. She doesn't let her disability keep her down. She struggles with her identity and home life just like any other teenager. And like anyone else, she judges people sometimes by how they look. But she makes mistakes and owns up to them. I truly wish she was a real person so we could hang out. Her brother Finn was great too, and their relationship makes me so envious. Being an only child, Piper and Finn's relationship, as I've just stated, makes me wish I had a brother or a sister. They're close where most siblings aren't , yet they don't have the perfect sibling relationship, which I love. I also loved Ed, Piper's best friend/potential love interest. Their banter was fun, and near the end I nearly welled up with tears at what I read (I won't spoil it ;)). Ed is now added to my literary crush list for sure ^^. I liked that Piper's parents weren't absent, as a good chunk of parents are in YA fiction. I despised Piper's father in the beginning, though I warmed up to him in the end. Characters like Kallie and Tash will surprise you. At first, they seem like glaring stereotypes, but by the end you become extremely attached to them, finding out they are so much more then who they are perceived as. Now onto Josh. I wanted to hit him, hard, potentially strangle him. I've never felt that strongly about a character before. But boy, do/did I hate Josh. Holy god, he is an asshat. If there was a way to reach into the pages and smack a character, I'd do just that. 

Antony's writing is superb. He really got into Piper's head, showing how a deaf person deals with life, but also developing his story and all of the characters very well. His style is just fantastic, and as a music geek I appreciated the chapters that delved more into music history. I am officially a rabid Antony John fan, and am looking forward to his future works!

I normally don't say something like this, but do yourself a favor and pick Five Flavors of Dumb up. You will NOT regret it!

I'll next be reviewing Sister Mischief by Lauren Goode.

PS I was at Barnes and Noble today and saw that they had Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I gawked then picked it up. Can't believe I finally have my hands on it! Reading it and it is fantastic!

Until next time, viva la literature!

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