Review: Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Title: Five Flavors of Dumb
Author: Antony John
Publisher: Dial
Pub. Date: 11.11.2010
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keywords: Music, Friendship, Relationships, Hearing Impairments
Pages: 352
Description (from GoodReads):
THE CHALLENGE: Piper has one month to get a paying gig for Dumb—the hottest new rock band in school.
THE DEAL: If she does it, she’ll become manager of the band and get her share of the profits, which she desperately needs since her parents raided her college fund.
THE CATCH: Managing one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl who is ready to beat her up. And doing it all when she’s deaf. With growing self-confidence, an unexpected romance, and a new understanding of her family’s decision to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, Piper just may discover her own inner rock star.

Antony John’s most recent novel follows Piper, a smart, pretty girl, as she attempts to manage the band Dumb, recent Battle of the Bands winner and her only chance to earn enough money to attend the college of her dreams.


Dumb has taken Piper’s high school world by storm, but they’ve got a lot to learn if they expect to go any further than impromptu shows on the school’s front lawn. That’s where Piper comes in… and she’s got quite a job ahead of her. Not only is the band a mess and missing some key ingredients, Piper isn’t completely sure of their sound – literally. Piper’s hearing impaired, which adds a whole new level of difficulty to her task.

FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB is a story about a girl going to extreme lengths to achieve her dreams. John manages to make Piper both inspirational and relateable – no easy feat. There are often inspiring characters and relateable characters, but it’s sometimes difficult to tag both of those descriptions onto one character. Piper reminds readers that dreams really can be reached, even if it doesn’t happen quite the way you had planned.

The one aspect of the novel that I found a tad distracting was the maturity of Piper and some of the other characters at points. It’s understandable that characters might be a bit more mature and reasonable than real young adults, but there were certain parts of the novel where Piper’s actions and thoughts didn’t ring true. I still enjoyed her character, she just felt a little less real during these passages.

FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB is a welcome addition to my bookshelf. I’ve got a weakness for contemporary YA and I’m always happy to find a new title to add to my list of recommended titles!

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3 thoughts on “Review: Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

  1. Thanks for the review. I love that title and the cover is amazing. I've never read a YA with a deaf protagonist so I'd love to see how that is handled. Like you, I have a weakness for contemporary YA. It's one of my favorite genres so I'm always looking out for more titles to read.

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