by Antony John
Novemeber 11th, 2010 by Dial
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.
Rating: 4.75 sta--oh what the heck, it totally deserves 5 stars!
Every so often, you come across a book that is a true diamond in the rough.
Sure it’ll sound interesting and you’ll expect it to be good. But when you actually read it and reach the last page, you’re left with this inexplicable feeling of being utterly dumbfounded. You’ll sit there, somewhat dazed, wondering just where the time went and how this awesome book could be over.
That’s how I felt about this book.
The premise had me instantly hooked—I mean, wouldn’t you be interested in reading a book where a deaf girl becomes the manager of a band? Wouldn’t you want to find out how a girl will lead a band to fame when she can’t even hear their music?
I certainly did.
Admittedly, I had some reservations about reading a book centering around music, simply because in other cases, I have no idea what bands/songs the characters are referring to, or the lyrics are really cheesy. Let me be clear: THIS WAS NOT THE CASE IN FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB.
The theme of rock music, while being a dominant theme in this book, is integrated in this story in a way that will appeal to just about any reader, regardless of your take on music in books.
Most and foremost, this books is about Piper’s journey of growth and discovery. That sounds pretty clichéd, I know, but it’s the most accurate description. At the beginning of the book, Piper is a smart, accomplished student who has few friends and does not draw attention to herself. However, it is immediate, as soon as I read her narration, that she is anything but meek and timid. She is actually extremely sarcastic, witty, strong, and bold and I LOVED her. She is an abso-freaking-lutely awesome character. Possibly one of my all-time favorites.
However, she’s also very conflicted about her home life, because she has warring emotions regarding her baby sister receiving a cochlear implant, which will allow her to eventually hear much better than Piper. Her parents appear to be more interested with the new baby than with Piper, and she has an especially difficult relationship with her father, who refuses to sign. Her younger brother is probably the closest family member to her.
To be honest, at first, I really did not like Piper’s parents and I could definitely empathize with the anger and isolation Piper felt. But as she becomes more involved with the band, Dumb, she begins to show the rest of the world the bold inner Piper that she really is, which kind of shocks her parents, but ultimately helps them all understand each other better and become a closer family.
As for the members of Dumb, I was extremely surprised by most of them because they turned out to be such different people than I initially thought they were. I thought I had them totally pegged at the beginning of the book, only to find, at the end, that I was way off base and some had amazing, surprising depth. Actually, this could pretty much be said for the majority of the characters in the book. The characters in this book never ceased to surprise me.
Unlike most of the other books I tend to read, the love story takes a backseat in this book, but that doesn’t mean it’s annoyingly fluffy or not good. In fact, even though there wasn’t any real “romance” until past halfway through the book, I really REALLY enjoyed the love story. It was so sweet and development that ultimately led up to it was very realistic and natural and real and made me go, “AWWWW” on more than one occasion.
I honestly wish that more people I know knew of this book because it is flippin’ fantastic! The writing flowed seamlessly and it was super humorous, too! So many scenes and one-liners had me actually laughing out loud! The whole aspect of deafness and signing was really interesting to read about and the way it the author included them in the story was impeccable.
All in all, I highly highly HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone…so y’know… GO! Scour your local libraries/bookstores immediately!