Five Flavors of Dumb. Five. Flavors. Dumb. What comes into your mind? I really got no idea. The book cover isn’t giving away clues either. But that did not stop me from reading the book! Glowing reviews and five-star ratings at GoodReads helped a lot so I decided to pick it up and read it.
Since I don’t have any idea (I skimmed some of the reviews, fearing to read any spoilers) about this, it took me completely by surprise! It’s about this high school student named Piper Vaughn and she’s an excellent student and the chess-club president but nobody notices her (nerds have invisible powers ha-ha) not until she dealt with the school famous rock band, Dumb. Dared to make the band popular and earn money from gigs, she became the band manager. It’s a story of self-discovery, friendship among different types of people and even assholes, the love for music and hope on bigger things.
I totally can relate with this girl, this Piper Vaughn, this hearing-aides wearing girl. The fact that we have something in common—hearing loss—gives me hope on doing the extraordinary. Look at her, Piper, how can you believe that a deaf person will be a manager of a rock band? She didn’t let other people pull her down because she can’t hear properly, she knows her abilities and her limitations. I adore her for that and it makes me sad because me, the girl who’s also moderately deaf, who is so discouraged with everything, and who starts to give up. I’m so afraid I tend to hide and forgot what the hell I can do. This book gave me HOPE that I can change to whatever I can be and made me realize that I should not be afraid to do what I can do despite the fact that I have disabilities.
On family issues: Parents sometimes do NOT understand their children. The generations of today is far more complex compared to the past generations. Most of the parents are comparing how hard-headed and narrow-minded kids are but without them realizing it, they’re the one who are. This happens because of the lack of communication between the parents and their children. Antony John used the Vaughn family to enlightened us of what is happening within families. Take for example, Piper’s dad, Ryan Vaughn. He’s refused to learn sign language and preferred on talking (mouthing and voice) to Piper which is quite difficult and very heartbreaking. They misunderstood and fought each other a lot because they don’t communicate properly. It broke my heart to read that this family is starting to fall apart when they can do something about it. Another, Piper’s parents raided her fund for college to pay for Grace’s cochlear implant without any permission. Her dad didn’t even asked her what she is feeling about the situation which resulted on arguments and ignoring each other. See? It’s the key for harmonious relationship! Communication.
On friendship: Most people judge people based on their looks, right? Deny that or I’ll kick you. It’s true because I never been friends with elite or shining-shimmering-splendid-faced-people before. (This is not a self-pity paragraph) I know that I’m known as a nerd/geek and unpopular at school so mostly I lived my life invisible with my own circle of friends. It’s weird because I can be fun-to-be-with when I’m with my friends, but when I’m with those aforementioned elite people, I feel so awkward to even move a single muscle. It’s like a crime to breath, like they will judge you when you will speak, and sometimes, I’m afraid them to notice me. I’d rather be alone and read a book. I swear. Anyway, in the book, Antony John showed us that a popular one can be friends with a deaf and a freaky-green-colored hair punk girl. It’s not impossible, actually, since there are some ‘popular’ people that are just hiding their pain and misery behind the blinding light of popularity. In case they don’t know, there are people who can understand them (geeks, nerds and wallflowers).
On music: I loved how passionate Dumb (esp. Kallie, Tash and Finn) in music. I don’t know what to say but it’s impressive for a person who is eager to learn how to play a guitar or manage a band (Kallie/Piper) even though there are people who are keep pulling her down and telling her that she’s an airhead or fake or deaf (Josh). Take FINN as an example. If you already read this book, he is so passionate with playing the guitar even though he stopped his lessons and only practice alone with headset on. He even taught Kallie and Tash the guitar. And Ed Chen? He’s such an awesome geek/drummer! They are really the different ‘flavors’ of the band Dumb. Aside from the passion of the band, I appreciated the fact the Antony John included in the book some rock music education—the life of Kurt Cobain of Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix of The Jimi Hendrix Experience. This book unleashed the rock star in me (lol not really). I’ve been listening to rock music music since my parents are 60’s-80’s rock music lovers so it’s obvious. Unfortunately, I stopped listening rock and roll for a while because of my deteriorating hearing abilities. I don’t think that will stop me from listening to music so I resorted to listening to mellow and acoustic music.
Oh, wait. I almost forgot to mention that this book has a romance~ it isn’t that hardcore type like Anna and the French Kiss but it’s still makes me gooey and squeaky inside. Simple gestures and subtle ways of getting close to girl you like? I wish someone will like me like how Ed Chen liked Piper. *Squee*
The characters are so easy to like! I really like to read books about geeks, nerds and wallflowers. Antony John did a wonderful job on developing his characters! Well, except that jerk named Josh. I think this post is getting TL;DR and more of a reflection. Haha! Anyway, I really loved the book! I recommend this to all of you!
Book #20 for 2011
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John