Young Adult – Five Flavors of Dumb

Piper’s senior year of high school is so far shaping up to be rotten. Her best friend has moved across the country, leaving her alone. Worst still, however, Piper sees her long-cherished dream of going to the Deaf college Gallaudet going up in smoke after her parents decide to use her college fund to pay for Piper’s younger sister’s cochlear implants, an operation that Piper is not convinced Grace needed. If her parents are so thrilled that Grace is able to hear now, what does that say about how they think about Piper’s Deafness? When Piper very uncharacteristically runs her mouth off, declaring that she could get the high school band Dumb a paying gig in a month in exchange for part of the money, she has a lot riding on the outcome. Too bad the band can barely play or barely stand one another…

This book was excellent. I really enjoyed the ways in which Piper had such concrete ideas of who people were – from her parents to her brother to the band members – and how those ideas were slowly changed, allowing Piper to realize that people in general are far more complex than they may at first appear. Piper’s change of viewpoint was gradual enough that it felt real to me, particularly the excellent characterization of Piper’s evolving relationship with her father. Highly recommended.

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