Saturday, December 18, 2010

Book Musing: Five Flavors of Dumb (disability)

For the first few chapters I though this book was going to be yet another one that spends too much time talking about the MC's disability. Not only is she Deaf, but her name is Piper, and her little sister Grace has just received a Cohclear implant which her parents paid for out of her college fund. The college of choice is Gallaudet, the all-Deaf college on the east coast. Essentially, it was let's play the how many-deaf-issues-we-can-put-in-one-book-game. She becomes the manager of a local band, in a way that is somewhat contrived, and her father doesn't understand her. I found the language to be unbelievable and overly-sophisticated.

It was not winning the "would this book be interesting if Piper was not disabled?" award. And then...

Somewhere about halfway through the book I fell in love with it. Piper became a real character instead of a mouthpiece. Her brother was endearing, her friends could have been fleshed out more, but I liked them. Sure the IM conversations between her and her friend who moved away were still needless rehashings of what has already happened, but otherwise the novel was very much improved. I loved her sweet romance with Ed, and her parents gradual understanding of her. Also she dyed her hair pink. What's not to love?

Definitely a good book. Initially disability-heavy, but after a while it holds its own


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