As mentioned yesterday, Nerds Heart YA starts today with the revealing of 1st round winners. Paired with Violet Crush, we are making the decision on which book moves on in the tournament, Stringz by Michael Wenberg, or Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John. Each of these books has a musical theme, as well as a backdrop of Seattle, Washington. Read through the reviews of each book and see the winner revealed at the end.
Stringz by Michael Wenberg
Jace Adams is tired of being a teenage nomad, moving from city to city all because of his mother’s lame excuses to change location. He just wants to settle down, surf and play cello. Everything changes when he moves to Seattle and actually makes good friends. All in good time, as his world is turned upside down, in good ways and bad, and he is forced to make decisions about his future and his identity.
While the main character was likable enough and the character development fun to follow, this book fell short when it came to the execution. Some holes in the plot and in the characters made it hard to follow. The friendships that Jace develops in his new school and homelife are intriguing and contribute a lot to his develop as a person. Seattle as a setting and music as a theme is more than attractive to me, but unfortunately this novel needed a few more rounds of editing.
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
Piper is just your run-of-the-mill intellectual, over-achieving teenager. Except that she’s deaf. When she decides it’s time for a change, to do something different in her world, she becomes the manager of a high school band, recent winners of Seattle’s Battle of the Bands. She doesn’t quite realize what she’s getting herself into, as she faces flack from her parents, numerous fights within the band, and the opportunity to make the band great or let them wane away in their lack of discipline.
Piper is an awesome character. A well-rounded character, with her life story so obviously hindering her in more ways than just her deafness, she struggles to understand her role in her family and amongst the band. She wrestles with her identity and often chooses to go out on a limb, seemingly uncharacteristic of the past Piper. Though the other characters are not nearly as developed as Piper, the author leaves you wanting so much more from them. With a creative storyline and a different main character than we are used to seeing in the YA world, Five Flavors of Dumb is definitely a winner.
As may be apparent by the short reviews, our choice in the book to move on in the bracket is Five Flavors of Dumb! Follow along at the Nerds Heart YA homepage to see who the final winner is!