just what it sounds like…reading as a religion


Summer, or Why This Mountain of Books Has Taken Over My Room

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

So, miss me lately?  The end of the semester is always a rough time, but now it is summer which means lots of time for reading.  I went to the library to stock up on reading material and came back with enough to entertain a small country for a year.  It’s overtaken my room slightly, but good news for you–this means lots of new reviews.

To start us off, a review I’ve been promising for awhile with a very appropriate summer setting.

Title: Dairy Queen

Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock

The Story As It Is: D.J. Schwenk is your typical teenage girl…..well not so much, actually.  Raised on a farm, she is the only girl of four children.  She intends to spend her summer taking care of the farm for her injured father.  Unexpectedly, a rival football coach and family friend sends his  backup quarterback to work at Schwenk farm for the summer, so he can learn some work ethic.  The boy, Brian, is more hindrance than help to D.J. and her younger brother, who have grown up knowing the toughness of farm work.  As Brian begins to learn about what it means to work on the farm, he and D.J. grow closer and hatch a plan.  D.J., an athlete herself, who accompanied her two older brothers, both football stars, as they trained in previous summers will be Brian’s new football trainer.  Romance blooms as the two work to make Brian the starting quarterback.  What will happen when their secret gets out and everyone knows D.J. trained the enemy?  And what will happen when Brian finds out that D.J. has been keeping a secret all her own?

The Story As I See It:  This book was really refreshing.  It provided a nice break from some of the depressing books I’ve been reading lately.  D.J. is not your average girly-girl.  She’s a little tougher and very likeable for it.  This books presents romance in a new way, as D.J. is more of a tomboy and an athlete than the typical protagonist of a romance novel.  Sports fans will enjoy the insight into Brian and D.J.’s football training.  Teenage girls will love to read about the pair’s blossoming romance.  All teenagers can relate to the novel’s exploration of being your own person in the face of your family, friends, and community.  D.J. asks the reader to consider an interesting question:  Are we all just cows, following in line, never striking out to make our own mark on life?

Verdict: If you’re looking for a fun book for a sunny day, or even for a rainy one, pick up this book as a light read.  D.J. is an interesting protagonist and you won’t be able to wait for the following two books (The Off Season, Front and Center).  I’m in the third book of the trilogy right now myself!