When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said. Harsh words indeed, from Brian Nelson of all people. But, D. J. can’t help admitting, maybe he’s right. When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said. Stuff like why her best friend, Amber, isn’t so friendly anymore. Or why her little brother, Curtis, never opens his mouth. Why her mom has two jobs and a big secret. Why her college-football-star brothers won’t even call home. Why her dad would go ballistic if she tried out for the high school football team herself. And why Brian is so, so out of her league. When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said. Welcome to the summer that fifteen-year-old D. J. Schwenk of Red Bend, Wisconsin, learns to talk, and ends up having an awful lot of stuff to say. - from book jacket
Dairy Queen is a vivid drama with a unique setting and some down-to-earth characters. Football-loving, D.J. is not your typical cookie-cutter high school gal: she’s a country girl with a humorous and witty outlook.
I think just the setting alone is enough to catch your eye and that’s probably the reason why I liked Dairy Queen so much. Most YA novels I read are all about high school, cliques, cliché romance, blah blah; but with Dairy Queen it’s different. I mean, a dairy farm? What could be more common yet so unique in a world of cliche plots? Brilliant. Besides the atmosphere of a small town and a farm, there’s football. Personally I don’t like football, but through D.J.’s point of view, football became much more interesting and exciting.
Another fun thing about Dairy Queen is the humorous chapter titles. Here are a few of my favorites: Chap. 8 - “People Who Are Crazy And Need to Have Their Heads Examined” and Chap. 16 “Heifers Don’t Play Football”.
I think Murdock did a great job intertwining life lessons, creating relatable dynamic characters, and using cows in a figurative way just for teens. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to see more country life in YA! Moo!
Overall, Dairy Queen is a breath of fresh air for YA fans and will be enjoyed by urban dwellers and country-bumpkins alike! From love, friendship, to finding determination, Dairy Queen covers lots of topics with a bovine twist. I can't wait to see what will be accomplished in the next chapter of D.J.'s life, Off Season.
Catherine Murdock grew up on a small farm in Connecticut, where she wisely avoided all sports that required hand-eye coordination. She now lives in Philidelphia with her husband, two children, several cats, and a 1-acre yard. Dairy Queen was her first novel.
|Pages: 288|Year Published: 2006|Publisher: Houghton Mifflin|
|Genre: Contemporary, teen romance, friendship, family drama|
|Age Group: YA, ages 13+|Content: Some sexual references, mild language|
|Enjoyed It: 5/5|Content Rating: 4/5|Cover: 4/5|