Thursday, July 2, 2009
Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
I can't count the amount of times I passed by this book or almost picked it up. But I'm glad I finally did!
"When you don't talk, there's a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said"
After D.J.'s father injured his hip, she had to take over the bulk of the work on their family's farm. Having to milk twice a day, hay whole fields, and clean out the barn, there's a lot that doesn't get said. And when Brian Nelson, Hawley's QB and most arrogant arch rival of Red Bend, shows up one day to work on the farm, D.J. doesn't take it lightly. Now with a best friend who's acting strange, a brother who won't talk, a family who doesn't communicate well, and a boy who may or may not be just the person D.J. needs, she must dig deep down to figure out who she is. And that she is not, by any stretch of the meaning, a cow.
I loved D.J.'s voice in this novel. Going on the journey with D.J. trying to find out who she is and becoming comfortable in her own skin was funny, sad, and heart-warming. The scenes with Brian and D.J. talking but not talking were incredibly realistic in their ackward, there isn't always something to say manner. Their encounters were also hilarious. The relationship that builds between D.J. and Brian is so beautiful and believable because it's one that roots and ends in friendship, which is hard to find in books nowadays (between a boy and a girl). The plot twists and turns that come about are surprising and delightful. The sports scenes were accurate while still keeping the excitement in pacing. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this original novel about farms and football. It was a curve ball of a book I didn't see coming, and those are the best kind. D.J. really puts her heart into the book and it's clear from the beginning. Although she sometimes can be very self-hating, she learns things about herself and life at a pace that I think we all have or will. I would reccommend this book to anyone who likes reading about a family that comes together, a sweet first love, and anyone who likes (or would like to learn, as I did) about football and milking cows! This was dazzling!