The Off Season (Dairy Queen, #2)
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The Off Season (Dairy Queen #2)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  6,753 ratings  ·  712 reviews

Life is looking up for D.J. Schwenk. She’s in eleventh grade, finally. After a rocky summer, she’s reconnecting in a big way with her best friend, Amber. She’s got kind of a thing going with Brian Nelson, who’s cute and popular and smart but seems to like her anyway. And then there’s the fact she’s starting for the Red Bend High School football team—the first girl lineback

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Paperback, 296 pages
Published March 18th 2008 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (first published May 22nd 2007)
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Flannery
I love DJ Schwenk. I love that she is realistic, she isn't perfect, and a lot of the time, she has no idea what to say. This book picks up where Dairy Queen left off--DJ is playing football on her high school's team, sort of seeing the rival team's quarterback, and trying to keep her family's farm going. In the first book, I became comfortable with DJ, her family, and the entire cast of secondary characters. They actually feel like actual people and it was delightful to see the continuation of t...more
Keertana
Rating: 4.5 Stars

I swear, this series just keeps getting better and better. The Off Season is an incredible follow-up to Dairy Queen and if I wasn't impressed by Murdock's first novel, she's definitely made a fan out of me now. I loved this one! It was realistic, strong, and moved me beyond words. It was a much more gut-wrenching read this time around and I felt like giving D.J. a hug on so many counts. If Dairy Queen is the steady climb to a better life, of realizing the flaws in life and com...more
Jasprit
Post-reading thoughts: I am such a bad read-along partner, sorry Keertana and Leanne. But this latest installment was just too good!

The Off Season was a massive step up from Dairy Queen. I was a big fan of the first book Dairy Queen, but here Murdock just managed to take it a whole another notch, she had me bawling my eyes out every other page, had me snort laughing and shattered my heart into a million pieces.

After a topsy turvy couple of months, D.J. finally seems to be enjoying life, she’s l...more
Megan
The Off Season is a solid follow up to Dairy Queen. We follow D.J. Schwenk into her junior year of high school as she continues to balance school, family demands and of course Brian Nelson. In Dairy Queen D.J. spent a lot of time figuring out who she is and who she wants to be. In this second installment D.J. applies the knowledge she learned over the summer. The Off Season resolves a lot of issues left up in the air at the end of Dairy Queen and shows even more what a motivated, hardworking, aw...more
Jaemi
I loved Dairy Queen, so I was very eager to read The Off Season. It took a lot of turns I didn't expect, which makes it hard for me to review it, because as always I don't want to spoil the surprises for anyone else.

Picking up essentially where we left off, D.J. has passed sophomore English and is good to go with football. The team is totally psyched to have her. Unfortunately, not all that far into things, a certain situation at school puts that all in jeopardy. Add to it a physical considerati...more
Arlene
The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock is such a great book in so many ways. I loved it! Just loved it!

D.J. Schwenk is truly a hug-worthy and all-around awe-inspiring character. Her self-less acts and sincere motives had me applauding her efforts and truly moved at the sacrifices she made for her family and those she loved. Regardless of the hard hits she took, D.J. proved to be a fighter and came out winning in the end IMO.

About the book… D.J. Schwenk is having a great Junior year. She's...more
Kristi
D.J. is back at it again in the sequel to Dairy Queen, The Off Season. Things are finally on the upside for D.J. She is friends again with Amber and even Amber’s girlfriend Dale, and she is still sort of dating cutie quarterback Brian Nelson. She couldn’t be more happier than playing football for Red Bend and the guys actually accept her as part of the team.

But as we know, D.J.’s life has been anything but easy. She injures her shoulder during practice and has to decide between continuing playin...more
~Tina~
The Off Season is the follow-up sequel to the inspirational book Diary Queen. I didn't think it was possible, but this book was even better then the first!

Things aren't going to well for D.J lately. With the lack of money coming in the farm, D.J has to make a decision that will break her heart. Even though things are looking up for her and her best friend Amber, some other things are falling apart. Now, D.J has to struggle and find a way to over come tragic times for her family and find the stre...more
Nic
Okay just finished and WOW I loved this one just as much as the first one. It is such a brilliant and heart warming story. Catherine Gilbert Murdock is an amazing writer. This book made me laugh and also cry.

In this book, DJ is awesome again. She was so strong and inspiring the way she dealt with what happened to her older brother. I could really relate to the situation as my brother suffered a serious spinal injury aswell. I felt it was dealt with realistically and definitely brought back alot...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
The Off Season differs quite a bit from Dairy Queen. Where in Dairy Queen, the focus is all on DJ, she is, in some ways, not the central character in The Off Season, playing a more supportive role: sister and daughter. Though I think I was perhaps a bit less interested in the plot of The Off Season than in Dairy Queen or Front Center, which I've already started, I'm also hugely impressed by the content and daring in the subject matter.

Murdock takes some risks with the second book in the series,...more
Nafiza
I have been on a contemporary kick recently. The fact that I discovered some very awesome books in the genre helped a lot too. The reason I picked up The Dairy Queen was simply because I read Princess Ben by the same author and found it to be personable and relatable. I loved the way she developed her characters and told the story. So I decided to take a risk and read The Dairy Queen.

I was not disappointed. At all.

D.J is a real person. Okay, a real fictitious person. She could be you. Or me. Her...more
Karla (Reads and Thoughts)
Hey D.J Schwenk can we be the best of friends?

My love for D.J Schwenk goes on and on and on and this sequel to The Dairy Queen was one awesome awesome read!

On this one, things get a bit out of hand for our mini-heroine. She suffered a not so good injury that she decided to stop playing football but instead go back to her true sport which is basketball. Then things with Brian are also getting off plus her brother Win also suffered this devastating injury. For such a young age D.J has been throug...more
Melody
There's always a little trepidation (for me, anyway) going into the second book of a trilogy. Second books are often weaker than firsts or thirds, but that's not a problem here. DJ's got hidden reserves, and here she's called upon to nearly drain them. Her family dynamic comes to the fore here as well, and we see some more of Brian and his issues. I'm being deliberately vague because it's rather hard to talk about this book without spoilers. The plot is big, not quite sprawling, but very ambitio...more
kari
This sequel to Dairy Queen is as good, if not better, than the first book . DJ isn't as confused or silently angry in this one as she was in the first. She has begun a tentative relationship with Brian, the star quarterback from her high school's rival team. They both make some mistakes along the way, purposely or otherwise.
DJ takes on a great deal of responisibility when one of her older brother's has a devastating injury and she finds strength in herself she wasn't expecting.
I really love the...more
Ceecee
In a way, this book is better than Dairy Queen. DJ is just amazing. One of the best heroines around.

I just didn't enjoy this book as much as I did Dairy Queen, okay? And it's not because of that heartbreaking ending, I swear. I pretty much understand why it had to end like that. Off Season was heavier about issues, and I had to postpone finishing this a couple of times. My life wasn't exactly happy, and to read Off Season was like adding more to my burdens.

*4 stars
Kat Kennedy
I just love this series. I love D.J.'s voice, I love the concept of the books, I love the world they're in.

It's well written, it's funny, at times it's heartbreaking and at other times it just a plain old page-turner.
Lisa
I'm going to start off this review by saying I really enjoyed this book, but in my opinion it was not nearly as good as the first, and therefore I've rated it one less star.

Many of the positive aspects of the first book were still true of this one. D.J. is still an awesome and relatable character, the relationship between D.J. and her family is still interesting, and D.J. still has amazing chemistry with Brian Nelson. The relationship between D.J. and Brian was handled beautifully. The issues t...more
Dichotomy Girl
3.5 Stars

I closed this book feeling a bit like I'd been hit by a freight train. How was it even possible that 277 pages contained SO MUCH?

To be honest for a moment it lost a bit of its realism with me, because it felt like there were too many bad things happening at once. Which I realized was a really unfair assessment when I took a moment to think about it. I myself had a year in my life, where so many things happened, that I didn't think that I could possibly process anything else.

I think the...more
Maria
I recommend The Off Season.

*****

How come that one (and only) abrupt kiss got me hot and bothered? Maybe because it came out of nowhere and D.J. needed it to be oh, so good? Haha! Man, I love D.J. Schwenk. I want to be friends with this girl! D.J. is still funny, and sweet, but the biggest change is this: She's actually speaking up and standing up for herself for good. No more taking crap from Brian (jerk!) and her family.

The Off Season is still a short read like Dairy Queen but I didn't find the...more
Kit
This is the excellent sequel to Murdoch's first novel, Dairy Queen. DJ plays on her small-town high-school football team, but as in the first novel, that's neither gimmicky (she works hard on her parents' small farm, and she plays in a rural area where none of the schools have eleven giant guys to field, so it's believable that she can hold her own) nor the main focus of the book. As usual, the book is really about DJ's efforts to create her own life in the midst of small-town expectations and h...more
Amanda
The Off Season takes place right about where Dairy Queen left off. D.J. is not only a part of her high school's football team, but she's doing really well, even receiving some national attention. Her father's hip has healed enough that he can start managing some of the farm work again. She and Brian Nelson, the quarterback of rival high school Hawley's team and also the boy who helped out on her farm all summer, have something good developing between them. She and her best friend Amber are start...more
Adele
It wasn't until I was a fair way into this novel that I realised how invested I was in Win and the rest of the Schwenk family. DJ's older brothers, Win and Bill, had been peripheral characters for Dairy Queen and with Win's injury, I realised how much I had bought into the concept of this family that worked a dairy.

The Off Season picks up from where we left off. DJ's successfully integrated into the Red Bend football team, re-established her friendship with Amber, secretly (kinda) dating Brian...more
Sara ♥
August 21-22, 2013

Again with the awesome-sauce-ness! LOVE IT!

June 25-26, 2012

I really love this book (and audiobook)! Like I said below, I love that while on the surface, the book is about sports (and in this case, sports injuries), but that it has a definite deeper message about not giving up and being yourself and communication, etc. Even though you might not play sports (especially not football), and getting into and paying for college might not have been a concern you shared, you can still r...more
Anna
I read this a couple of days after finishing Dairy Queen so I went into this with some momentum. I felt like the beginning of the book dragged and I even remembered sort of asking myself Did I really want to read this? but then it picked up again and I sort of fell into the rhythm of Murdock's writing style and D.J.'s voice. I think D.J. is a great, strong female character. I like that she faces challenges and reacts in what I think are often very unselfish ways. But this book was full of challe...more
Kim (magicsandwiches) Lawyer
The day after reading Dairy Queen, I discovered there was a sequel! Oh joy to the world! I forced my husband to take me to Borders (on our way to a party for which we were already late) so I could buy it. Now, I don't just go out and buy books. A book has to be tried and tested before it takes up valuable space on my bookshelf, but I was obsessed. Also, my library didn't have the sequel and I had to have it NOW. After faking my way through an evening of conversations (I didn't want to talk to re...more
Rhonda
Sometimes, after a successful first novel, its sequel may fall flat. This certainly is not true in the case of Catherine Gilbert Murdock's sequel to Dairy Queen. In The Off Season, we find D.J. Schwenk coping with even more challenges than ever, many of which could topple someone twice her age. While we know that D.J. has real style and substance, this time we find her to be more of a hero than ever. Once again, she rises to the occasion, providing the stability for her injured brother to move o...more
Liz*
I loved it. It reminded me a little of Friday Night Lights, the TV show.

I'm honestly surprised with The Off Season. I don't know but I think it's even better than the first book. Much more complex, dealing with more serious topics, the introduction of DJ's brothers was one of the best things of the book in order to understand her a little more.

I totally love DJ. She's one of the most adorable characters I've read. Her voice is so unmistakable, the way she explains herself little things and majo...more
Watermelon Daisy


The Off Season is the second book of the Dairy Queen series and I continued to love it.

This is a series which you can't really compare to anything else, mainly because it's a different sort of contemporary. From the blurbs of the first book, you'd think this is a romance series, but you'd be surprised to realise it goes beyond that: it's about a girl trying her best.

D.J. continues to be one of the best female leads in YA (in my opinion) and I love how she always has this optimism going, even wh...more
Jess
This sequel to Dairy Queen is equally awesome, but the story is a bit more emotionally intense. For fans of Dairy Queen, it's got the same great, funny tone, the same complexity of characters, plenty of sports talk and family drama. But it's not at all a cookie cutter sequel - it picks up right where the first book left off, but it deals with fresh issues without ditching all the stuff from before. I also like the very realistic depiction of how teen relationships aren't always happy ever after...more
Nick TheLibraryGuy
A great follow-up to Dairy Queen. I was worried at first because lightning doesn't strike twice, and Dairy Queen was Murdock's first bolt of fiction, but my worry was totally unfounded.

What I love the most is that I never felt I was simply reading about a character's reactions to a set of circumstances. Instead, I felt that I was getting to know the Schwenk family as people. This might be true because I grew up in a town of similar size to Red Bend, but the truths contained here are valuable reg...more
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361963
I grew up in small-town Connecticut, on a tiny farm with honeybees, two adventurous goats, and a mess of Christmas trees. My sister claims we didn’t have a television, but we did, sometimes – only it was ancient, received exactly two channels, and had to be turned off after 45 minutes to cool down or else the screen would go all fuzzy. Watching (or rather, “watching”) Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds...more
More about Catherine Gilbert Murdock...
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“I’d promised myself that I’d really work on talking more, talking about uncomfortable things, because I could see from Brian how well things could work out if you did.” 7 likes
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