I wasn't sure what I'd think when I started, but it was interesting enough that I decided to give it a try. I was quite pleasantly surprised. First of...moreI wasn't sure what I'd think when I started, but it was interesting enough that I decided to give it a try. I was quite pleasantly surprised. First of all, D.J., the main character, writes in first person, so we are seeing everything through her eyes. She is very down to earth, and it is quite easy to relate to her. Anyone familiar with farming and small town life will be at home here.
D.J. really draws you in to her story. This is the first book in a trilogy, and the beginning of a soul searching journey for D.J. You will be pulled in to her family drama (or lack thereof), and her relationship with Brian. All of her uncertainties, her joys and her troubles are laid out.
She isn't like everyone else - for one thing, her family owns a dairy farm, so her life is structured by its needs. Her older brothers are Division I football players in college, and her younger brother doesn't say much. She's a big girl - very tall and athletic, so she struggles with her image. She's not sure of herself academically or socially. She doesn't know what she does want to do, only that she doesn't want to "be a cow." She doesn't want to be only what people expect her to be, following the directions of anyone who tells her what to do. However, she doesn't know how to do anything else yet, either. She has to learn how to communicate - both with the people around her, and with herself.
This book is the beginning of her journey to discover who she is and who she is meant to be. (less)
A continuation from "Dairy Queen," we find ourselves following D.J. through the fall of her Junior year. Just when her father is back on her feet and...moreA continuation from "Dairy Queen," we find ourselves following D.J. through the fall of her Junior year. Just when her father is back on her feet and running things at the farm, an accident happens, and D.J. is again pulled in two directions. She struggles in this book with being the one who has to be the strong one - the one who can take care of everything.
No longer a "cow," we see more of D.J.'s opinions and strength in this book. Her relationship with her family is undergoing changes a both she and they grow up. Her relationship with Brian is also undergoing changes, and D.J. is going to have to make some tough choices there too.
The vivid descriptions of events will have you feeling a part of them. You will cry with her and laugh with her, and through it all you wonder what choices she is going to make. Everything she does affects so many of the people around her, and trying to understand that is a huge part of growing up. D.J. struggles with that in this book. The weight of responsibility is hard to carry.(less)
The final book in the "Dairy Queen" trilogy, you follow D.J. through the winter of her Junior year.
In the first two books, D.J. was trying to deal wi...moreThe final book in the "Dairy Queen" trilogy, you follow D.J. through the winter of her Junior year.
In the first two books, D.J. was trying to deal with her relationship with the people around her. Her best friend, Amber, her kind-of boyfriend, Brian, her family...all of them had expectations of her and she's spent the last months growing into her place among them.
This book is more focused on how D.J. feels about herself. How does she deal with pressure? What does she do when her own weaknesses are preventing her from being what she knows she could be. Although the primary conflict deals with whether or not she will play Division 1 ball, it is only a symbol of all she has tried to figure out over the last two books.
Who is she? Who is she meant to be?
In a way, her relationships with Beaner and Brian symbolize the same struggle. One accepts her the way she is - indeed celebrates it - to the extent that he understands her. The other struggles to figure out how she can fit into his world, but he understands her better than anyone else. With one, she'll never have the highest of highs, but she'll never have the lowest of lows either. With the other, she'll reach the heights, but is in danger of crashing to the ground as well. What does she want to chance?
One thing for sure, I don't want the storyline to end. I know this is the last book, but I would love to follow this family further.(less)