Megan's Reviews > Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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Jun 28, 11

bookshelves: ya-summer-challange-2011, young-adult, not-mine-library, favorites
Read from June 10 to 12, 2011

Dairy Queen has got to be the best book hidden behind the worst cover/title ever. This isn’t a book I would have given a second glance at if it weren’t for so many Goodreads friends raving over it. Even looking past the cover, the synopsis here doesn’t sound great. One special summer in which our young protagonist, D.J. Schwenk spends time with a guy who is “out of her league”, figures out some family issues and goes out for the boys football team? This has the potential to be quirky in an oh-so-annoying way. But it isn’t. Not at all. And I am kicking myself for not reading this book sooner than now.

To start with, D.J. is refreshing and a pleasure to read about. Author Catherine Gilbert Murdock writes D.J. in the Sookie Stackhouse style. That is, she just happily rambles about her day, her thoughts and feelings on just about everything in such a friendly, conversational manner that before you know it you are completely hooked. Unlike Sookie though, D.J. is figuring out her purpose and goals in life. Also, this series will not be more than a trilogy, so we know her blathering will have a point and eventually lead us to (hopefully!) a satisfying conclusion. D.J. is every bit the tomboy who lives and works on a dairy farm, is athletic, and much like any boy, is very uncomfortable experiencing and expressing emotions. We get to meet her family who are just as tough, strong, sensitive and emotionally unenlightened as D.J. is. Of course YA covers are misleading, but I still think it’s odd for this book to have such a weird, whimsical cover when there really isn’t anything weird or whimsical about D.J.

Dairy Queen is simply one of those books which gets so many things right, it’s hard to articulate what makes it so special. I love that D.J. follows her desires not in an effort to prove a point, or impress someone or rebel. She merely attempts to figure out what she wants in life and endeavors to follow her dreams. There is a great message in this novel of being true to yourself.

And did I mention this book is also about football? Lots and lots of football (oh yeah!) Murdock does a fantastic job of describing the sport, but it’s clear that she really isn’t a fan when she mentions D.J.’s old brother/football hero Bill attending Minnesota. Yeah, it’s cool he’s playing for a NCAA team and all, but really Minnesota?? Just about the worst team in the Big Ten. I could understand if the book was based in Minnesota, or Murdock had special ties to that school (who knows, maybe she does?) But Dairy Queen takes place in Wisconsin, which has a perfectly respectable state university and football team of their own. A team that is so good, I always have a tight knot of anxiety in my stomach when my beloved Buckeyes play them. Ah, well.

Besides being proud of her brother for attending Minnesota (because for fucks sake, they are terrible!) Dairy Queen is a flawless and enjoyable book. It is definitely one I recommend, even for people who are not football fans. Really, the sports stuff isn’t so overwhelming for those of you who just aren’t into it. For the rest of us, it’s got just enough to make you count down the days till kickoff. That is, if you aren’t already =)

UPDATE: This series rocks! Just finished the final installment,
Front and Center and loved it. Going back to rate each book in this trilogy 5 stars (8/22/11)
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Reading Progress

06/11/2011 page 100
36.0%
06/12/2011 page 278
100.0% "*sob* Done with this book. Time to wipe away the tears, (finally) quit putting off the yardwork & count down the days to football season!" 2 comments

Comments (showing 1-7)




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Kristy I'm glad I read your review, the coverand title really turned me off as well... But your review makes me want to read it:)


Megan Yay! It's really good, hope you like it :)


Flannery These are pretty good on audio as well. (I've only done the first two so far) The narrator does a pretty great Wisconsin accent:)


Dominika Yeah, I absolutely love the book and have no clue about the sport itself :) Great review!


message 3: by Megan (last edited Jun 29, 2011 06:44AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Megan Flannery wrote: "These are pretty good on audio as well. (I've only done the first two so far) The narrator does a pretty great Wisconsin accent:)"

You know, while reading these I keep wondering if anyone has an accent but I always thought people from Wisconsin just talked like everyone else in the midwest. People from Minnesota have an accent for sure, and considering Mineapolis is only a few hours from Red Bend, I assumed the people in this book might have a similar accent. Hmm... now I'm intrigued :)


message 2: by Megan (last edited Jun 29, 2011 06:43AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Megan Dominika wrote: "Yeah, I absolutely love the book and have no clue about the sport itself :) Great review!"

Glad you liked the review :) I think Murdock does a great job explaining football & making it easy to understand.


Lisa Loved your review, Megan. I agree with pretty much everything you wrote (especially about the cover, title, and synopsis). I had a difficult time articulating my feelings about this one too. Nothing I wrote makes this book sound as good as it is. I just hope I did a better job than the synopsis.


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