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 their story and the growth of each individual character. Catherine Gilbert Murdock
really threw me through a loop when she threw so much on DJ's table in this book. The best part of this series, obviously in my opinion, is that DJ doesn't just wallow in depression when hard things happen in her life. She deals with it. She deals with life. And that quality is contrary to a lot of YA literature out there in which the main character cannot get over their parent's divorce or moving to a new town or having no friends.
As one of four kids, I really appreciate reading books where family dynamics seem realistic--especially those between siblings. I'm trying to figure out what it is about this series that just makes me happy and I think it's just that the entire Schwenk family and their town are good, hardworking people. I kind of hate when people refer to "small-town America" and that value system but, in the case of this book, it kind of applies. I like the idea of a community rallying behind a family and of farmers helping each other when trouble arises. Now, I know this can happen in the suburbs (or even in urban areas) but it just feels so much more...likely in a small town.
I was ecstatic when DJ came into herself near the end of this one.
*I listened to this an an audiobook. The same person narrates the entire series which is awesome. She does a fantastic job. Especially with the Bob the Duck voice:) "Hey baby, check out this winnngspan."