Maja (The Nocturnal Library)'s Reviews > Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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's review
Jul 14, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, contemporary-fiction, favorites, all-the-right-choices, reviewed-in-2011
Recommended to Maja (The Nocturnal Library) by: Limonessa
Recommended for: everyone
Read from August 08 to 09, 2011

I never thought I’d have fun reading about a belching contest of all things, but that’s exactly what happened. Murdock’s Dairy Queen is just the kind of YA I can truly enjoy: loads of fun on the surface, yet if you remember to look a little deeper, for the most part it’s not funny at all.

I noticed a long time ago that authors often have problems with creating characters that are quite average. On one side, most of them don’t even want to because they’re convinced that nobody likes to read about average people. On the other, even when they try, they usually don’t know how. Sometimes you can just see that’s what the author intended to do, especially in YA, but the characters end up being either too smart or too stupid to live, thus remaining completely unrealistic and two-dimensional. That is not the case with Catherine Murdock. In my opinion, she was successful. D.J. always does the right thing for herself, but that doesn’t mean that she’s too smart. She’s not very pretty or very social, either. But Murdock knows how to make you care for her and see her in a completely different light. The thing I liked most about D.J. is that she never once made me feel frustrated or angry because I always knew that she was doing her best, even when it wasn’t enough.

Stylistically speaking, at first glance, the writing was a little strange. I was bothered by it at first, but then I started discovering things about D.J. and I realized that it needed to be adapted to the narrator. D.J. flunked her English class because she was too busy working on the family farm. All those awkward sentences (kind of like mine, but worse) and words that kept repeating again and again made things sound more authentic. In other words, once I realized that Murdock did it on purpose, and it DID take me a while, I liked it.

Phew. Let me tell you, flirting is never easy, but having any sort of romantic conversation while shoveling cow poop is next to impossible. And yet D.J. and Brian managed to do it, and it was awkward, adorable and everything else it was supposed to be. I loved the two of them together and I loved that the focus wasn't on the romance at all.

I can’t wait to read the next two books!
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Reading Progress

8.0% ""Because us Schwenks aren't rich, and we're not that smart, and except for Bill, and Mom when she was thin back before she got married, we're nothing to look at. But one thing we can do is work."" 4 comments
23.0% ""If there was ever a TV show called People Who Are Crazy and Need to Have Their Heads Examined, I'd be the very first guest. They'd put me on one of those couches and a guy with a beard and funny accent would ask me questions, and the audience would ooh and aah as they realized this girl was crazy."" 3 comments

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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Limonessa I love your review Maja. And I think shoveling cow poop is totally sexy :D

message 2: by Maja (The Nocturnal Library) (last edited Aug 09, 2011 02:47PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Yeah, you would, you crazy person! :D
I didn't actually write a review. I just copied all my notes from when I was reading. I'm too tired to even try to make it better.
It'll do. :)

Tatiana Well, I like your review as it is:) The good thing is that the following two books are just as good IMO.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Thank you! And I can't wait to read them. I'll try to squeeze them in this week if at all possible.

Vinaya I. Want. I've been lusting after this book forever, ever since I read Kat's review, and now you are just making me greeeennnn with envy! It sounds like an awesome book! Great review, Maja. D:

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Thank you! I'm sure you'll read it soon. I have this ability to see the future. Oh, and mind control, but nevermind that!

Erin Awesome review. It's a testament to how good this book is that even my 13-year old brother likes it. (He picked it up and read the first chapter "because he was bored", then magically finished it within 24 hours.) Your review really hit on all the things that I love about Dairy Queen. :)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I'm so glad, Erin, and thank you! I can't wait to read the rest!

Laura Your reviews always throw my reading “plan” (haha) completely off track! Now I want to bump this one to the top of the read-next pile. Great review Maja!
The expression—“too stupid to live” always makes me laugh. :)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) LOL, D.J.'s not too bright, but she sure isn't TSTL. You'll love this, I promise!

Greta is Erikasbuddy I couldn't agree more!! YA characters either sound like they graduated Harvard at 14 or they are so dumb they are licking salt off the railroad tracks. But squee squee to a character who isn't overwhelming!! Loves it!

Great review!

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