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The Off Season (Dairy Queen #2)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  10,085 Ratings  ·  872 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

Paperback, 296 pages
Published March 18th 2008 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (first published May 22nd 2007)
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Aj the Ravenous Reader
“You can’t control what people say about you.”

Awww! That ending was like a specialized heart-warmer hugging my heart so tight to almost bursting.

The second book to the adorable Dairy Queen is still just as funny and endearing but also tougher and more emotional. Off Season is the perfect title for the story and you’ll soon figure that out once you start reading this book (of course right after reading the first one).

I am quite loving this series because aside from the element of sports, thi
Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤ (of BADGER and Snake)
Fresh, fun, and D.J. learns some tough life lessons...I am so enthralled with this series. The voice, the characters, I can't get enough of it.

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Everyone needs to give this series a would really surprise you. ♥

That's the thing: when I say that I was skimming along, it didn't have anything to do with the milk house or doing so well in school, or even winning all those football games and feeling like I was really part of the team. It really meant just being crazy in love with Brian Nelso
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
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Jan 11, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, ya-fiction
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
Kat Kennedy
Jul 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Jul 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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,
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
I listened to all three books back-to-back over the last few days, so I'm just going to review them together.

I'd heard that if I enjoyed Miranda Kenneally's Hundred Oaks series, or at least the first book -- which also features a girl who plays football on a high school boys' team -- I'd probably enjoy this one even more. So, while perusing my library's website for my next listen -- for some reason I can't bring myself to finish Ruby Circle...*cries* why is it over? -- I saw that all three audi
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
Liz* Fashionably Late
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
Michael Justine
3.5 stars

It was not really bad but less enjoyable and fun compared to the previous book. It had more serious issues and more important lessons but the fun factor that its predecessor had was drained out.I like Murdock's way of characterizing her characters because they are all well rounded despite being in a genre that's known for sacrificing characterization for hilarious moments, but still, it wasn't enough for the book to get a higher rating.

I think I might've liked this more if D.J and Brian
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
Kylie N.
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
DON'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!!!! My first thought when seeing the cover for this one book is "looks dull, boring etc." and I was wrong. This is the most amazing book I have read.... Ever. I highly recommend this to anyone. This is the second book in this series and is just as great as the first. Amazing book, highly recommended.
May 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
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
Karla Mae (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
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2010, 5-star
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
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
Angie Elle
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm so in love with this series!
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five stars: Another hilarious adventure with an unforgettable, spunky heroine, whom I adore.

Life is going well for DJ. She is playing on the football team, hanging out with Brian, not spending her days milking cows and she is happy. Then things go down hill quickly, DJ hurts her shoulder, she finds out the farm is almost bankrupt, Brian disses her in front of his friends and then the unthinkable happens. Her brother, Win, is seriously hurt playing football. Once again, DJ must put on her big gi
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
Sam Kozbial
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports, audiobooks, ya
This one had all the charm of the first book and more. The family takes center stage in this one, when one of DJs brothers is hurt playing football. The way the family was there for each other really touched my heart. I will definitely be reading the third book, because I need some closure on this DJ/Brian arc.

Apr 10, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit, ya-series
I have to say again that I love the conservational tone of this series. It seems so personal and almost like DJ is personally telling me what is going on in her life at the moment. This makes it harder to say that I only liked this book, but didn’t love it. Reading DJ’s story this time around just kind of made me mad. I kept waiting for DJ to stand up for herself against her family, her football team and especially against Brian. She just lets them all take advantage of her or make her feel bad ...more
Sara ♥
January 25, 2016

Ah, DJ Schwenk! You're awesome, girl!!

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 mig
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Dairy Queen (4 books)
  • Dairy Queen (Dairy Queen, #1)
  • Front and Center (Dairy Queen, #3)
  • Heaven Is Paved with Oreos (Dairy Queen, #4)
“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.” 10 likes
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