Teen's Reviews > The Off Season

The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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's review
Jan 27, 2009

really liked it
Read in January, 2009

Review: “The Off Season” comes to life when D.J. gets accepted by her high school’s football coach and players as a starter. D.J. proves herself on the field during their first preseason game against rival Hawley, when D.J. scores after intercepting a pass thrown by her tentative boyfriend Brian (see review for Dairy Queen). Finally, a girl can ride the waves of adulation football players receive. D.J.’s even trying to stay on top of her homework this year. The entire Schwenk family enjoys seeing D.J.’s older brothers Bill and Win, impressively play in their opening college football games at the University of Minnesota and the University of Washington. And, Brian asks D.J. to accompany him on a family errand to Minneapolis – that’s a date, right? And, then the momentum changes, as it often does in a hard fought game. Brian ignores D.J. at Taco Bell, in front of his friends; D.J. separates her shoulder in a bruising tackle in a practice game and must choose to give up football if she wants to protect her ability to get a basketball scholarship to college. People Magazine comes out to the farm to do a feature article about D.J. when Brian is hanging out with her. The resulting photographs in the magazine outs them as a couple, which Brian has taken pains to hide from public view, ostensibly to protect his popular reputation. Plus she loses her best friend, when Amber leaves town with her older lesbian lover. Just when D.J. thinks it couldn’t get any worse, brother Win, gets face masked by an opposing player resulting in severe injuries to his spine. Who will be the one to give up their normal life to help Win turn his attitude around so that he can begin the long road to rehabilitation to whatever kind of life his injury will allow? Peg Dombek

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