Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

D.J. Schwenk is terribly troubled when she sees one Brian Nelson with his fancy car and clothes come up to her home and her farm. D.J. isn't what you would call a normal girl. She works on her family's farm and has had to quit Basketball because her father broke his hip. Months later she is doing the same thing and she even flunked out of Sophomore English. She isn't a petite little girl who hangs around football players like they are the most amazing people in the world. She's just plain old D.J. who's tough and knows who she is. Or does she?

Her brothers were great football players but they are gone now, away to football camp. They don't talk about her brothers. The Schwenk family doesn't really talk to each other at all. Her father is busy cooking dreadful food because of his bad hip, her mother works as a teacher and principal, and her little brother that isn't so little anymore gets out of a lot of chores because he has baseball. The weird thing about her brother is that he talks even less than the rest of the family. He hardly says a word.

Back to Brian Nelson who happens to be sent by the coach of her school's enemy team. The coach is a family friend but that doesn't mean she doesn't absolutely hate everything about Brian Nelson and what he represents. He's a whiner, a slacker who blames all of his mistakes on his teammates. He even thinks she's crazy to think he would be working out for football when it's summer vacation. So the coach sent him over and she finds out that he has to come over here to start. He of course gives up and the coach comes over the next day. Everything changes when he asks her to train Brian Nelson. I mean she doesn't agree with it of course at first but old Jimmy Ott is a salesman and she regrettably agrees. She would be a great trainer. She always trained with her brothers, catching footballs, and even getting tackled to the ground but Brian Nelson is a lost cause.

"Don't you see how you live? You do all the work they expect you to do and you don't even mind. It's like you're a cow. And one day in about 50 years they're going to put you on a truck and take you away to die and you're not even going to mind either." This is when D.J. starts thinking about her being a cow and not wanting to be a cow does something that no one would expect her to do. This is also where I start explaining that I absolutely love D.J. She is this strong female who sounds a lot like a lot of people in the beginning. People who just move through life and never really so something worthwhile and now I know a word for people like that. They are cows. I just love that. Then she just herself is amazing already. I can imagine her running and being this ripped girl because of her being in Basketball and Track. And I envy that and it's inspirational. There are hardly any girl characters that I absolutely love like her and actually is inspired by them.

You know when I mention a guy in the first sentence or if an author mentions a guy in the summary and the story revolves around a girl that there definitely is a love interest? There is of course but I liked how I didn't really know about it that much. It snuck up on me a little like I think it did D.J. I appreciate how she wasn't melting over the attention or possible attention of this boy. How she didn't mention he was good looking in the first place because he was so stuck up. It was nice and a little bit up in the air where anything could happen.

It takes her awhile but she does mention why the boys left which I won't ruin. There whole family is messed up and who would have thought that Brian Nelson knew thing or two about family and having healthy relationships. He helps her a lot and you start liking him. I myself never didn't like him. I mean he never did anything to me he was just neutral for me. He turns a 180 with D.J. and what she thought of him which I love because hey, I'm a girl and I love a good romance.

Her brother is just a quiet kid but then I find out a few things about him and I was creeped out but no he turns it around. He's not that creepy depending on you. Her mother... she was there for her in the end but she is like the rest of them, not a big talker. She also went psycho once in the past tense of this book so I'm kind of frightened of her. Her father.... he's such a pain. Guys aren't supposed to cook but he gets into it and he makes sure that no one really knows. Guys do guy things and girls do girl things. D.J. does whatever she is told. She starts questioning that. They are all a little crazy if you noticed. I'm making them sound worse than they are. It's just to let you know that this family does have issues. I mean they hardly talk to each other and they hardly thank D.J. which I don't appreciate them doing to my girl.

There is one person I still haven't mentioned which is Amber, her best friend. They hang out a lot and drink beers sometimes which I don't condone but what do you expect in a YA book? She is pretty mean. She makes fun of others a lot. I don't particularly like her. You actually saw very little of her even though they are supposedly best friends which I don't mind because you see her once and she's okay but the next time you see her she is a total witch. There is a reason for it all and one you won't expect.

I have a confession to make. I don't think I've ever read a book where it is a sports book and the main character is a girl. It's so sad it's embarrassing. I do love fictional books with sports in them. Mexican Whiteboy is a favorite of mine but I've never read a sports book with a girl! It's shameful. I'm glad I started with D.J. because if I did read another book like this and the girl wasn't as tough or got all mushy over a guy I don't think these types of books would have lasted for me. I just am absolutely in LOVE with D.J.'s character. I couldn't have hoped for better. Then I found out it's a trilogy and I got all teary eyed because I want them and then my library has the rest so I am so happy! GIRLS read these types of books!!!


  1. I love when girls are strong in books. I had three brothers and lived on a street with all boys. I rode bikes, climbed trees, and played football and baseball with them on a daily basis (I still liked some "girlie" things- but there wasn't anyone to do them with). I think hanging out with all those boys makes you a lot less likely to fall at guys' feet. DJ sounds like an awesome character. I can't wait to get to know her when I read this book. Also- I love the term cow. :)

    1. I have two brothers myself and I used to hang out with a lot of boys but mostly we would play video games. I did go outside more than I do now and I liked hanging out with boys more until senior year of high school. People don't consider me girly but I am and they think it's weird when I talk about girly things. Girls are way more fun to talk to about everything basically especially if they are nice girls. Wish I had your childhood. It sounds fun.


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