Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2006
4.5 out of 5
When you don't talk, there's a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.
Harsh words indeed, from Brian Nelson of all people. But D.J. Schwenk can't help admitting to herself that maybe he's right. Because it's obvious that no one is talking about why D.J's best friend, Amber isn't so friendly anymore. Or why her little brother, Curtis, never opens or his mouth. Or why her mom has two jobs, or why her college-football-star brothers don't call home. And certainly no one is talking about how D.J's Dad would go ballistic if she tried out for the football team. There's definitely a lot not being said. And that's not even mentioning the many reasons that Brian Nelson is out of D.J's league.
Welcome to the summer that fifteen-year-old D.J. Schwenk of Red Bend, Wisconsin, learns to talk, and ends up having an awful lot of stuff to say.
I love D.J. She reminds me of me, minus the being tough and playing football part. Ok, so I guess she doesn't remind me of me at all, but I love that there's romance without it being super-duper girly and gushy all the time.
D.J. has more important things to deal with, like working the farm while her dad can't, getting in shape for football, & figuring out what is up with her best friend, instead of being all woozy over a boy. She just does her thing and eventually it all comes together instead of her working ridiculously hard to make everything come together and then it all falling apart so that it can come together the "right" way. (I think I just described every romance ever.) Don't get me wrong, there are elements of that here, but it's a little different. At least, it felt different.
This was another of my audiobooks and I think Natalie Moore* is one of my favorite narrators now. She sounded very much like a Wisconsin teenager and also has a way with other character voices. I loved this book. It makes a great summer read. I'm just sad that we don't have the others in audio.
*Apparently, I'm not the only one who likes her. There's a list on goodreads.
Full disclosure: I borrowed the audio version from my local library.