Book Review: Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Rating: StarStarStarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Contemporary | Romance

(Dairy Queen #1)

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. can’t help admitting, maybe he’s right.

When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.

Stuff like why her best friend, Amber, isn’t so friendly anymore. Or why her little brother, Curtis, never opens his mouth. Why her mom has two jobs and a big secret. Why her college-football-star brothers won’t even call home. Why her dad would go ballistic if she tried out for the high school football team herself. And why Brian is so, so out of her league.

When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.

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.

Literary Awards: Borders Original Voices Award for YA or Independent Reader (2006),South Carolina Book Award Nominee for Young Adult Book Award (2009), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2009)



Dairy Queen is the kind of book that grows on you. It started out pretty much ordinary, but then as Murdock builds the story, it gets interesting after every turn of page. D.J. is some girl i probably won’t hang out with at first glance (her being the Dairy Queen, submissive, complacent and all that). But I got to know her; she ran deep and i really, really liked her. Admired her, even. Yes, D.J. has a awful lot of stuff to say. =)

D.J. took over their farm when her dad hurt his hip. She did (almost always) all the farm work; hence, the term Dairy Queen. Her dad grumpily cooks for her and Curtis while her mom works as a principal. With her dad’s bossiness, her mom’s absence, and her brother’s silence (he doesn’t like to talk), complaining about her hard work at the farm without recognition doesn’t seem to matter. So she says nothing. Enter Brian, rival quarterback who seems to have no future in football because of his laziness. Showing up in D.J.’s farm so he can train, Brian is the egotistic distraction D.J. doesn’t need. Suddenly, D.J. can’t help but speak up.

Murdock wrote a story that has no need for rush. I was acquainted with D.J.’s farm life and sports genius first before delving into the core of the story. i love the progress of D.J. and Brian’s friendship. Antagonistic at first, but unconsciously, they learn to know each other. Eventually, each other’s strength. Brian is perceptive. i liked how he’s straight with D.J., how he can get her to talk. It felt real. I understood completely why D.J. fell for him even when he’s so, SO out of her league. =) And those awkward moments with Brian? Hilarious!

Be patient when you pick up and read Dairy Queen. While i greatly enjoyed D.J. and Brian’s relationship, i also cherished D.J.’s raw conflicts with her family (strained and awkward, but they all worked out beautifully). Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, Dairy Queen surely had me rooting for the farm chick. =)



.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”