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Paperback The off Season Book

ISBN: 0618934936

ISBN13: 9780618934935

The off Season

(Book #2 in the Dairy Queen Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

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 linebacker in northern Wisconsin, probably. Which just shows you can't predict thefuture...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Awesome series - Funny, sad, smart and everything in between

I'm 37 years old and I'll read any age level as long as it's good. This is great. I love D.J. She's tough and decent and has a hilarious inner voice and is just a genuinely great person. At times she's given almost too much for a teenager to handle but she does it because there's no one else and at their core Schwenks go out there and get the job done. But what's really great about DJ is that she's not perfect. She gets angry and resentful and bottles up her feelings and shoves her foot in her mouth and thinks selfish thoughts. In other words she's a real, relatable person. Her family and the supporting characters are all vividly drawn and believable. No one's a villain and no one's perfect, just like real life. These books made me snicker and they made me cry and they made me smile about remembering the feeling of first love. I really recommend both Dairy Queen and The Off Season and I'm planning to send them to my nieces pronto because DJ's a pretty awesome role model.

A similarly great sequel

When DJ Schwenck got to join the Red Bend boy's football team, when she and Brian got together, and when she was finally able to "talk," she thought that all of her problems were simple solved. But once, while in practice, DJ hurt self and had to decide whether football was worth ruining her future for. Then Brian started acting all weird when they were together in public, and her older brother, Win, got hurt really bad during a football game. That's when DJ steps up, once again, to take all those burdens on her already-injured shoulders. I thought Murdock's Dairy Queen, was the best coming-of-age-story I have ever read. Turns out, the off season is a progression of DJ's coming-of-age that started in the first book. Though containing a more no-nonsense tone than the previous book, it still contains numerous laugh-out-loud scenes, not because the situation is funny but simply because DJ says it as it is. Like the first book, this too is authentic, and Murdock strongly established that fact in its ending, it wasn't all happy-go-lucky, but then again it wasn't a sad one either. But rather well balanced, some people might not like the way DJ and Brian's relationship turned out to be, but I guess that also was realistic. What are you waiting for? Do yourself a favor and get this book, it simply is amazing.

A great sequel

I enjoyed this book as much as Dairy Queen. I really like the fact that D.J. is such a down to earth girl. You can't help but like her. She really makes you think about what is really important in family and having a good character. I think Dairy Queen and The Off Season would be great books for every teenage girl to read.

marketed for young adults, but it's not The Princess Diaries

This book, the sequel to Murdock's Dairy Queen, may be marketed for young adults, but it's not the equivalent of Sweet Valley High or The Princess Diaries, as both the book and heroine D.J. Schwenk have their feet planted firmly in reality. D.J. is a high school junior in rural Red Bend, Wisconsin, who has a lot on her plate: handling the pressure and jibes directed at her as the first female member of the high school football team; trying to figure out and handle her feelings for Brian, the quarterback of the rival high school team; and putting in hours of work on her family's dairy farm, worrying that said farm will soon go under; trying to reconnect with her best friend, Amber, who has recently come out and is dating an older woman; and, of course, struggling with school work. The Off Season is such a gripping read that I read it a single sitting. D.J. is such a believable, sympathetic character and faces up to her challenges (including a big one towards the end of the novel) that the reader empathizes with her throughout, even when she does something somewhat foolish. Murdock does an admirable job of capturing the rhythm and concerns of small town and rural life and has an ear for dialogue. The supporting characters, including her father, mother and younger brother, ring true and are fleshed out enough that they give us a picture of D.J.'s upbringing and family life. This is one-level headed girl with a down-to-earth grip on what's important in life. I can't wait to read of her further adventures.

Serves up surprising twists while staying true to life

D.J. Schwenk spends Labor Day at the neighbors' picnic, eating and playing a baseball game so funny that she literally falls down laughing. But the family's cows must be milked and fed, so the Schwenks leave early to tend to their dairy farm chores. At home Brian Nelson shows up, to D.J.'s delight. Brian helps with the cows, he and D.J. discuss their last football game (they play on opposing teams), and then there's a little awkward shuffling as he prepares to leave. D.J. remembers how they botched their one attempt to make out as Brian takes off. When school starts, D.J. discovers that she is no longer invisible, thanks to the fact that she's the only girl on the football team. However, D.J. doesn't like the attention; she joined the squad to prove to herself that she was unique, not to become public property. D.J. is thrilled when Brian calls to ask her to ride with him to Minneapolis over the weekend. But she turns him down for Saturday because her brothers play college football. Watching the games with her family is more important than anything else, so she's relieved when Brian suggests a Sunday trip. Their excursion ends with kissing so inflammatory that D.J. suddenly understands how easy it would be to "Do Anything Stupid" (which her mother constantly warns her against). To her amazement, D.J. learns that the paparazzi are after her story. She doesn't want people accusing her of being a linebacker to get publicity. But maybe those reporters from People won't show up after all... Meanwhile, kids at school begin hassling D.J.'s best friend Amber because of Amber's girlfriend. Amber starts cutting school, which is a total bummer for D.J. Next, D.J. is benched for "bullying" when she was actually defending a kid from a real bully. Can things go even more downhill? Certainly. D.J. grapples with the secret knowledge of her family's financial situation, impossible decisions that challenge her loyalties, physical pain and romantic confusion --- not to mention a whole load of humiliation. And then something happens that is so earth-shattering that it puts all her other trials into perspective. Catherine Gilbert Murdock's characters are so real, I wouldn't be surprised to bump into one of them at the grocery store. There is not a stereotype to be found among the cast --- from the brilliant, good-with-little-kids younger brother to Amber and her barbecuing girlfriend Dale. And how refreshing it is to have a large, tall female main character who is in love but also plays football, roofs sheds, struggles with schoolwork and would never yearn to be a size 2. The pace is lively, and the plot serves up surprising twists while staying true to life. As much as I enjoyed the first half of the book, once I hit the gut-twisting middle, I just could not put it down. THE OFF SEASON is a total winner, fulfilling the promise of the first installment of D.J.'s tale, DAIRY QUEEN. Dare we hope for a third? --- Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon (terryms2001
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