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Dairy Queen

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Dairy Queen Review

“When you don't talk, there's a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.” These words are spoken by D.J Schwenk, in the small town of Red Bend, Wisconsin; she learns how important communication is and how essential it is to life. Throughout the story, the reader experiences the hardships of living on a farm, encounters numerous secrets, watches a forbidden love unfold, sees family ties broken and mended, and is subjected to a good amount of football.

Dairy Queen begins somewhat slowly but eventually picks up towards the third chapter. The story connects more to the reader who comes from a quaint, tiny suburb rather than to a city dweller. The setting is relevant because it exemplifies the importance of the big football game each year between Hawley and Red Bend. It shows the loving and caring environment of a small town. The Schwenk farm is also a big part of the setting of the story. Without it, there would not be a place for Hawley's so called all star quarterback, Brian Nelson, to work during the summer or to eventually train for football season.

Throughout the novel, Catherine Murdock, sustains a somewhat sarcastic style of writing. Showing the lives of Amber and D.J. and comparing them to movie stars is a far fetch from the truth. She also thoroughly connects with the reader in a way that makes him or her feel as if he or she is a part of the story being told. In various incidences, Murdock will refer to the reader and ask if they are paying attention or ask for their opinion on a certain topic. The style of this novel is very unique and it opens new windows for young readers and writers of the age.

Dairy Queen has very tangible characters that the reader can easily relate to with real life. The Schwenks are the perfect example of a well rounded All-American family. Well not quite. There is Mom, who strives to keep up with two jobs and raising a family, Dad who needs hip surgery and has a new obsession with cooking, and Curtis who can hardly utter two words. Protagonist of the story, D.J. Schwenk is a typical fifteen year old girl balancing school, basketball, volleyball, and the daily farm work. When she is not busy milking cows, D.J. usually hangs out with her best friend Amber. Amber is wildly unethical in her personality and keeps something hidden from D.J. that no one would ever guess without reading the entire book. Finally, the reader meets the stuck up, rich quarterback Brian Nelson who is perhaps a bit misunderstood by most people. As the reader goes through the story, he or she will encounter other minor characters. They are all completely believable and Murdock should be commended on creating such a real down to earth story.

Dairy Queen is a wonderful novel filled with excitement, disappointment, lies, love, and of course football. The reader will have a hard time putting this one down. Murdock is a genius and must be congratulated for writing this piece and saying what has been needed to be said for a long time.





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