Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Review: Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Dairy Queen (Dairy Queen #1)
Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books For Children
Release Date: May 22, 2006

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.

Dairy Queen is a book that I've been wanting to read for a few years now but just never picked up. But after seeing a few recent reviews for it, I finally decided to pick it up. I'm so glad I finally did read this novel because it is such a fun book. 

I'll start by saying that this book is so funny. D.J.'s sarcastic attitude combined with Murdock's witty writing creates quite a humorous experience. And although there are no real pressing and hard issues featured in this novel, it isn't all fluff. This is the story of how a girl in an emotionally struggling family makes her own path. 

D.J. is a somewhat self-concious girl who has never really done anything besides what is expected from her family. Dairy Queen is mostly the story of D.J. discovering who she wants to be and what she wants to do. Now, she still has a lot of growing to do, as I expect she does in the following novels. And D.J. is snarky and (as mentioned before) sarcastic, which makes her a great main character. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Dairy Queen. It was everything I expected with a few extra surprises thrown in. I loved the characters (not just D.J. but other such as Brian and Curtis), and I loved the story. There were some things that I wish had a bigger spot in the novel or that were developed a little more, but I expect that to be fixed in the coming novels, which I can't wait to read. 



  1. Yay! This series is my go-to YA contemporary. D.J. is a fantastic character, and the way she tells her story is amazingly real and enjoyable.

  2. I've also heard a lot about this series! I'm going to have to check it out next time I'm at the book store :)