Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 4089
Dairy Queen
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
D.J. Schwenk is a “cow.” Or at least, that’s what Brian Nelson thinks, since she runs her family’s farm by herself without complaint, mindlessly doing as she’s expected. And maybe Brian is right, seeing that D.J.’s not smart, not pretty, can never hope to live up to her older brothers’ athletic legacies—maybe Brian was right. But that doesn’t mean D.J. has to be happy about it, and it certainly doesn’t mean she has to roll over and keep on being a cow.

That right there, fellow readers, is one of the freshest plot designs for a YA contemporary I’ve seen in years. Dairy Queen isn’t a fluffy romance, and it’s not a gritty “issue” book. It’s simply a realistic story about a Wisconsin farm girl who decides enough is enough and does what she wants to do. And, cheesy cover art aside, I think Dairy Queen is one of the best straight-up contemporary books I’ve read.

For one, there’s D.J. as a main character. She didn’t descend from the “beautiful and wildly talented” branch of the extended heroine family. She’s extremely down to earth and real, full of attitude, but also flawed. Not everything she does is perfect, but she has an indefinable “hey you!” quality to her narrative that sucked me in and made me fall in love with her.

Then there’s a girl trying out for the football team. Whenever I see something like this attempted, it ends up being very cheesy like She’s the Man (Shakespearean influence aside). But in the case of Dairy Queen, D.J.’s attempt to play football seemed very real, not at all forced, and a scenario that seemed very plausible in a small town/limited athlete pool setting.
And then, of course, there was Brian, the “romantic interest.” Except, of course, there was no romance in this book, which I found extremely refreshing. Yes, D.J. was able to admit that maybe she had a little bit of a crush on Brian, but there were other things going on, and at the end Murdock left things very open. Hence the sequel.

I was, though, a bit disappointed by D.J.’s Ponyboy-ness in the final paragraphs, mostly because I think that style of narration is silly. I didn’t like it in The Outsiders, and I certainly didn’t like it in Dairy Queen.

Dairy Queen is a fresh and realistic look at contemporary fiction. D.J. was a great main character, and her story was likable and quirky. Murdock handled her subject matter well, and the end result was very good.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

All Kinds of Other
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
In this tender, nuanced coming-of-age love story, two boys—one who...
Reign of Secrets
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
At the Midnight Ball, leave your inhibitions at the...
The Forest of Stolen Girls
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
1426, Joseon (Korea). Hwani's family has never been the...
Go the Distance
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
What if Meg had to become a god? After...
In Deeper Waters
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger...
These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates...
Take Me Home: Waters of the World
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bite-sized facts about bodies of water from around the globe,...
This Is My America
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Hate U Give meets Just Mercy in this unflinching...
Colors in Nature
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Magnificent, hand-painted illustrations by a rising star of Czech watercolor...
Welcome to Arizona
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to Arizona! We're glad you're here! Introducing a new...
I Don't Want to Go to School
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
It's Mouse's first day of school. It's Dinosaur's first day...
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I'm Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter meets Emergency Contact...
Counting Down with You
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this sparkling and romantic YA debut, a reserved Bangladeshi...
There's No Ham in Hamburgers: Facts and Folklore About Our Favorite Foods
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From hot dogs and hamburgers to ice cream and pizza,...
The Light of Days Young Readers’ Edition: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
As their communities were being destroyed, groups of Jewish women...
Paint by Sticker Kids: Outer Space
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Blast off into outer space with this mess-free sticker craft!...

Latest Member Reviews

Sex Kittens and Horn Dawgs Fall in Love
 
N/A
"[b]AMOXIL[/b] is used to treat many different types of infections caused by bacteria, such as ear infections, bladder infections, pneumonia,..."
Sounder
 
3.0
"HarperCollins issued a revised edition of this on 30 Decemember 2019. This 1970 Newbery winner is set in the deep..."
Holes
 
5.0
"Important message. Unique perspective."
Bud, Not Buddy
 
4.7
"Bud not Buddy is awesome! im in year 9 and im reading it in school for an assignment. On the..."
Holes
 
3.5
"A family curse, a false accusation, a local legend, and a series of coincidences come together in this generation-spanning tale..."
Before I Fall
 
5.0
"Love this book! One of my favorites."
Speak
 
3.7
"It's a fast read."
 
2.7
""Pretties" is a continuation of the Uglies series where Tally Youngblood has now returned to the city and become a..."
The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles #1)
 
3.0
""The Adoration of Jenna Fox" is the story of a teenager who wakes up from a coma without any memories..."
It's Kind of a Funny Story
 
3.5
"A mature contemporary YA, set in New York City. The story is told in first-person present-tense, exclusively from the perspective..."
Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack #1)
 
4.7
"This first-person present-tense piece of historical YA fiction begins a bit like a Charles Dicken’s work—eighteenth-century London, poor destitute orphan,..."
Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1)
 
3.7
"This one took a while to get into. I didn't warm much to Grace. She didn't seem to have much..."
Thirteen Reasons Why
 
5.0
"Definitely the reason why I decided to reread this was because of the show. and now that I finished reading..."
Thirteen Reasons Why
 
3.7
"Thirteen Reasons Why (stylised as Th1rteen R3eason Why) follows shy high school teenager Clay Jensen. Clay has received a..."
Tiger Eyes
 
4.0
"4.5 Stars A great and emotional read. A young teenage girl; Davey struggles with the loss of her father..."
The Lonely Hearts Club
 
4.0
" 4.5 Stars! This was a fun and sweet read. Definitely for fans of contemporary ya books. Penny Lane..."
The Lonely Hearts Club
 
4.0
"4.5 Stars! This was a fun and sweet read. Definitely for fans of contemporary ya books. Penny Lane is..."
Angus, Thongs & Full Frontal Snogging (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson #1)
 
4.0
DA Dragon Authors
"I (Erin) bought this one as a “blind date” from Malaprops. They wrap books in brown paper and write things..."
 
4.0
"The Deathday Letter by Shaun David Hutchinson is a young adult standalone novel. This is not the first book by..."
 
3.3
"Nick O’Leary, the straight bass player in queercore punk band, is playing at a club in downtown Manhattan when he..."