Title: The Off-Season
Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock
What it's about: D.J. Schwenk is back in this book which picks up a few days after Dairy Queen. Life's looking pretty good with D.J. She's getting along well with her school work, playing football, and having fun with Brian. However, pretty soon some misfortunes come along which challenge D.J. and force her to be stronger than she ever thought she could be.
What I thought: This book really shows how great an author Catherine Gilbert Murdock is. D.J. returns as our flawed but likable leading lady, and the character interactions are really interesting. We get to see D.J.'s older brothers and meet Amber's girlfriend, all of whom are interesting in their own ways. As far as D.J. goes, on one hand, she manages to deal with the obstacles in front of her; on the other, she doesn't, like, breeze through things, either. It's hard, it's a struggle, and we really feel this as we read. I just have to say that D.J. is a very realistic character who is enjoyable to read about. Also, her relationship with Brian takes some very interesting turns and never gets barftastically schmoopy, either.
Overall: If you liked Dairy Queen, you'll find this sequel just as good.