Book 1: Dairy Queen
A very cute story about a 15 turning 16 year old girl named DJ who has only ever known life in her dad’s farm. She’s responsible, does what everyone expects of her, obedient and hardworking. Not much different from the cows she milks every day.
“And that’s what put me to sleep. Thinking about cows or elephant poops.”(LMAO!)
One day she decides she doesn’t want to be a cow anymore (and I mean this in a completely metaphorically way, so chill!)^^ and that’s where the plot becomes really interesting.
Written in a very candid and genuine manner in the POV of DJ herself as a journal for her English requirement to redeem her flunked grade, the story, I think, is very genuine and the voice of the narrative truly sounded as if it’s written by a young farm girl and this is probably what made the entire story simply adorable. It’s also heartwarming and inspiring. As Uncle Walt Whitman once said: “Simplicity is the glory of expression.”
Book 2: The Off Season
“You can’t control what people say about you.”
Awww! That ending was like a specialized heart-warmer hugging my heart so tight to almost bursting.
The second book to the adorable Dairy Queen is still just as funny and endearing but also tougher and more emotional. Off Season is the perfect title for the story and you’ll soon figure that out once you start reading this book (of course right after reading the first one).
I am quite loving this series because aside from the element of sports, this has one of the most genuine representations of a real family- how it honestly acts in the face of difficult situations and problems. It’s always not pretty but that’s family. Like I mentioned in my review of the first book, the narration is still just so true to life and the characterizations are so realistic, it’s as if I could really hear and feel these characters. I also can’t help but admire DJ’s character. She is so real, honest, brave and selfless and I’m very glad that towards the end of the novel, she finally realizes her true self-worth. Definitely recommended.
Book 3: Front and Center
“Being front and center sucks.”
Do I relate so much with D.J! Because that is exactly my thought most of the time. I never wanted to be the center of attention except maybe when I was five. Like D.J., I’m happiest and most comfortable when I’m at the background blending in right along with everybody else but life doesn’t give us what we want most of the time.
Like I said on the first two books of this series, the story and every character in it are so relatable, they felt like family. I have become so at home with the Schwenk family, I feel like a part of them already. One of my good buddies mentioned the reason she loves this series so much is how it is so grounded and so real and I definitely agree with her. It’s also so funny.
“Would it kill the teachers to assign us just one book, once, that didn’t make you want to jump off a cliff?”
The third book is a great conclusion to the series as it gives even more focus on sports, on girls’ basketball in particular and how DJ shines (even though she does not want to) with her inherent kindness, perceptiveness and exceptional skills. I love that the third book is more about her relationship with her older brother, Win, and how in a way, they saved each others’ lives. Of course, we find out which boy D.J. finally chooses and it’s just so uncomplicatedly right. These books have been consistently real, funny and heartwarming from first book till the end and I would highly recommend this to readers of YA contemporary. 😉