Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Genre: YA, sports fiction
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Challenges: YA (#13), TBR (#5), Take Another Chance (#1: Doppelganger)
FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library
Summary (from the inside flap): 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, DJ can't help admitting, maybe he's right. 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. Welcome to the summer that fifteen-year-old DJ Schwenk of Red Bend, Wisconsin, learns to talk, and ends up having an awful lot of stuff to say.
Review: This book has been a long time coming for me. One of my best friends recommended it to me last summer, my assistant recommended it to me, then I knew I had to read it when I decided to do the Take Another Chance challenge and there was a doppelganger category (I share the same last name as the author). But, I started it and couldn't get into it so I put it aside. Well, second time is the charm. I really enjoyed this book once I got into it!
This novel feels real; the characters are believable and I cared about them. The relationships developed slowly and I could see how DJ and Brian came to be friends. The author caught life in a small town well, with everyone in other people's lives and everyone having a connection to everyone else. The book was also funny, quick to read, and had some really poignant moments in it. I liked that everything wasn't solved all at once in the end. DJ is starting to get her act together and she can see what needs to be done to improve relationships within her personal circle, but it isn't all perfect, which is good. Because life isn't perfect.
There is a sequel to Dairy Queen is Off-Season.