Publish date: 2006
Length: 6 hours 7 minutes
"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." (Goodreads)
I'd been meaning to read Dairy Queen for quite a while, mostly because of people's reviews and not because the book necessarily sounded like my kind of book. I'm usually a tough sell on contemps, so it took me a while to decide to read it. I actually picked up the audiobook at the library, which is a good way for me to read books I'm feeling iffy about. Dairy Queen, though, ended up being great and I really wish I hadn't waited so long to read it!
One of the reasons I liked Dairy Queen was not the sports aspect of it, as I'm not a football person, but it was where D.J. lived and what her family did. I live and teach in a rural area myself (although did not grow up in one) and really enjoyed that a lot of this book took place on a Wisconsin dairy farm. Farming and rural areas are not well represented in YA, as far as I can tell, so it was refreshing to take in that setting and read about those activities.
I thought the narrator, Natalie Moore, was a great choice for D.J. Her voice definitely sounded like a teenager and I loved her accent. Listening to this book was the right choice for me since D.J. rambles sometimes and I think that would have gotten a little boring to read. It was also just over 6 hours, making for a nice, quick read.
Basically this was a solid contemp that had lots of great elements: family dynamics, friendship issues, romance but not too much of it, and really D.J. just trying to figure out what she wants. I've already requested the audio of book 2 from the library and I love the cover with the cow!