Ohh, Dairy Queen is a delightful read. It's right up there with Notes from the Teenage Underground on my go-to list for VOICE.
Tiny synopsis: DJ Schwenk does what has to be done: her older brothers have left for college, her younger brother is busy with little league, her mom is juggling two jobs, and her dad is recovering from a hip replacement.
Someone has to milk the cows twice a day, bring in the hay and clover, and try to keep the farm running. Even if nobody ever talks about, even if nobody ever asked her to. She has to do it, or they'll all be in a worse place than they're already in.
A family friend asks her to train Brian, the snobby quarterback for the rival team to get him in shape for football season. So she adds one more job to her long to do list. Over the summer DJ decides, just for once, to do what she wants to do. The choices she makes impact not only DJ and her family, but her whole Wisconsin town.
The synopsis is difficult-- I have such a hard time explaining it without telling the whole plot. I'm probably ruining it already. This book really transports you into DJ's head-- the voice simply shimmers on the page. DJ is charming and loveable as she tries to make sense of the world around her and how she fits into it. It's also heartbreaking, as she negotiates romance, and her family's inability to talk about ANYTHING. Yes, it's a book about a Wisconsin tomboy farmgirl who loves football, but it's also so much more.
A quote I loved from the book:
"Then I started thinking that maybe everyone in the whole world was just like a cow, and we all go along doing what we're supposed to without complaining or even really noticing, until we die. Stocking groceries and selling cars and teaching school and cashing checks and raising kids, all these jobs that people just one day start doing without even really thinking about it, walking right into their milking stall the way that heifers do after they've had their first calf and start getting milked for the first time. Until we die. And maybe that's all there is to life."
What a lovely and beautiful book-- I highly recommend it.
Also-- just about 8 days left of my contest. Visit this page to enter for little lark stationary and buttons. Please enter and spread the word!!