Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I want to make clear from the start that despite having rated all three books in this series with 4 stars, I really think the series as a whole deserves 5 stars.
I haven't written a review for the second installment and I won't write a review about this last book either.
I'd rather tell you why the whole trilogy is great and you should go start reading it right now.
DJ Schwenk is just about one of the best characters in YA lit I have had the fortune to encounter lately. Written in the form a sort of diary the Dairy Queen trilogy just oozes DJ's hilariousness, simplicity, naivete, snark, wisdom and teen-age.
And talk about character development: in the course of the books I got to learn to love so much all characters in DJ's universe that I am really reluctant to let them go: from her father, who I disliked in the first book and that, end in end, is just a big, fluffy teddy bear who loves his children fiercely, to Curtis (Murdock should totally do a spinoff about Curtis, by the way) her super shy and brainy baby brother, to Brian, the love interest, who is a jerk but maybe not and just needs to grow up.
The books felt REALLY American to me, American sports playing a huge role in this series but it didn't bother me one bit, the fact that I knew close to nothing about them. Actually I was marveling all throughout the third book at this completely foreign concept that is getting a scholarship to college for athletic merits. Like, we don't even have sports here at Uni. And the meritocratic system I completely admire, which we also do not have.
So to me, it was really interesting to have this window opened on an instance of rural America, populated by cows, pickups, coaches, football players and hoops.
It felt very real. DJ's voice sounded very realistic and honest to me and very, very funny. I couldn't help but sympathize with her throughout the whole series.
This is a very refreshing and light read but in NO way shallow. Highly recommended.
View all my reviews