Just finished Catherine Gilbert Murdock's The Off Season. It's a sequel to Dairy Queen, which I hadn't read. Not having read the first had absolutely no effect on reading this one. It's about D.J., a high school junior who lives on a dairy farm in the midwest. D.J. narrates and it reads just like a friendly farm girl is sitting next to you telling you her story, like you're old friends. D.J. isn't the type of high school girl that books generally get written about. She has been a star basketball player, and is hoping for an athletic scholarship, because she's not going to get an academic one. She is also a starter on her high school football team, and a linebacker, no less! The book is about a month or 2 in D.J's life as her family faces a few crises, her love life is a roller coaster, she suffers an injury, and her best friend moves away after being thrown out of the house by her mother. I enjoyed it - mostly because I liked D.J., but also because, although you weren't really left hanging with any ofthe story lines at the end, you also didn't get an ending that was tied up in a pretty little bow with everything working out like a sitcom or a movie of the week. In other words, I thought it was pretty realistic. If you're a middle or high school girl, but not the girlie type that so many teen books seem to be written for, check this one out - you'll probably enjoy it.