Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Published: Houghton Mifflin, 2009
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Cover Score: B
Overall grade: A
Summary: After five months of sheer insanity, high school junior DJ Schwenk's life is finally back to normal. Well...as normal as it can get. Now that she's not playing football anymore, DJ's focusing on basketball--her ticket to a college scholarship. But people have big plans for her: her family (especially pushy older brother Win), her coaches, her teachers, and college scouts, along with Brian Nelson, DJ's ex who keeps on popping up in her head even when he shouldn't be. But can awkward, quiet, DJ handle all the pressure? Or will she be letting everyone--even herself--down?
My thoughts: The Dairy Queen trilogy ends with a bang! It was a while ago that I read the first two books, but I think that this one was by far the best of the series.
First off, DJ is such a strong leading character. It was easy to get into her head, and she had a sincere, simple tone that was easy to understand and follow what she was thinking. As well as this, she was relatable, funny, and inspiring.
The book was very organized, and though the plotline wasn't complicated, it was fast-paced, engrossing, and captured all of my attention, making a quick, vivid read. What makes this simple plotline come to life, I think, was the quality of the author's writing. Ms. Murdock truly has a gift. Her descriptions of people, places, and events brought the story to life and made every aspect realistic.
I loved all of the plot threads that created the overall story: DJ's brother Win, her college scholarship pressure, her fear of speaking up and taking control in basketball, and her love life.
Quirky, motivational, poignant, and funny, Front and Center is a book you won't want to miss (definitely one of the best of 2009). Even though this beloved trilogy is over, I definitely want to be seeing more of Ms. Murdock in YA fiction in the future.
Must-Read!! Check it Out! Don't Bother