Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock I know that I wrote about Dairy Queen when I first read it, but I’m so entranced that I thought I’d mention that book three in this series is now out. D.J. Schwenk is back to school after spending several months helping her brother Win recuperate from a spinal injury. She’s broken up with Brian Nelson and intends to focus on school and basketball. Only of course life can’t be that simple. Her coach informs her that college coaches are scouting her, and she has to decide on colleges now – junior year – or all the scholarships will be gone. Why so fast? And can someone who can barely manage to talk to classmates handle the potential pressure of a Big 10 team? Plus, her best male friend, Beaner, wants to date, which she might enjoy – if only Brian Nelson would stop coming around. I am just in awe of Murdock for writing books that cover deep thoughts and feelings while managing to be laugh-out-loud funny at the same time. I especially love how authentic this feels – DJ’s narrative in long casual sentences with a wry sense of humor, and the rural Midwest setting with character names like Knudsen and Jorgenson.
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