Thursday, November 12, 2009

Book Review: Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

*e-copy (ARC) provided through NetGalley*

Front and Centeris not where D.J. Schwenk likes to be. But, when she returns for her junior year from taking care of her injured brother, that is right where she is placed. Faced with decisions about college, boyfriends, and basketball, D.J. finds the attention increasingly difficult to face and isn't sure she can live up to everyone's expectations.

Front and Center

Things I Liked:
D.J. She makes the story - she is the story. Her voice is real - her family interactions are real, her thoughts, emotions and insecurities are real. I love how, even though I did not to sports in high school, I totally remembered feeling the same way she did about lots of things. It is her original, funny, and very relatable voice that makes all these books so enjoyable. Here is a taste of her:
"I opened my mouth to shoot back a response, but nothing came out because all the thinking blood had rushed to my ears instead, and my bright red cheeks." p. 85
"I didn't say too much - big surprise there - but my mind was going about a million miles an hour, checking all the time to make sure I wasn't doing anything embarrassing, and then checking the other tables to see if anyone was looking at me funny, and then whenever someone asked me a question being extra careful to make my answer acceptable, you know, before I opened my mouth. Which put a brake, an even bigger brake, on my talking." p.101 (e-copy of ARC, page numbers may differ)
That last one is just how I felt (and still feel sometimes) when I was around people - especially those I don't know well.

Things I Didn't Like:
Honestly, I can't think of any. I didn't like how D.J. doubted her abilities in basketball, but that made the book even more real. Lots of us doubt our own abilities.

Read the first two books about D.J.: Dairy Queenand The Off Season

s-factor: !
possibly one or two

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: none

Overall rating: *****

Have you ever felt really connected with a character from a book? Which one?

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  1. I loved Dairy Queen, but The Off Season was just okay for me. So... how does this one compare to those two? Or is it completely different?

  2. Hm...I think I liked the first two about equally, but I really liked this one a lot. I thought it was a real look at D.J.'s inner feelings and her dealing with being shy and uncomfortable. I read the others so long ago I'm having trouble remembering specifics though.


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