Ever since her father injured his hip, fifteen-year-old D. J. Schwenk has done what was expected of her and taken on the brunt of running her family’s small Wisconsin dairy farm, but when a family friend sends the quarterback from her high school’s rival football team to the Schwenks’ farm to help out that summer, D. J. decides to do something unexpected and try out for her high school’s own football team. This excellent coming-of-age novel will appeal to athletes and non-athletes alike, though it is very refreshing to see a story starring a girl athlete. D. J. makes for a very likeable and relatable heroine. Her first-person narrative is filled with humor and takes full advantage of dairy-farm analogies to bring her character believably to life. The audiobook performance by Natalie Moore is a particular treat that perfectly captures D. J.’s character with a believable Wisconsin accent. The novel’s secondary characters, particularly D. J.’s tough, uncommunicative father, are also drawn with equal attention and believability. While much of the plot is expected, like D. J. developing feelings for the rival quarterback and the climactic game between the rival schools, a few unexpected twists and a very strong sense of character elevate this novel beyond the typical teen coming-of-age story.
I really enjoyed listening to this on cd because the plot was interesting and the characters seemed real. They had problems I could relate to as well as problems I couldn't, but we're still gripping. There was a nice little romance, things about sports, and the twists and turns of living on a dairy farm. Overall, a great listen and I would definatly listen to it again.