As much as I have enjoyed this series, I felt the third installment of Dairy Queen wasn't as strong as the first two. D.J. spends way too much time fretting over her feelings for her friend Brian, when she should have been more focused on basketball and scholarships. Also, her “decision” not to attend a D-1 school because she hates the idea of being the center of so much attention seemed like a huge step back from the first book.
In Dairy Queen, D.J. decides to go out for the boy's football team, because she didn’t want to live her life like one of the cows on her farm. If you haven’t read the book, I realize that this statement may seem incredibly strange, so let me explain. Cows do what they are told. They fall in line, literally. D.J. spent the better part of a year doing what everyone asked of her, never questioning authority. When she realized what had become of her life, she decided to do something about it. I would think after becoming the first woman to play on an all male football team at her high school and having grown up with two famous older brothers, that D.J. would have been accustomed to being in the spotlight by now.
If the idea of playing basketball in front of thousands of people is terrifying, imagine having millions of people read an article about your private life in People magazine, because that is exactly what happened to D.J. in the sequel Off Season. If she can overcome People unceremoniously announcing her relationship with the rival high school’s quarterback, then playing basketball in front of an audience shouldn’t be a problem. I mean, how many times must a person be told that they are an amazing basketball player before they feel confident enough to play ball without being distracted by the number of people watching?
Regardless of any issues I had with Front and Center, this series really is wonderful. The first book had me in stitches and the sequel brought me to tears. Front and Center, while not my favorite in the series, had many memorable moments and a very satisfying ending. Now, if there was any chance that Mrs. Murdock might consider writing Dairy Queen #4, then I take back what I said about the ending being satisfying and I demand a sequel! I want more!
Rating: 3/5 Stars