Thursday, June 21, 2007

“Yes, Jerry. I'm insane. I go to work and I sit in a booth like a veal”

My sisters and I love teen flicks….good or bad. We feel compelled to watch them. Perhaps we watch them to make up for our otherwise safe and very uneventful high school experiences. And it doesn’t stop with movies…..M and I have been working through the YA sections of our respective libraries and calling each other when we have come across something good. The latest dish? Diary Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. From the book description:


When you don't talk, there's a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.


Harsh words indeed, from Brian Nelson of all people. But, D. J. can't help admitting, maybe he's right.

When you don't talk, there's a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.

Stuff like why her best friend, Amber, isn't so friendly anymore. Or why her little brother, Curtis, never opens his mouth. Why her mom has two jobs and a big secret. Why her college-football-star brothers won't even call home. Why her dad would go ballistic if she tried out for the high school football team herself. And why Brian is so, so out of her league.

When you don't talk, there's a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.

Welcome to the summer that fifteen-year-old D. J. Schwenk of Red Bend, Wisconsin, learns to talk, and ends up having an awful lot of stuff to
say.


Yeah, football and cows aren’t really a winning combination for me, but the reasons for my liking this book:

1) Her family may not be the most communicative and are a bit on the passive-aggressive side, they are still functional—a novelty these days-the functional family.

2) There are no extended descriptions about the protagonist’s looks. We are given the bare bone basics about D.J.’s appearance and the rest of the effort is spent in familiarizing the reader with D.J.’s character and personality. We understand why friends like her and why other people might be attracted to her…..not because she is so uber pretty and cool, but because she is a decent human being.

3) It resonated more along the lines of what my high school experience was like—one average person’s quest to figure out what she wants to do with herself.

And while most people won’t overly relate to the cow analogy, I think we can understand why she doesn’t want to be one:

“Maybe everyone in the whole world was like a cow, and we all go along doing what we’re supposed to without complaining or even really noticing, until we die.”

“But the real reason I wanted to play football—and I sure wanted it as much as I’ve ever wanted anything in my life.....It would mean I wasn’t a cow.”

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