Saturday, April 17, 2010

Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

After five months of sheer absolute craziness I was going back to being plain old background D.J. In photographs of course I'm always in the background—it's a family joke, actually, that us Schwenk kids could go to school naked on picture day, we're all so crazy tall. But I mean I was returning to the background of life. Where no one would really notice me or talk about me or even talk to me much except to say things like "Nice shot," and I could just hang out without too many worries at all. But it turns out other folks have big plans for D.J. Like her coach. College scouts. All the town hoops fans. A certain Red Bend High School junior who's keen for romance and karaoke. Not to mention Brian Nelson, who she should not be thinking about! Who she is done with, thank you very much. But who keeps showing up anyway... What's going to happen if she lets these people down? What's going to happen when she does? Because let's face it: there's no way, on the court or off, that awkward, tongue-tied D.J. Schwenk can manage all this attention. No way at all. Not without a brain transplant. Not without breaking her heart.

I really like the main characters voice. D.J. is such a teenager but more mature than some her age because she goes through many trials and becomes stronger.
And she's human. She loves basketball but thinking about playing in front of thousands of people and letting them all down makes her nauseous.
D.J. takes the time to think through her life and is down-to-earth enough to admit when she makes a mistake or when she's being stupid or that she still likes her first "boyfriend."
The author doesn't let D.J off the hook very much but that's what shows us, the readers, her growth.
D.J. isn't the only one to learn and grow. I enjoyed watching her family and friends grow as well!

PG 14 (I'm rating this book PG14 because the material is something teens would understand better than younger kids.)
S: Kissing
V: None
L: None

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