The Off Season

Before I went on my vacation I downloaded the audio version of  Catherine Gilbert Murdock's The Off Season from the library, stuck it on my MP3 player and then proceeded not to listen to a single word of it while I was gone. Figures doesn't it? But after I got back I was tired (why is one generally more tired when they get back from vacation than they were before?) and had stuff to do so I threw on my headphones and listened away.

I really liked Dairy Queen so I wasn't what to expect from The Off Season. Dairy Queen tied up fairly nicely - no cliffhanger type of ending. Actually I was almost a wee bit surprised that there was a sequel (I later read that she hadn't originally intended for there to be one but her agent suggested since sometimes two books are easier to sell than one apparently).

So even if I say that I wasn't sure what to expect can I say that this wasn't what I expected? DJ is still pretty much the same character we meet in the first book. She grows up more in the second book, more than I expected given that she was a pretty "adult" teen character in a lot of ways. But when an accident strikes the family she steps up and grows up some more along the way.

I didn't like so much how Brian's character turned out. I did how Amber's story arced. I was surprised about Curtis's story. And I liked how there was more of the older brothers in this one. Was it as good as Dairy Queen? Honestly, probably not but it wasn't bad. A bit too cliched in spots, a bit too unbelievable in others. But DJ was still DJ so I'm not complaining. It was a good sequel but not a particularly great one. But I think that Murdock has set herself up nicely for a third book should she ever decided to write one. If she did I'd read it.

Note on the audio book: the narrator, Natalie Moore, attempted a regional accent to make DJ sound more authentic. I originally thought it was going to be really annoying but I got used to it. I did find that sometimes it made DJ sound really young but then she is only supposed to be 16.