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Extended Audio Sample Front and Center Audiobook, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,578 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock Narrator: Natalie Moore Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Dairy Queen Trilogy Release Date: February 2010 ISBN: 9780307583239
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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. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Courtney | 2/11/2014

    " I fell in love with the character of D.J. in Murdock's first book, Dairy Queen, and my love has not abated over the course of the trilogy. This is a great, strong ending for a character that has continued to grow and evolve, yet remain faithful to herself over the course of three books. D.J. is in basketball season, her best sport, and she is feeling pressure to commit to a school. Her brother, Win, is still in the hospital and she once again realizes that the immense pressure he is putting on her is not only necessary (she needs to start researching schools and talking to coaches) but also therapy for him as his interest forces him to push his rehabilitation further. She's dating a friend, Beaner, who is sweet and funny and the opposite of quiet, D.J., and while she likes being with him she can't stop thinking of Brian, who keeps popping back in her life saying he's changed. While everyone says she's good enough to play Division I, D.J. keeps thinking that, while she loves basketball, she also likes to disappear in the background and the crowds and pressure of Division I doesn't fit who she is. And she thought playing football was a lot of pressure!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dominika | 2/11/2014

    " D.J., you finally got a grip of yourself and it didn't seem rushed. I love you once again;) And I have tears in my eyes (that might be just my hormones, but it doesn't matter - if so, you got my hormones dancing;) ) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daisy | 2/6/2014

    " Great! Love how DJ's family came together. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dlora | 2/2/2014

    " I hate it when I read a book I've borrowed that turns out to be so good because then I want to own it. This series by Catherine Gilbert Murdock are ones I want to have on my bookshelf so I can loan them to my daughters and sisters and friends. They are uplifting and funny and great stories. In this last book, D.J. is trying to decide where she should go to college. Coming from a poor family who are trying just to hang on to their dairy farm, she realizes the only way she can go to college is to get a basketball scholarship, but can she overcome her natural background-type personality to be the star-quality basketball player that colleges will want to pick up? She certaily has the ball talent, but does she have the leadership ability? And does she really want the pressure that comes from being that kind of a ballplayer? Her struggles to decide if she is good enough for a Division 1 ball team parallels her struggles to decide if she dares risk her heart pursuing a boyfriend that she feels is out of her league. Great humor, great characters, great insights--really well-written story and series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue | 1/30/2014

    " I love this series. Write more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacey | 1/15/2014

    " It leaves things hanging. I hope she writes more about her college career. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marky | 1/13/2014

    " I have no friggin clue...but I just loved reading this series...lmao....it just gets to you "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 1/13/2014

    " Wow! I hope that there is another installment to this series. This book makes me want to know what happens next. Maybe I have connected so with the text because I knew many girls like DJ growing up and can sympathize with their experience. Brian redeemed himself in my eyes and Beener, well, is Beener. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erika Fellars | 1/11/2014

    " I'm probably really easy to please, but I loved this book just as much as the first! I love DJ's inner struggles and her sense of humor. Definitely a must-read for everyone, in my opinion :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jaime | 1/9/2014

    " A worthy conclusion to a wonderful series. It doesn't pack the same punch as the first two books (I'd say there are 3 stars' worth of story) but I could *feel* DJ's anxiety, and the ending is satisfying, so 4 stars for emotion. I hope Murdock keeps writing books! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn | 12/27/2013

    " Another strong offering from Murdock. DJ is one of my all-time favorite high school girl characters. Her voice is poignant and age-appropriate. An all-around good read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chi-yen Hwang | 11/17/2013

    " DJ thinks about her future an college "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne Broyles | 12/24/2012

    " A few hours after I devoured THE OFF SEASON (read in one day), I launched into FRONT AND CENTER and quickly finished it, too. I love D'J's world and how, especially in this book, she changes and grows into herself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 12/1/2012

    " The last book! I've really enjoyed reading about DJ. She's such a great character - talented, hard-working, unsure of herself, clueless when it comes to boys and clothes. I'm happy with the ending of this book and series. I think DJ is too. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan M. | 11/17/2012

    " soooooo cheesy. I liked the plot though "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bekah | 11/1/2012

    " I read this in one evening! I really liked how Murdock wrapped up this series! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn ಠ_ಠ| 9/27/2012

    " The end of a great series. *sighs* "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherry | 9/12/2012

    " If you're like me, you couldn't stop after only two. You had to know what happened to DJ. A perfect ending to the trilogy. You get enough closure to be done with DJ, but enough is left open that you can hope and dream about her future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 9/8/2012

    " A satisfying ending to the trilogy. I loved the quirky protaognist and following her development into a more confident, less shy person. Compared to the first two, this volume was a bit long on angst and a bit short on plot, but it perfectly captures the crazy demands of Junior year in high school. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeanette | 8/16/2012

    " The third and probably last in the series, this book is great. Just love the stream of consciousness way in which she writes. It has the sports issue, the boyfriend issue, family issues, trying to choose a college all dealt with in such a great, funny, poignant way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ricki | 8/14/2012

    " Not having read the first two books in the series, it was difficult for me to get into this book. While it could stand alone in the series, I found the character development to be lacking. It is a book that I know kids will like, especially readers who are involved in this family. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stacey _Tree, Root, and Twig | 5/8/2012

    " Weakest of the three books in this trilogy, but still a satisfying end to the series. Great YA books that keep it light on the sex/language stuff, but still heavy on character and personal growth. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Magda | 8/1/2011

    " Just a good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Esther | 6/30/2011

    " I like this one a bit better than "The Off Season" but still not as much as the first one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Samantha | 6/16/2011

    " Super cute! A good ending to a good trilogy. This series is hilarious and extremely relateable. Read them! :)
    #1= Dairy Queen
    #2= The Off Season
    #3= Front and Center "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 6/9/2011

    " Again, hurrah for DJ! This was such a good book.

    Cover slightly improved. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allie | 6/8/2011

    " The best one out of all of them! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Delchick41 | 5/19/2011

    " I completely and totally endorse this entire trilogy for young female readers! I loved it from the first chapter to the last. It left me actually wanting to read more about D.J. and wishing that the author would take D.J. to Freshman year in college:( Alas, she has no plans for a 4th book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chels | 4/27/2011

    " Decent series that is worth reading. Anyone who likes sports would love this series. It's fun and has a good message. "

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About the Author
Author Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Catherine Gilbert Murdock lives in Philadelphia with her husband, two brilliant, unicycling children, several cats, and a one-acre yard that she is slowly transforming into a wee but flourishing ecosystem.