It seems to be a time of sequels for me. Catherine Gilbert's Dairy Queen sets the stage for The Off Season. D. J. Schwenk, is the first girl ever to play on the Red Bend football team. It's her junior year, she has patched up things with her best friend, and she and Brian-the-rival-quarterback are definitely into each other. So of course everything must go wrong. Just as in her previous story, D. J. is not a "typical" teenager, but the emotions and embarrassments and insecurities of those years are spot on.
D. J. is growing up. She is trying to figure out her loving but dysfunctional family and really having to take a lot of responsibility when thing after thing goes wrong. Her life is not easy. But the hard things she's had to do in the past have prepared her for the really hard thing that were to come. It is a lovely contrast to her boyfriend Brian who has had a rather easy life and who, in my opinion, just isn't good enough for D. J. I actually hope there is a third book about D. J. I would definitely read it.