Saturday, September 07, 2013

New Dairy Queen Novel as Satisfying as an Oreo (Or Two, Or Three, Or Four ...)

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Sarah Zorn and Curtis Schwenk (yes, he's one of the sports-obsessed Schwenks from Catherine Gilbert Murdock's Dairy Queen series) are such good friends that people tease them all the time about being boyfriend and girlfriend.  They're not.  No one else needs to know that, though, so they pretend to be madly in love.  It's their "Brilliant Outflanking Strategy."  The only problem with the plan is that 14-year-old Sarah's played her role a little too well—she's developing some real, but definitely inconvenient boy-liking feelings for Curtis.  Her out-of-whack emotions are messing with her head.  Good thing her zany Grandma Z just presented her with a blank journal in which to chronicle all her adventures (which, so far, only exist in her imagination).  She'll use it to figure out her wonky relationship with Curtis, her best friend or maybe more-than-a-best-friend (although that one might be an only-in-Sarah's-dreams kind of thing, too).  

When Grandma Z begs Sarah's parents to let Sarah accompany her on a vacation in Rome, she's a little nervous.  As fun as her grandma is, even Sarah knows she's not the most responsible adult in the world.  Plus, Curtis worries like no one's business—will her BFF (or maybe-more-than-a-BFF) survive without her?  In the end, she goes despite her concerns, deciding the trip will offer her not just an adventure, but also a chance to clear her head without Curtis around to mess with her pinballing thoughts.

As it turns out, though, she's just as confused in Rome as she is in Red Bend, Wisconsin.  Her grandma's acting strange—well stranger.  Which isn't helping Sarah figure anything out.  But, as she delves into some deep family secrets, she learns a lot about her grandmother and herself.  Maybe the answers to her problems with Curtis are in there somewhere, too.

If you enjoyed the Dairy Queen books (like I did), you'll find lots to love about Murdock's newest YA novel.  It's geared toward an older middle grade/younger teen audience than the other books, so it's tone is a little bit lighter.  Nonetheless, it's full of Murdock's signature upbeat, witty style.  Sarah's a fun, enthusiastic narrator, one to whom it's easy to relate.  Heaven is Paved With Oreos is a quick, appealing read that's sure to please Murdock's many fans while gaining her legions of new ones.   

(Readalikes:  Reminded me of Murdock's Dairy Queen novels [Dairy Queen; The Off Season; and Front and Center

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for some mild sexual innuendo and brief references to sex, including homosexuality 

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Heaven is Paved With Oreos from the generous Catherine Gilbert Murdock.  Thank you!

2 comments:

  1. My tween might like this especially since we just came back from Rome.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I did like the other Dairy queen books but this one is not at my library yet.

    ReplyDelete

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