Wednesday, September 30, 2009

FRONT AND CENTER by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Life never seems easy for D. J. Schwenk. Her shoulder injury from football has healed nicely and basketball season is in full swing. That should make her exceedingly happy, but instead she feels the pressure mounting.

This year the coach wants D. J. to develop her team leadership skills. He's riding her about being more vocal out on the court. Unfortunately, D. J. is not one to talk or draw attention to herself. Yes, she's a great player but not in a take-charge-of-the-team sort of way. The coach is not only interested in improving her role on the team, but also in the fact that she needs to show that leadership to the college scouts attending almost every game she plays.

There is even more pressure coming for D. J.'s brother Win. The victim of a spinal cord injury in a college football game, he is learning how to adjust to life in a wheelchair. As part of his therapy he seems to have made it his goal to get D. J. accepted into a Division I college program. He's arranging campus visits and demanding that she make phone calls to all the coaches who have send her recruitment letters. Once again her timid ways make these visits and phone calls very challenging.

To top things off, D. J. is struggling with boyfriend issues. Her thoughts are filled with Brian and the great times they've shared. But he seems to want to keep their relationship out of the public eye which makes D. J. think he's ashamed of her. When long-time friend and classmate, Beaner, approaches her with romance in mind, she decides maybe she should leave Brian behind. Her mind tells her that it’s a good idea, but her heart tells her something different. She is torn between the two.

FRONT AND CENTER is the final book in a trilogy by author Catherine Gilbert Murdock. Fans of DAIRY QUEEN and THE OFF SEASON will be sad to see D. J. move on, but hopefully, they'll be satisfied with the choices she makes as Murdock bids her farewell.

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