Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Publication Date:  September 5, 2011
Poppy
Format: Hardcover, 273 pages

Goodreads Summary

Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it’s a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part, Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy’s car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend’s attention.

Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: she and the other players’ girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won’t get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don’t count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.

Inspired by Aristophanes’ play Lysistrata, critically acclaimed author of The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) Kody Keplinger adds her own trademark humor in this fresh take on modern teenage romance, rivalry and sexuality.

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MY TAKE: 3/5 STARS

I definitely had different reactions on certain parts of this book. The early pages made me cringe. I even debated whether or not I should flounce on the book. I’m not really that interested in having a peek at these kids’ mundane high school life (I’m an old woman, bear with me). Maybe I’m just bitter or jealous – for not having the full experience. But in any case, I really didn’t want to read about a bunch of girls having Kumbaya sessions at sleepovers.

I can pin point the exact moment Shut Out grabbed my attention. It was the part where Lissa caught Randy having a tongue-fence duel with a sophomore. Oh happy me. Randy was not really that bad of a character; he loved spending time with her family and he seemed to genuinely care about her. He just has his moments of idiocy, like all men do. But dude, the aforementioned scene won him the douche award. Just read the book to find out what else he did.

Cash Stirling wins the most perfect book boyfriend award. {Gratuitous sigh}
He’s handsome, athletic, all-around nice guy, though a bit oblivious. Oh well, you can’t have them all.

Lissa is a bit of a neurotic spazz – a trait that I found endearing.
Anyway, this book oozes sex – not in a very descriptive way wherein the kids are getting it on left and right, but how both genders use it as a weapon. It also touches on the age-old debate about the double standards in our society, where a girl who sleeps around gets called a ‘slut’, and a boy who does the same thing is fondly called, a ‘player’. But let me tell you, these darn kids in the book are having lots of them – sex, that is.

I absolutely loved Keplinger’s DUFF. She has this ability to make her characters so unbelievably real and is not afraid to tell you how it is. Some may cringe at the amount of sex the kids in her books are having but I thought that it was a real enough representation of what’s going on these days. I’ve read a lot of realistic YA fiction and I’ve got to say, no one has come close to even a speck of reality that Keplinger delivered. I’m slowly becoming a fan of this pull-no-punches author and I look forward to reading more of her future work.