Book Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Published June 5, 2012 by LS Murphy

Synopsis: 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.

Then 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. But what Lissa never sees coming is her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling…

The First Line: “There is nothing more humiliating than being topless in the backseat of your boyfriend’s car when someone decides to throw an egg at the windshield.” Can you feel Lissa’s embarrassment? I love it. Not only are some of you nodding in agreement, you’re relating to the character right off the bat. It’s impossible to put down from the first line.

The Good: One of the best things about this book, and Keplinger’s other novel The DUFF, is the frank honesty about sex. The “sex strike” is realistic and the reaction of the girls is accurate. Listening to the banter between each girl through Lissa’s innocent eyes is refreshing. Sex is a taboo still for many people. Talking about it is just not done, even now.

Lissa is a fabulous character. She’s genuine and her neuroses are complex. I like that Keplinger didn’t delve too deeply into why Lissa is so OCD. Lissa already knows why and that adds to her character.

The Bad: I wish Chase’s character had been explored more in depth somehow. I would’ve liked to know why he didn’t date exactly.

Recommendation: Anyone who doesn’t think sex should be in YA books, won’t enjoy this, although I would recommend that they give it a try anyway. It really is worth it.

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9 comments on “Book Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

      • I really enojyed The DUFF – from your review, it sounds like it goes a bit deeper than a simple game of girls vs boys, so I’m intrigued. Not caring much for the cover though, but that’s probably because sports do nothing for me, ha!

    • Great review. This one sedunod like it could be interesting, especially because I like retellings of “classics.” But I’m always worried about books where the focus seems to be on sex because I never know how it will be handled. Sounds like this book is smart & mature.

  • I absolutely loved The DUFF and had it on my top 10 faves list, but had read this was a bit of a sophomore slump. It’s been on my TBR list for eons. Maybe I’ll move it up the queue some. I too like her matter of fact approach to teen sex.

  • Argh…Wordpress ate my comment!

    to repeat…I loved The DUFF, had it on my top ten faves for the year I read it, and have had Shut Out on my TBR list for eons but had read it was a bit of a sophomore slump so held off. Perhaps I’ll move it higher in the queue now.

    • I’ve been so curious about this book. But the way Keplinger tecklas (hehe) sex definitely sounds interesting. But it makes me wonder how realistic it is. I haven’t been in high school for many, many years. I guess it is still hard for me to imagine teens being that confident about sex.

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