Book Thoughts: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

(*I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a thoughtful review)

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.

I love Kody Keplinger. One, she is a fabulous author. Two, she has created a young adult book that isn’t afraid to talk about sex as it is. Three, just because.

I wouldn’t have known this book is a retelling if it didn’t say it on the inside of the cover jacket. Keplinger adds spice to the old Lysistrata (which I knew of) with characters that could go to my school. To me, most of the characters in this book are ‘popular’ since they are either the football/soccer players or their girlfriends. The protagonist, Lissa, is dating the quarterback of the football team. Lissa and most of the other girls are likable characters; in my own experience the ‘popular’ kids tend to get on my nerves. Even so, I was able to put aside those preconceived notions and ended up loving the characters.

I really enjoyed the different types of people in the novel. You have the girl who is called a slut, the girl who is a bitch to everyone, the girl who is quiet, and all the girls in between. Just because someone is called a certain name doesn’t make them that. Every girl in the novel has a different perspective just like every girl does in real life and it made me smile to see that in the end they were really closer than they thought. When the girls started to open up and talk about things to which I could relate, I found myself wishing I could join their conversation.

I’m really pleased with the topics discussed in this book and how they were presented. Sex is the main theme in this novel (obviously) and it’s nice to see it done well. Teens today are surrounded by it everywhere, yet no one is actually willing to talk about it freely even though it is constantly alluded to in the media. The characters in this novel express their thoughts, worries and pressures about sex that I know almost every other teen out there can relate to. This book also mentions the pressures teenagers feel and the boundaries they are given by our society; this book breaks those boundaries with strong characters and actions that change the reader’s perspective. I felt good after finishing this book.

Overall, I think this is one awesome book for girls. Be warned that the book is predictable, though. Keplinger’s Shut Out is a wonderful novel that deals with a topic that hits home. Seriously, find this book and read it.

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One thought on “Book Thoughts: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

  1. Pingback: Shut Out | Off The Wall

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