Shut Out will make you want to yell “girl power” with your besties!
Book Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
Title & Author: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary
Release Date: September 5, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher
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.”
I’ve read a lot of books (obvs), but I’ve never read a book with this unique of a premise. Shut Out is about a group of girls who are tired of their sports team player boyfriends’ vicious rivalry between the school’s soccer and football teams.
The one thing the girls think will work like a charm is to withhold their physical charms from their boyfriends – hence the “shut out.”
The story is supposed to be a modern-day retelling of Lysistrata.
This premise was effective in its creation of tension, but wasn’t without its problems. I’ll get into that later.
Lissa is a great main character – she’s got depth and some leadership skillz she didn’t even realize she had. I liked that she works in a library and has great friends to build her up.
In fact, that’s the shining aspect of Shut Out – the female friendships are wonderful. There are slumber parties and honest conversations about sex and relationships. It was a blast to see these girls support each other and discover that they’re not alone in their doubts and struggles with their boyfriends.
The whole “battle” of the book was interesting but a bit troubling in some ways. I understand that Lissa and her friends were trying to prove a point, but the message that sex can be used as a weapon isn’t a great one.
While I don’t think readers will walk away thinking this is a viable option, it’s still troubling to see in print. Shut Out doesn’t seem to diverge from the original Greek subject matter, which is kind of a shame.
I also found some aspects of the book to be cheesy at times – some of the dialogue or situations felt put on and lacked real teen vibe.
The novel’s ending did a lot to make up for this, however. It had a very satisfying conclusion.
This is a fun YA contemporary about friendships and support and somewhat flawed but open view of sex. Despite some cheesy dialogue and situations, Shut Out is a worthwhile read!