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Fun & Friendships | Book Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Shut Out will make you want to yell “girl power” with your besties!

Book Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

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shut out kody keplinger book review

Title & Author: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary

Release Date: September 5, 2011

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher

Description:

“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.”

Worthwhile Read

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.

OVERALL:

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!

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.