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Estelle: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger [ website | twitter ]
Publication Date: September 5, 2011
Publisher: Poppy
Pages: 288
Target Audience: Young Adult
Format read: Purchased on my Nook
Why I read it: Seemed like a sexy, quick read.

Summary: Lissa is fed up with her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, and his inability to forget about the rivalry between the football and soccer teams that has ruled the school for way too long. So Lissa decides to take matters into her own hands and organizes the annoyed girlfriends of both teams in hopes to withhold any form of fooling around until this rivalry is done with once and for all. But Lissa has a few secrets of her own – one of which has to do with a soccer player, Cash, who is just about everywhere she turns these days…

Kody Keplinger can write tension like a champ.

And she has to with a subject like this. I can’t say I relate to a sex strike so much. Especially one in high school. Because my circle of friends and I just never talked about it like this crowd did. But hey, I’m open-minded. I actually read Shut Out in less than a few hours. It’s a fast-paced, addicting, and yet a light read.

Lissa, as a main character, is an interesting one. She’s sort of like this shy mother hen type. Her own mother died in a car accident that permanently disabled her father. She has an older brother she continues to keep tabs on. It actually gets pretty annoying. And coming from me, a person who likes to be in control and know what’s going on, that’s saying something. It might have actually been a bit over the top for me. The part of her personality that I felt was very realistic was the trouble she had trusting and opening up with people, and being uncomfortable with her own sexuality.

If anything that is what I enjoyed most about this book. Keplinger did a nice job of focusing on many different kinds of high school girls  — the “slut”, the virgin, the secret virgin, etc. And because of Lissa’s idea of the sex strike, this unexpected female society came together and it made for some really nice scenes for me. Connecting, butting heads, and even reconnecting over this one conflict in the school and during the course of it, becoming friends.

On a deeper level, it’s about acknowledging the kind of pressure that girls deal with in high school. Like, why should a girl who is confident in herself and enjoys sex be known as a slut? Why do people feel so quick to judge the other girl who has made a pledge to remain a virgin? All of these are relevant and integral questions and ones that are tackled time and time again throughout Shut Out. This no-sex pact actually teaches everyone a lot more about themselves than they ever thought possible.

Now let’s talk about Cash for one second. Because, um, if I ever wanted to have some make out time in a library, he would be my prime candidate. He’s hot; he’s sweet; he reads. I mean, that’s the recipe for a great leading guy. Not to mention, he and Lissa have some undeniably crazy chemistry from the first minute he enters the story. I didn’t have the same reaction to Randy though. I actually wasn’t sure what Lissa saw in him except for the fact that he was good to her family and they liked to have him around. I wasn’t surprised by many of his actions but I was certainly disgusted by a few.

So if you are out to read something a little racy, a little speedy but surprisingly thought-provoking, move Shut Out to the top of your list.

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June 15, 2013 - 3:30 pm

Sharon @ The Book Barbies - Oh, this was a good one! I loved how it addressed the issue of all the labels for girls in high school, and how ridiculous it is that somehow being a virgin is bad but NOT being a virgin is equally bad for different reasons. Both are criticized, and so often by other girls, and for no real reason. The friendship and romance were also well done. I enjoyed this one a lot.

June 10, 2013 - 5:03 pm

Alexa Y. - I’m really looking forward to reading this book now! I can sense that it’s a fun, interesting read, and I love that it actually makes you think about the idea of sex and labeling people when you’re in high school. Can’t wait to get to this one — since I actually already own it!

June 9, 2013 - 10:17 pm

tabithasbookblog - This is the only Kody Keplinger book that I haven’t read, but I’m really looking forward to it! I’m really excited to see how this sex-strike plays out in this one – the way she handles the entire subject of sex with teenagers is probably one of my favorite parts of her books!

June 8, 2013 - 1:54 pm

Wendy - Umm Cash’s character sounds downright amazing!

June 6, 2013 - 6:52 pm

Renae @ Respiring Thoughts - I really liked this one, though it’s my least favorite Keplinger novel. It was a really quick, easy read, though, and the story was fun. But, um, yeah: Cash. Wow, that boy was awesome. I think this book is worth reading just for Cash.

June 6, 2013 - 11:20 am

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - Ok so I’ve never actually read anything by Kody Keplinger but there’s this: “Kody Keplinger can write tension like a champ.” –> So you know me and you know this means that now I want to. Also I’ve heard her books are kind of controversial with their ‘racy’ topics so that always makes me more interested and stuff. Admittedly, I’ve been turned off by the cover. But I like the sound of this one. Sounds kind of fun with some actual meat to it.

June 5, 2013 - 11:35 pm

Bookworm1858 - I liked this one but it’s definitely my least favorite Keplinger (although Cash is pretty sweet 😉 I loved the female friendships here-I would have taken even more of their interactions.

June 5, 2013 - 7:00 pm

Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books - What interests me about this book is that it’s a retelling of Lysistrata (I just love my retellings). I think it’s a really interesting new take that Keplinger put on this tale, but I’m curious to see how successfully it works within a high school context. That’s great you thought that Keplinger was able to address some relevant and important high school stereotypes through this story. I would like to read this and Lysistrata at some point so I can compare!

June 5, 2013 - 5:48 pm

Taylor @ Reading is the Thing - I didn’t connect with this book very well. I think it’s because I found the whole thing too unrealistic (and I was in high school when I read it!). But I do enjoy Keplinger’s style. Great review!

-Taylor @ Reading is the Thing

June 5, 2013 - 3:12 pm

Hollie @ Music, Books and Tea - I really want to read some of Kody Keplinger’s work, her books always sound so fantastic! Shut Out is probably the one that’s caught my attention the most, probably because of it’s unique subject. Great review, I definitely need to get myself a copy of this one.

June 5, 2013 - 10:18 am

DannyBookworm - I love Kody Keplingers style! She has the talent to write sexy characters but all wrapped in a great storyline too!!

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