Shut Out by Kody Keplinger [ website | twitter ]
Publication Date: September 5, 2011
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.