Saturday, August 13, 2011

Book Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

By Kody Keplinger
ARC Received Via ATW ARC Tours
Publisher: Poppy
Publish Date: September 5, 2011
Format: Hardback, pp 288
Age Demographic: Young Adult
b&n // amazon

“I never found out what I was. Because I messed up.” (pp 218)

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.

*Summary taken from Goodreads.

❝My Thoughts❞

Shut Out is a modern re-telling of an old Greek playwrite written by Aristophane's, Lysistrata. Keplinger is very successful in giving it a unique twist all its own. Set in a modern high school, where she pits the Football team against the Soccer team in a ten year long rivalry, the girls become fed up with it and decide to go on a sex strike pitting them against the boys. It is a highly charged, edgey, and sarcastic lesson in human sexuality, the power of manipulation, and all of the double standards that come along with it. I don't necessarily know that I would personally call it a game well played, but it was a pretty decent novel over-all despite a couple of issues that I may have had with it.

I did manage to admire Kepling's best efforts in tackling such controversial subject matter and utilizing a bit of her own personalilty. She does her best and succeeds well, in getting a pretty good positive message across, that can sometimes come with unexpected consequences as well.

Shut-Out has managed to leave me with a few mixed emotions, in that I liked it to a degree and then I sort of didn't. There were certain things that bothered me and one of those things was the main character, Lissa. At certain points throughout the novel, it felt as if she was using the sex strike for her own personal reasons instead of the reasons that it had been initiated to begin with.

Suddenly, it stopped being about ending the ten year long rivalry between the Football and Soccer teams, and started to become more about her own personal issues. For example, the fact that she felt as if she'd been rejected by Cash and she was going to use the sex strike to manipulate his feelings for her. That completely turned me off and it made me dislike her character a great deal. I stopped feeling sorry for her the minute she started acting like that and encouraging the other girls to use the sex strike as a weapon against the guys they were dating, as well.

All in all, though, Shut-Out is a well rounded novel, that isn't afraid to speak candidly and openly about sexuality and explore the questions that come along with the territory or how it affects the youth of our generation. For that alone, I can give it four solid stars and be alright with it.


{ This ARC was received from ATW ARC Tours, in exchange for an honest review which I have provided. No money exchanged hands, I review books for fun because I love to read. I am not interested in monetary gain. Any piece of this ARC that was quoted, is not part of the finished product and should not be perceived as such.}

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