Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Hardcover, 273 pages

Released: September 5, 2011

Publisher: Little Brown/Poppy

Other places to find the book:

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.
My Rating: 3.5 / 5

My Thoughts:

If you've followed my blog you will know that I absolutely LOVED Kody's debut, The DUFF! I have been eagerly awaiting Shut Out since I heard it was coming out, but guys I didn't feel this one :(

The DUFF for me was so unexpected, it took the topic of sex in YA to a whole different level, pushing the boundries, and I loved that about it. Now you are probably saying "but this book is about sex too" and yes, it is but it didn't work for me this time. I know that sex in high school happens, yet I think the story would have worked better in a college setting. I would hope that young high school couples aren't so focused on sex that they think holding it back could create change. Even the plot driver that leads Lissa to start this club was weak for me - she's sick of being interrupted when making out? Not all players were very sexually active as you soon find out, but for a while it is assumed so. I loved this addition to the storyline, I think it's important to know that it's OK to do what you want to do and not let peer pressure lead you astray. Both Shut Out and The DUFF carry the message of being yourself and loving who you are, something we all need a reminder of now and then.

I normally love stories that are character driven. Unfortunately, the main character, Lissa, was not very relateable for me. She was a control freak to the max and there wasn't much to make you care or feel support for her cause. I did find her best friend Chloe a hoot though. (Bianca from The DUFF totally won me over, she was full of spunk.)  Cash is the boy who every girl likes but is unattainable and while I did really like the guy, I wish there was more background into WHY he was that way. Being elusive and hot was not enough for me to fall for him. (Now Wesley from The DUFF, *fans self*)

A tight ending wraps the story up nicely, I just wish there was more of a character connection for me.


  1. I've never read the DUFF but both of them are on my TBR list. I should really give one a try soon I hear good reviews on both. Sucks that you couldn't relate to the characters in this one though. I hate when that happens it can really turn a would-be great book into an average novel. Great review though!

    Xpresso Reads

  2. I've had this one sitting beside me waiting to read it. Yours is the first review I've read. I've been avoiding them. But when I saw you loved the DUFF like I did I figured you'd have a similar review of Shut Out to what I would. I'm disappointed that there isn't a Wesley. I guess not every book can be as big a hit as The DUFF.
    Maybe the next one. Very good review!

    Glad you were honest!

  3. Giselle ~ yes, try them both of course! The DUFF is one I could read again and again so I may have put unrealistic expectations on this one :(

  4. Heather ~ thanks, it was hard to write this review :( Now I can't wait for you to review it so I can see if it was just me loving The DUFF way too much LOL

  5. I completely understand what you mean as I felt the same way. I loved The DUFF but couldn't help finding some faults with this one. And now that you mention it, it really would have been nicer for us to get more background details on Cash...

    Great review, Mel! I can't wait to read Kody's next novel still! :)

  6. I haven't read this or The Duff yet even though I've been wanting to forever... I agree, though, that the topic sounds like it would make more sense in a college setting. Not that kids aren't having sex in high school, but enough to create that change like you said.

  7. Liz ~ Me too, I'm not sure if my expectations were totally off on this one?!