Thursday, September 1, 2011

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger Review

Shut Out
By Kody Keplinger

Sept. 5, 2011
Poppy, 288 pages
Source: Review copy

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.

— description

With themes of honesty, self-acceptance, gender equality and sexuality oozing through every page, I swear I could have done a blind read and been like "Oh, yep, that was a Kody Keplinger novel!"

And, guys, I sort of love that. Granted, her first book, The DUFF, didn't do much for me, but her strong, vivid voice really stood out. It takes a lot of gusto for her to write so candidly about teenage sexuality.

And I really respect what she's done here with Shut Out. Sure, the themes are similar to those of The DUFF, but the way they are presented in this book shows growth in Keplinger's writing. The storytelling is more thoughtful, more mature.

Well, you know, "mature" for a YA book. I mean, hello! Plenty of shenanigans and flawed teenage thinking involved! Her characters are still an entertaining, hot mess, only with more layers of vulnerability and honesty to help me relate to them.

I am SO won over.

Anna Reads young adult book blog


  1. You already know my love for Kody Keplinger. I'll pretty much read anything by this author. I really respected her honest approach to teenage sex in this one. It's real & it happens. Kudos to her for not being afraid to admit that!

  2. Great review! I have got to read this! I don't read contemp often, but for this one I must!

  3. Nice to see that you enjoyed this one!

  4. Want to read. Trying to decide if I can get away with it for our school library.

  5. i am, and forever will be, on the Hot Mess Express. ALL ABOARD.

  6. We need to stop posting reviews for the same books on the same days...that's just too freaky :)

  7. I heard a lot about this book from everyone who went to BEA. It sounds amazing and I'm so glad that you liked it. It's on my TBR list for sure.

  8. Reading this now and loving it already!


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