Monday, March 4, 2013

(Review) Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Title: Shut Out
Author: Kody Keplinger
Published: September 5, 2011 (Poppy)
Rating: Stay Up 'til 2 AM
Format: Hardcover borrowed from the library
Summary: 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

Then 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. But what Lissa never sees coming is her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling...

I had so much fun reading this book! Shut Out was like book crack for me. I picked it up, and then it was just like someone had glued it to my hands to the front and back covers because I COULD NOT put it down. I didn't want to! In fact, when I looked up at the clock after finishing it, I was shocked to discover I read it at nearly twice my "average" reading speed. It just went by so quickly! I was totally immersed in the story.

Basically, I picked it up because I had read The DUFF a few weeks earlier and enjoyed it, so I looked up Kody Keplinger. And I saw the premise for this book, went YES, PLEASE, and promptly requested it from the library. I was not disappointed! In fact, I wound up liking it quite a bit more than The DUFF.

The entire idea behind this book was vaguely based on Lysistrata, a Greek play by Aristophanes (which I actually knew, because my school did a production of it last year). Basically, it equates to: take sex away from guys, and they'll do whatever you want to get it back. Of course, that's only the founding idea, and it never quite works out like the girls expect. It's a battle of wills between the girls and the guys, and it can be a basis for a lot of fun. It can also get out of hand, which it did in Shut Out. However, I enjoyed the way the story was handled. I also really liked a lot of the message behind the things the girls - and guys - involved learned. I also love that the book was self-aware and referenced Lysistrata more than once.

One of my favorite thing about the book was how the situation strengthened the friendships of some of the girls and brought others together who would never have been interacting otherwise. I think it was believable in that both negative and positive things came about from the situation. There were also really interesting minor subplots happening with some of the girls and their boyfriends.

As for the main characters, I really liked them! Lissa was great. I love that she edited her books while reading them. I habitually do that mentally, and there are occasional books that are so bad I feel like I need a red pen with me while I read so I can send it back to the copy editor when I'm finished. I also really love that Lissa loved Atonement. It made me want to go back and read and/or watch it, which I haven't done for years.

Aaand then there's Cash. Okay, so, full disclosure? Cash was SCARILY like this guy I had a gargantuan crush on for basically the entirety of high school. The full name was very similar, the appearance as described was basically identical, and a lot of Cash's behavior reminded me of the way this guy acted. So yeah. There was that element that is totally personal and subjective, and it probably added to my enjoyment of the Cash part of the storyline and made me love him more than I already would have. But really, if she would have slapped auburn hair and a different name on him? I honestly would have still loved him as a character and wanted him with Lissa, because their chemistry was fabulous.

Basically, Shut Out was just great all-around. It was thoroughly addicting, and I enjoyed the ridiculously short amount of time it took me to get through it.
Great. He was a hottie, a good kisser, and a literature buff. God really must have a sense of humor...

It struck me how inappropriate it was to have this conversation in front of so many Bibles.

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