Sep 26, 2011

Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Title: Shut Out
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher:  Poppy
Publication Date: 9.5.2011
Pages: 273
Genre: Contemporary
Series: No
Source: Finished copy for review from publisher

Rating: A-

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.

I don’t know if there was a person more excited than me to find out Kody Keplinger was putting out a new novel this fall. I fell hard and fast for The DUFF last year, and when I read the premise of Shut Out, I was elated. Keplinger just has this amazing way with words. She can piece together a story and make it magical and raw at the same time.

I love the premise of a boys vs. girls war. Something about is just so fun and so dramatic. I knew there would be touching moments, hysterical moments, and a fun mixture of both. Keplinger did not disappoint me at all in that regard, and the characters of this book are so entertaining to read. Lissa is snarky and fun, but she hides this vulnerable side that Keplinger reveals at just the perfect moments. She is a great narrator and gives us a great insight into the Hamilton High world.

My only complaint (and I hesitate to use that word) is that I felt the romance between Cash and Lissa developed way too fast. She was totally in love with Randy and then just … wasn’t. Granted, I know his betrayal was horrific and I didn’t expect Lissa to keep pining for him, but her newfound love with Cash felt somewhat forced. I would have liked to see it fleshed out a bit more. As individual characters, Cash and Lissa are fabulous.

Fans of The DUFF definitely don’t want to miss Shut Out. I must add that Shut Out doesn’t have the explicit sexual scenes and conversations that made Keplinger’s debut novel so risqué, and that’s not at all a criticism. I felt Shut Out had a more mature, toned-down vibe that will still resonant with young readers while keeping the interest of an older (aka Non-Teen) audience. I feel much more comfortable sharing Shut Out with my fifteen-year-old cousin than I did with The DUFF.  Keplinger is a gifted writer, and I love how her style is maturing and evolving. I cannot wait for her next book.

Buy: Amazon


  1. Fun premise. I think I must read it to find out who wins. Boys or Girls? :)

  2. @Aimee: No way am I telling! You'll have to read and find out!

  3. I haven't read anything by Keplinger but it looks like I have to pick up a novel of her's soon! Sounds like a really good book!

  4. I've been looking at this book for so long, great review I think I will have to move it up my TBR list!! Thanks!

  5. This is the only book on your YA giveaway list I could find a review for. Not my type of book with no SF or fantasy, so I wouldn't choose it. But I'll take the extra 3 points for another book.

  6. This book sounds great! Will hopefully be reading it soon!

  7. I agree! This was such a fun story. I really enjoyed it. Definitely nice to see Kody can do a fun, lighthearted read in addition to a powerful, provocative tale.

    Mary @ Mary Had a Little Book Blog


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