Thursday, September 15, 2011

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Shut Out:
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.

Behind all of the teenage hormones and petty rivalries is an epic tale of male versus female, but it's also so much more than that. It's about learning to let go of your fears, accepting who you are, peer pressure and sexual relationships among teenagers. Kody Keplinger created an amazing cast of characters and I felt a connection with every one of them, even the not-so-nice ones. The secondary characters were just as powerful as the main ones, and once I started this book, I couldn't put it down. In the book, sex is most often spoken about in harsh whispers and shadows, but Kody's characters bring the subject out in the open as the girls form an alliance to bring an end to the fighting between the sports teams. The girls learn more about themselves as individuals as they share their stories and experiences. They discover that there truly is no "normal" attitude towards sex, some enjoy it, some do not and others choose to wait. Even with all of her vulnerabilities, Lissa is a very strong character and a great leader for the other girls; when she realizes that she has made a terrible mistake, she steps up to take responsibility and right the situation. I loved how Kody questioned the double-standard between guys and girls, and how her characters came together to reconcile their differences.

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