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Review: Shut Out

my thoughts in a few sentences: Somehow Kody Keplinger manages to strike the right balance between light, funny, and cute, and offset it with heavier issues like sex, and all the decisions and pressures the act entails. Keplinger simultaneously tackles the wrongness of being pressured into uncomfortable situations, of girls being accused of and called abominable things because they like sex, and everything in between even while giving us situations to laugh over, to enjoy, and irresistible, adorable boys to ache for. Content from start to finish, Shut Out by Kody Keplinger is another hit that shows off Keplinger’s easygoing writing style, innate humor, and her fabulous skill at staging some of the best Sexy Times in existence.

hooking first line: "There is nothing more humiliating than being topless in the backseat of your boyfriend's car when someone decides to throw in an egg at the windshield."

Rating: Sud-Kissed | Poppy • Bought • Contemporary Romance • 9/5/11 • $13.83



Shut Out by Kody Keplinger


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...
In Shut Out by Kody Keplinger, Keplinger raises a ton of excellent points even while keeping with the light-hearted tone of her books that is so inviting. We are introduced to Lissa, a girl of raw nerves, guts, and riddled with insecurities that lead a suspicious trail back to her goofy boyfriend who is constantly causing her to doubt herself and her decisions toward sex, always making her feel broken open and ashamed for keeping her virginity intact, either with subtle comments or more drawn-out embarrassing sentiments. Lissa has to discover more about who she is, what she expects from herself, what she can handle and what’s she comfortable with, learning that she and only she has the right to decide and can reserve the right to change her mind and that that independence isn’t a cause for embarrassment as her boyfriend would have her believe.

The concept that starts a rebellion amongst the girls-a strike to break up the school’s longest standing rivalry between their own sports teams-is so… unique, interesting. It takes some serious guts to organize something of that magnitude and to attract other girls to get involved. The friendships that form because of their united front are heartfelt and lend a sense of empowerment, of togetherness, and allows the girls to express themselves to each other without fear or shame in knowing that their thoughts and their stance on sex will be accepted. The feminine support is addictive and hilarious, bringing comfort even amongst enemies who just about swear, initially, never to befriend one another and instead come to an understanding they never would’ve reached otherwise. Old friendships are rekindled even as new ones are forged, and together they work meticulously to overcome the protest mounted by the boys.

Because this is such a short book, it’s easy to feel as if the romance doesn’t get enough page time, and, after careful consideration, I believe that holds true—I wish there had been more time to get to know Cash and witness more of that spark between he and Lissa. However, we can’t help but grin at the sexual tension, the frustrating unspoken questions, and the history that makes them uneasy with each other because it makes their coming together all the sweeter (and no, that’s not a euphemism for something naughty—or, is it? *waggles eyebrows*).

I could barely fight back calling GO TEAM! with all the girl power vibes fluttering around, and it’s amazingly entertaining watching both sides of the strike attack in their subtle ways to weaken the opposition. More than that, each girl discovers some truth they’ve been attempting to hide from themselves, and move forward capable of making better, healthier decisions with their well-being in mind. Overall, I was left feeling satisfied and enlightened and just itching to watch something that holds the same mood and themes. Keplinger has once again impressed me with another of her wonderfully-written, powerfully honest novels, and I can’t wait for the next!

Be sure to check out other books by Kody Keplinger:



Looking for books with a similar feel? Try checking out the following:



Got something specific in mind? Dare I believe I might NOT have covered something you wish to know? If so, let me know down in the comments section. Don't be shy!

24 comments:

Erin W. said...

I loved this book and I'll read anything by Kody. She's a great writer. Anyway awesome review!

Celine @ Forget-Me-Not said...

I just finished this book yesterday and I really liked it! Not as much as The DUFF, it was overall a great book! Kody is definitely a talented writer. I love how her book addresses teenage issues and how she's not afraid of addressing it. Shut Out's concept is awesome. I love how the girls and the boys are sort of fighting against each other. Cash Sterling was such an amazing character too although Wesley Rush will always be my favourite Kody character!

Awesome review, Asher! ♥ So glad you enjoyed it!

Danny Bookworm said...

I love Kody Keplinger and The DUFF was one of the best books I read last year (or was it the year before?). I found Shut Out awesome but not as mind-blowing as The Duff. Still, Kody Keplinger always amazes me with her characters ;-)

Sam @ Realm of Fiction said...

I need to read this book soon! I have heard nothing but good things about it and I reckon the whole battle of the sexes scenario may be pretty entertaining to read about. Great review, Asher! :)

Rebecca said...

Oh!! I admit I've never paid too much attention to this one before actually, but you make me regret that choice! I'm now extremely curious. o: I will definitely have to read this soon and I'm glad you liked it. Great review:)

Ruby said...

I continue to think that Kody Keplinger needs to grow into her writing talents. I think she tackles issues that she doesn't have enough perspective (and, yes, I mean years) to fully explore yet. Still, I'll be reading her books as she writes them. It'll be fun to see her evolve.

Natalia Belikov said...

My dear!

great review! you do make justice to this book! I also really love it and I love that Keplinger put so many teen issues into her novels. 
great review my dear! woohoo!!! yay for Kody!!

Dazzling Reads★  

Asher_Knight said...

YES. Kody's stuff never ceases to bring me joy and an all-around good time. I can't keep the grin off my face once I start reading.

Asher_Knight said...

 WOW. You just finished this YESTERDAY? How weird is that? I loved The Duff more, definitely, and I don't know if anything'll top it, ever, but this one was a solid, entertaining sophomore book and I don't want Kody to ever stop writing. And I love her ballsyness without being overbearing. And as much as I liked Cash, WESLEY RUSH FTW <333

Thanks, lovely Celine, and I"m happy to hear you did as well :D

Asher_Knight said...

 Yes, I don't know if anything will outshine The Duff, as it remains still the victor, but Shut Out was fun and solid and sexy. Kody does a great job in bringing her characters to life with their flaws.

Asher_Knight said...

 It's something light and fun, yet balanced by some heavier issues, and it's one of those books you can burrow into the couch with it in hand. And the battle was funny at times, embarrassing and sweet at others.

Asher_Knight said...

 I did like this one a lot. It makes you laugh and cringe, smile and fantasize. These boys of Kody's are always delish, and Cash is sweet and charming and Lissa is a cool character to get into. Although neither one have anything on Bianca and Wes, these two were great!

Asher_Knight said...

 I guess I don't mind because I don't have that sort of experience either, and, I think, being a teenager and struggling with certain questions about sex myself, that her books really resonate well with the stuff we deal with at this point in our lives. I like how she handles what she knows, with a good dose of humor and awkwardness, so it makes her books entertaining. I don't mind that her talents are superb because the tone of her books takes away from that, you know? And if this is her start, I CAN'T WAIT to see her grow as a writer as well. :D

Asher_Knight said...

Hey, Natalia!! :D Kody has been doing great things with her books so far, and each time I end up loving her characters, so I'm very much anticipating A Midsummer's Nightmare! 

Shiirleyy said...

Oh wow, this sounds AMAZING! I haven't read any of Kody's books before (I know, shameful!), but this is definitely...unique :) I'm glad you like this! I cant wait to read it myself :D Great review Asher :)

Brodie said...

Oh I do love me some GIRL POWER!! <3 Such a cool idea and it really sounds like Kody has pulled it off with heart and a sense of... REALNESS. I like that she doesn't appear to be afraid to tackle things in YA that many others often skirt away from and does she does it WELL. And oh, I love me some sexual tension, even if the romance isn't a hugely central part at times. Must add this to my TBR now! *shakes fist at that Asher and her ridiculously edible reviews*

Brodie said...

 Oh and I forgots to mention - YOUR BLOG! IT'S DIFFERENT! AND PRETTYFUL! AND I LOVES IT! *POKES YOU REPEATEDLY* YOU SO TALENTED!

Asher_Knight said...

As much as I enjoyed this book, I definitely think you should check out The Duff to start. It's on another level of awesome and Wesley Rush is to die for ;)

Asher_Knight said...

 *fist-bumps* *does really cool handshake* Girl power, ftw. Kody's sexual tension is always... temperature-raising *waggles eyebrows* Oh, and I won't mind if you eat the reviews *bats eyelashes* Though, you might end up in the hospital before it even goes all the way down, because YOU ARE TRYING TO DIGEST A COMPUTER
IN THE PROCESS, after all.

Asher_Knight said...

 Thanks, Brodie <333 Even though YOU WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO LOOK yet. You picked the worst time to visit, because it was a WIP. Now, however, I can accept your praise because it is complete. SO THANK YOU AND YOU'RE AWESOME. :DD

Penelope Lolohea said...

Fantastic review! I really enjoyed this one, for all the reasons you mentioned. I definitely felt those GIRL POWER! moments, and I think it covered some great topics, while not delving so deeply into them, to where the reader felt uncomfortable. It was a great balance.  

By the way, I ADORE your blog!

Asher_Knight said...

 THANK YOU <33 Yes, it was like skim of the surface, while toeing deep waters but never quite diving in. I love how she handles the concept and the girl power buzz was fun! I liked it a lot.

AND THANK YOU SO MUCH <333

Bookworm1858 said...

I really liked Cal; if I remember correctly, he is a boy who appreciates the written word-sawoon!

Asher_Knight said...

 Cash* is AMAZEBALLS. So sweet and sexy and kind of... I don't know shy, while still somehow being aggressive, if that makes sense? Anyway, lurved him, though not as much as Wesley.