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I Belong

Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Title: Shut Out

Author: Kody Keplinger

Genre: YA Contemporary


Publication DateSeptember 5, 2011

Format: Hardcover, 273 Pages

ISBN-10: 0316175560 (Poppy/LB Teen)

ISBN-13: 978-0316175562 (Poppy/LB Teen)

Reviewed by: Bridget


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…

Quick & Dirty: Very funny contemporary with great drama and an engaging story.  I loved the underlying message and really enjoyed this book.

Opening Sentence: There is nothing more humiliating than being topless in the backseat of your boyfriend’s car when someone decides to throw an egg at the windshield.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review

Hamilton High has a serious school rivalry, but unlike most schools it is between two of their own teams.  The football players and the soccer players have hated each other ever since the soccer program was started 10 years ago.  Lissa is so tired of the rivalry and getting ditched by her long time boyfriend.  Randy is the quarterback for the football team and the rivalry always seems to come first to him.  Then things really start to get out of hand and people start to get hurt.  Lissa knows that something has to be done or things are going to get way to out of control.  So Lissa comes up with a brilliant plan that is sure to be a success.

Lissa and the girlfriends from both teams gang up and go on a sex strike.  They have told their boyfriends that they won’t be having sex with them or doing any other kind of sexual favor until the football and soccer players can get along.  But they weren’t expecting a new rivalry to form one between the boys and girls.  The ultimate battle of the sexes has begun and only one race can rain supreme.

Lissa is the protagonist and I had a little bit of a hard time with her, but by the end I liked her.  At first she comes across as a high maintenance snob.   She gets mad at her boyfriend for everything, but she won’t talk to him about it.  She is very standoffish toward people and doesn’t know how to communicate very well.  But as the story unfolds she starts to change and become a much more likable character.  She starts to open up to others and express some of her concerns.  She goes from being an annoying character to a very likable one by the end of the book.  My only problem was that it took a little longer to connect with her than I like.

This was a fun book to read. There is lots of good drama, funny moments, sexual tension, and an engaging story.  There was also a good message about how important communication is in a relationship.  If you can’t be honest with someone and open about who you are then you shouldn’t be dating them.  You should feel comfortable with yourself and the person you are with.   I really enjoyed watching the characters grow and learn about life, friendship, and love.  This is the first book that I have read by Keplinger, but it will not be my last.  Her writing is entertaining and I loved that she took on a subject that is very serious, but can be really fun as well.  While this is a young adult book I would recommend that you be an older teen to read it.  As you can see from the description it does have sex in it and I think it is meant for a little older audience.  I would highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys a funny contemporary with a good underlying message.

Notable Scene:

“Okay, so the thing is to get control of our boys, and to do it all together, as a unified force,” I continued. “Because when it was just football versus soccer, it was a stalemate and a never-ending cycle. But add in an extra party –the girls- and it’s possible to totally upend the balance.  Finding our leverage is the hard part, and like you, I didn’t think it was possible, I thought we were all just screwed. But last night, I figured it out. I know exactly how we can get control of the boys and end this war for good.”

“Out with it already,” Chloe urged.

I grinned. “It’s the one thing they could never say no to. The one thing they beg and pled and cajole for. Up until now, I didn’t realize we could use it to our advantage. But last night, I realized that it’s our best shot.” I paused, took a breath. “We go on … a sex strike!”

FTC Advisory: Poppy/Hachette Book Group provided me with a copy of Shut Out. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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