Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Review: Shut Out

Synopsis: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.

My Review: When I first read The Duff, I fell in love with Kody’s writing.  It was fun and entertaining, and full of witty sarcasm.  Shut Out was no exception.   The one thing that I really appreciate about her books is the fact that she’s not skittish about talking about sex.  Sex is an important part of a teenager’s life, and not many YA authors like to go into that territory.  I really respect the fact that she is unabashed and upfront about it.  Shut Out is probably the most outspoken novel on sex I’ve ever read.  Based on Aristophane’s Lysistrata, the girls reach a whole new level of sex strikes.  

It all starts because the football team and the soccer team are at war with each other.  A ten year long rivalry has now escalated into actual acts of violence against one another, all because of a stupid feud.  Lissa is sick and tired of it all.  She doesn’t like the violence and she especially doesn’t like her boyfriend, Randy, putting her second and the feud first.  She comes up with the brilliant idea to deny sex until the boys put a stop to the feud.  Both football girlfriends and soccer girlfriends go in on the strike, and things start to look up.  That is until the boys get organized and start trying to seduce the girls out of their vows of chastity.  It’s all very fun and entertaining as hell.  Haha.

For the most part I really enjoyed Lissa’s character.  She is an obsessive control freak in all aspects of her life.  She counts everything, from how many steps she takes, to the beating of her heart.  Even when she is with Randy she has issues just letting go.  When Cash Sterling enters her life yet again, it causes huge waves.  Not only is Cash the hottest guy on the soccer team, but he is the one person that causes Lissa’s control to go flying out the window.  I really loved their interaction throughout the course of the novel.  I thought Cash was funny and sweet, and always knew just the right thing to say.  He’s portrayed as a huge flirt by other characters, but I really didn’t see that.  Some of the things he does in the novel just kinda made my heart swoon a bit, they were so sweet.  He was a genuinely nice person that would do anything for his family and was always there for Lissa.  

Towards the end of the novel, things get a bit heated.  And no, not in the romantic way.  Cash is organizing the boys, and Lissa is heading the girl’s seemingly never ending strike.  Lissa gets so caught up in “winning” that she forgets the true reason they even started the strike.  To say the least, she makes some dumb ass mistakes.  She gets so wrapped up in the strike, that she mistakes everything Cash does as trying to weaken her resolve.  In the end, things work out for the best and the feud is ended once and for all.   

Shut Out was highly entertaining and a great sophomore novel.  I really look forward to any future books from Kody, because I have a feeling that every single one of them is going to be hilarious.  


Lisa said...

Great review! I am *SO* excited to read Kody's books! I have been lusting for The DUFF for a while now and am counting down the days until Shut Out! :)