Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Filed in 3 Stars , Kody Keplinger , Review , The Quirky Lover Posted on January 19, 2012 @ 7:00 am 4 comments

Format Read: Hardcover, provided by the publisher
Release Date: September 5, 2011
Publisher: Poppy
Formats Available: Hardcover, Kindle, ebook, audiobook
Purchasing Info: Amazon, Book Depository, Chapters, Hachette Canada, Author’s Website, Goodreads

Book Blurb:

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…

My Thoughts:

Shut Out is a tricky book for me to review. In large part, I found myself frustrated by the storyline. But there were times when I enjoyed the message being offered or some of the interactions. By the end of the book, my overall outlook was a positive one, but let me explain further:

I’ll start with the frustrating part. Lissa is part of the “in crowd”, at least where the football team is concerned, so she’s popular. BUT, she has issues. She comes across as very OCD (though I don’t recall it being named as such), which I found made her hard to empathize with. On the other hand, it’s nice to see this condition highlighted in a proactive way in that just because you have OCD, doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t fit in. I think that maybe part of my frustration came from how well Keplinger portrayed the character in this light, that perhaps I felt a little of the problem myself while I was reading it. Does that make sense? (And I don’t mean to come across as insensitive, so I apologize if that’s how it seems. I find it difficult to put my impressions about this facet into PC terms.)

More than that though, I found the entire basis of the story annoying: the football team and the soccer team have been at war, and I mean all out war, for more years than should be acceptable for high school rivalries. I just didn’t care enough about this issue and found it hard to swallow that these kids would either. Surely someone would have stopped the insanity before this? It is this constant feuding that leads to the actions the girls take, but I have to wonder if another reason could have been explored?

These downfalls aside, the overall message of the teenage girls not allowing themselves to be pressured into anything, was a good message. As adults, it’s easy to say that no one should ask you to do something you don’t want to do, but in those teen years, we know we all had a very different outlook. It was nice to see the group of girls stick together and find ways to openly talk about things that a lot of people would be embarrassed to talk about. Kudos for this part of the book.

The thing that I enjoy about Keplinger’s work is that she gives us a real look at teen life. Of course teen’s will be swearing, drinking, and having sex; it’s inevitable…though not all of them do, but a lot., right? She even contained a steamy scene in Shut Out, where Lissa gets down and dirty in a library. But overall, this book didn’t gel as much for me as The Duff did. Shut Out is a great book if you’re accustomed to the (stereotypical?) sports rivalries it portrays or are a teenage girl looking to sort out the should you/shouldn’t you issue. I just didn’t love it as much as I wanted to.


I give Shut Out 3 stars.

About Jackie

Jackie is a quirky mom, living in Ontario, Canada. She's a bookkeeper by day and a book lover by night. She also blogs at The Novel Nation and writes occasionally for Heroes and Heartbreakers.

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Join the Discussion
  • aurian January 19, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Nice review Jackie, and it is a fun premise for a book.

    • Jackie January 19, 2012 at 9:52 am

      Thanks aurian. IT definitely had some really good parts to it.

  • blodeuedd January 19, 2012 at 11:24 am

    The whole thing annoys me, what kind of HS is that

  • Jan January 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    The high school rivalry thing is hard for me to envision and sounds dumb.
    i do like the message though.

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