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...
Shut Out was a spectacular sophomore novel by young writer Kody Keplinger. It was filled with steamy romance, tested friendships, girl power, and more. This was inspired by the play Lysistrata and I can't wait to check it out now. I started reading this the second it arrived in my mailbox and I didn't put it down until I finished later that day. Kody's sophomore novel sucked me in and I can't stop recommending it!
Lissa is happy with her boyfriend, Randy, and things would be perfect if it wasn't for the rivalry. Randy is on the football team and her school has had a long running war between the soccer and football teams. And so the girlfriends are also dragged into it. Randy is often involved in pranks against the other group and Lissa lost her old best friend when she started dating a soccer player. Lissa is tired of getting her car egged when she's making out with Randy and being left behind when he runs off with the football team to take revenge on the soccer players. Lissa was a kick-butt main character. Not in the beats-people-up-destroys-paranormal-creatures way, but in an entirely realistic and refreshing way. Lissa took things into her own hands and made a difference where it mattered. How does she do this? By arranging a sex strike.
The hookup strike was such a unique idea and I loved how Kody presented it. Soccer and football girlfriends joined together in a pact (not to give their boyfriends any action until the rivalry ended) and soon the war has divided the groups into two new ones: boys versus girls. The plot was fast paced and kept me on my toes. Who would cave first? Would the rivalry end once and for all? A lot of unexpected things occurred as the novel progressed and I never knew what was going to happen next. Especially when Lissa starts to develop feelings for the leader of the boys (and soccer player) Cash Sterling.
All of the characters in Shut Out had something special about them and the boys were swoon worthy (one in particular!). I loved Lissa and she learned a lot about herself, her family, her friends, and her heart by starting the strike. Some novels shy away from discussing sex and the physical aspects of relationships, but not Shut Out. I adored Kody Keplinger's realistic and exciting new novel and am sure many others will, too.
In the end, Shut Out had great characters (including one named Kelsey!), an original plot, and an important message tied in. I have loved both of Kody's novels and I'm sure I will feel the same about whatever she writes next!
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
September 5, 2011/Poppy/288 Pages/Young Adult
Source: Publisher (ARC)
Other books by this author: The DUFF