By Kody Keplinger
Sept. 5, 2011
Poppy, 288 pages
Source: Review copy
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.
— Amazon.com description
With themes of honesty, self-acceptance, gender equality and sexuality oozing through every page, I swear I could have done a blind read and been like “Oh, yep, that was a Kody Keplinger novel!”
And, guys, I sort of love that. Granted, her first book, The DUFF, didn’t do much for me, but her strong, vivid voice really stood out. It takes a lot of gusto for her to write so candidly about teenage sexuality.
And I really respect what she’s done here with Shut Out. Sure, the themes are similar to those of The DUFF, but the way they are presented in this book shows growth in Keplinger’s writing. The storytelling is more thoughtful, more mature.
Well, you know, “mature” for a YA book. I mean, hello! Plenty of shenanigans and flawed teenage thinking involved! Her characters are still an entertaining, hot mess, only with more layers of vulnerability and honesty to help me relate to them.
I am SO won over.