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...
I liked the stance that Keplinger took on the whole teen sex thing. Considering that the novel was about a sex strike, I think that she executed the whole thing really well, not coming across as preachy or as if she was promoting it. She presented a variety of aspects, from both sides of the field (get it?!).
The novel also tackled a lot of views about sexuality and expressions of, something that makes you think, but not in an "ugh! philosophy and decisions are hard!" sort of way. I also think that it is also really brave of Keplinger to write a book about sex, as most authors wouldn't have the heart to attempt it.
I did like the characters, especially Lissa. It was refreshing to see a heroine who wasn't strong all the time. I think that her idiosyncrasies were what helped bring her alive, and it really worked. Also - I LOVED Cash and Chloe, they were hilarious at times and just seemed perfect for their roles at other times. The dialogue was enjoyable and really made the novel that bit more realistic.
I thought that some aspects of the novel were a bit predictable, but I guess that not everything can be a surprise.
Shut Out is based on the Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes, and I think that Keplinger does a great job portraying it; it was converted well for a modern audience.
Shut Out is a novel that you should definitely read, don't be off by the sex talk, it doesn't go into detail.
It's a great, light read and you'll really enjoy it if you're a girl ( just awk-ward if you're a guy) 13-17 or so. Maybe (you know, just maybe) because of the feminine perspective and about girls not having sex with guys.
P.S. Here are some good reviews that explain it more - I really suggest that you read a few of them at least - it's worth it!
A great way to put it, found at jessicalawlor.com 's review:
"The concept of SHUT OUT comes from the Greek myth LYSISTRATA; so clearly while I wasn’t paying attention to classics and Greek myths in high school English class, Kody Keplinger was buzzing with fantastic book ideas. But seriously, the idea of this book fascinated me. I love how Keplinger was able to take a concept from such an old story and completely breathe new life into it. The rivalry had me intrigued from the beginning, and when the girls rallied together against the boys, I was completely hooked."
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