I have to admit that any book or movie that features sport immediately makes my eyes glaze over. I am not and probably never will be much of a sporty person. FACT. And yet time and time again, when I DO give these sorts of stories a chance, I’m always surprised by how much I enjoyed them. For example, I had no interest whatsoever in watching the movie “The Blind Side” but when I finally sat down to watch it, I loved it. With that in mind, I wanted to give Shut Out by Kody Keplinger a chance aaaaaand....I really enjoyed it! It was nice to read a contemporary book for a change, not a hint of the paranormal in sight and yet it was equally as entertaining. Here’s the 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.”
First off, let’s just get this out of the way early on. YES, the girl on the book cover REALLY looks like Liv Tyler. I’m sure it’s probably not her but it sure does look like her. I love the fact that this book is based on a play by the ancient Greek playwright, Aristophanes and even though it was written centuries ago, it STILL translates really well to modern day. This is a battle of the sexes but does anybody really win in the end?
I read another review of Shut Out a while ago that slammed Keplinger for choosing to write about how the girls only way of halting the rivalry was to use sex and how instead, they should have started some kind of youtube campaign. Had I been drinking coffee at the time, I’m sure I would have snorted it through my nose. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to their opinion but I thought that was an incredibly unrealistic thing to say. Youtube campaigns and petitions have their place but this is not one them. I commend the girls in this book for hitting the guys where it hurts (so to speak) and it wasn’t just about denying sex. There were plenty of girls who were virgins and so for them; it was more about withholding affection. Also, through doing this, some of the girls found out how their boyfriends REALLY felt about them when they were caught shacking up with someone else.
This book explores the issue of teenage sex and how everyone thinks that everyone else is doing it and no one knows if they’re doing it right because no one talks about it. When they DO start talking about it, it becomes a revelation for all. This is a book to get you thinking, it’s incredibly readable, highly entertaining and should ignite some interesting discussion among teens and adults alike.
Shut Out was published on 5th September, 2011. To find out more about Kody Keplinger and her books, please click here to visit her website. She is also active on Facebook and Twitter.