Publisher: Poppy (September 5th, 2011)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardback: 273 pages
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
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.
Review: I honestly love Kody's books. Not only is she a fabulous writer, but she writes story that really capture adolescence. It's not all about girls being shy or awkward, boys being superstars or jerks, or any elements beyond what a normal teenager goes through. She creates true teen life! I can see each character being real. All teens are different and not all of them are fearless. Some teens just struggle with typical day-to-day issues of boys, peers, and out of control hormones. And no one tackles these issues better than Kody Keplinger!
After reading The DUFF I knew I had to read every other book Kody wrote. Not just because it was good, but because she dives into issues no one else does. I mean really, when was the last time you read a YA book about friends-with-benefits, or a sex strike? So these book are for older teens but that is an area of YA literature that cannot be ignored. Older teens need books they can better relate to. They deal with sex issues daily and, if anything, this book shows young girls and boys that they shouldn't think everyone is having sex.
Lissa is the focus of this book but there are so many amazing characters throughout the story. Lissa is tired of her boyfriend and his football teammates fighting with the soccer team. It doesn't make sense to her that a bunch of guys, from the same school, would choose to play pranks on each other. She soon gets all of the girlfriends together to talk about the issue. They agree with her that the fighting must stop and the best way to make that happen is to withhold all sexual activity. Brilliant idea!
Situations in this book go deeper than it may seem. The girls soon find out that they are not all the same. Some of them are still virgins, some dislike sex, some have other issues with it-- but they all have been too afraid to talk about it. This is something that happens to teens all the time. They feel they are alone and have to go along with what they see as the "norm". But as Lissa and her friends learn, no one should be afraid to have an open conversation about the hard issues. It may lead to some surprising finds! Especially when you consider what some guys are willing to do when they can't have sex.
As Lissa struggles with her boyfriend, Randy...a new guy swoops in and takes her mind away from the drama, Cash. Oh how I wish I'd known someone like Cash in high school, haha! He is sweet, funny, and sporty! He soon makes the sex-ban even more interesting by joining in..on the boy's side! Cash and Lissa had so many hilarious moments.
If you are looking for a book aimed at older teens, you gotta read Kody's books. Shut Out accurately explores teen drama and all the issues surrounding sex.
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