Book Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Posted August 15, 2013 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: Shut Out by Kody KeplingerShut Out by Kody Keplinger
Published by Poppy on September 5th, 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 273
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

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...

5 Stars

Why does Shut Out get so little love? Admittedly, next to Kody Keplinger’s other two books, this one doesn’t have that same spark of omg-flipping-awesome. But it has a lot of merit, and just like her other books, I enjoyed this romance a whole, whole lot. To think I was expecting it to be really average due to the ratings of my friends… sad! Prospective readers, do not fear! Kody delivers again!

Shut Out is another edition of Kody Keplinger clearly proving to the world she knows just what it’s like to be a teenager and what teenagers think/talk about. This book focuses on… sex. At least from my experience in the States (and keep in mind that I lived in ultra-conservative Texas), talking about sex is such a taboo that it only has a seriously negative effect on teens. They don’t know what the expectations are. Stereotypes get thrown around. Slut-shaming becomes completely normal. Double standards are created. Kody  again manages to tackle such a crucial issue for teens in a beautiful story. And I loved reading it. It’s one of those stories that I feel is just really really important.

“Because I want to know what’s normal.” She hesitated and then looked down at her bare feet on the tile. “I want to be normal, but no one talks about sex, so how should I know what normal is?” Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
Arguably, of Kody’s three works so far, the romance and the love interest in this one are the most appealing. Cash is amazingly sweet and hot and… amazing. Their romance suffered a tiny bit from Lissa’s naiveté, but her reactions and doubts blended really well with her personality to the point where I didn’t mind it too much. But let’s focus on the good things – and there are many. They work together in a library. There are admittedly hot scenes in a library. They bond over books. This is a book nerd’s dream come true, seriously. And all around it’s just totally sweet. There are these scenes with just the simplest things, like holding hands, that completely melted my heart. Admittedly I have something with hand holding

*sigh* I swear, I am so romance-deprived in real life, the next time a guy grabs my hand I will be like…

Anywayyyy. Kody also has a gift for writing secondary characters who create strong friendships. Here, Chloe is the best friend who is open about how much she loves sex. She’s really inspiring and challenges the other characters to think about their prejudices, and all throughout the book, she is a perfect friend to Lissa. Then there’s also Ellen, who admittedly has her issues with Lissa but proves that, in the end, friendship is a lot stronger than petty high school drama. I just love how Kody portrays friendships. They’re just so healthy and strong.

Lissa‘s character and growth throughout the novel was also very dear to my heart. I could relate to her control-freak tendencies. I sympathized with her situation with her dad, her anxiety due to the loss of her mother, her insecurity in her relationship with Randy, her realization that she needed to stand up for herself and speak up… She wasn’t a strong main character, she wasn’t a badass, she didn’t go through a tremendous growth story full of twists and turns, but she just felt really real. I couldn’t help but have deep respect for her.

Summing Up:

Overall, I really enjoyed Shut Out. Of Kody’s three works, it is admittedly perhaps the least special, least memorable, but I did find it to be an important story, and the romance was completely adorable and hot. And let me just stress that this being my least favorite of Kody’s books doesn’t mean much – she is a brilliant author who is definitely on my auto-buy list. I don’t think she could possibly write a book I wouldn’t enjoy and find merit in. Great job, Kody! (What am I to do now that I am out of Kody Keplinger novels to read? SAD DAY.)

P.S. I will be rereading that library scene. Often. Like a lot. Tons. Okay.

GIF it to me straight!

Recommended To:

People tired of slut shaming, and in the mood for some sweet and hot romance.

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15 responses to “Book Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

  1. Okay. So I don't think I've ever laughed out loud from a review. Until now. Thank you. In case you were wondering where I laughed, here you go: "*sigh* I swear, I am so romance-deprived in real life, the next time a guy grabs my hand I will be like… *MY BODY IS REAL (GIF)*"

    You get me, Debby, you so get me.
    My recent post My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

  2. This is such a laugh out loud review! Kudos to you =D

    Seriously though, holding hands is intimate and reassuring. I like it. Also, I was never as interested in Shut Out as I was in her other two books so seeing this has hot romance and it totally a Kody book, I'll have to buy it real soon! You gave me the little push I needed to buy this, lady.
    My recent post Waiting On Wednesday #26

  3. girlusdorkus

    Admittedly, I hadn't been too keen to read this one- it didn't sound like a lot of fun. But, a bookish romance? Ummm YES.
    Also, the last GIF cracked me up. xD
    *whispers* Where's it from? 😛

  4. Megan K.

    Sounds just like my kind of book, yay! Fortunately, I haven't come across too many books that slut-shamed, but I have been in need of some hot and sizzling romance lately, so I think I'd absolutely enjoy this one. Cash sounds… glorious. Like, based on what I've read, I can just run my hands all over his body and not feel ashamed. TMI? Haha. And also, I like how the model on the cover seems to have eye bags. It's refreshing to see something not-so-perfect compared to the other covers these days! Great review, Debby. 🙂

  5. Bahahaha, I must have written this in a certain mood, reading it back now xD what was I thinking?

    YES YES TO HAND HOLDING. ♥ YESSSSSSSSSS you are buying this wheeeeeeeeeee! Have you read it? Did you like it? I'M SO BEHIND ON EVERYTHING I'M SORRY.

  6. The last gif? It's from Atonement 🙂 Which is referenced in this book wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee 🙂

    Hope you like Shut Out if you decide to buy it 🙂

  7. xDDD well yeah, you know all about my hand holding fettish I just can't even. 😀 You need to read this though Amber. Or did you already? Oh yeah, you did. I could press backspace and make it look like I actually know these things. But YOLO. (I'm in a weird mood, don't mind me.)