Saturday, 26 September 2015

BOOK REVIEW: SHUT OUT BY KODY KEPLINGER




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.
 


Possible spoilers


I will admit, when I put this book on my wishlist, I only did it because it was a Kody Keplinger book. I didn't even read what it was about but I knew it would be good. Why? Uh, it's a Kody Keplinger book. Why do I need to read the summary? 
Anyway, judging from the cover (which I shouldn't do, but I did anyway), I assumed it was about sports, that it was more of a 'She's the Man' type of book. A battle of the sexes, girls not being to play sports with the boys, and wanting their own tea. I was quite surprised as it was nothing like that at all. The front cover is not really anything to do with the story.

It was a bit better. Possibly quite cheesy, but I'm fine with that.

As a not-so lover of sport, I went into this thinking that I'd be having sports references thrown at me on every page, but although there's some involved, it's rarely about it. It's more about the girlfriends of soccer and football players reenacting the play of Lysistrata unintentionally. If you know the play, you'll know the general story of Shut Out, but if you don't - Shut Out is about the girlfriends of soccer and football players, who are sick of being second best and...well, shut out and being used. They're giving the long-term sports rivalry between the two teams more time than their girlfriends. People are getting hurt, pranks are being played, and the main characters boyfriend will make her feel like a booty call. Not nice, Randy. So, they decide to take action on it, and have a sex strike. 
Yep, a sex strike. 
And it's funny because the boys are pretty much gagging for it, but you know what's interesting? So are the girls. This book gives us the message that, yes, girls enjoy sex too, and they shouldn't be ashamed for it, or get called a slut. If a boy has a lot of sex, he's called a legend, if a girl is, she's called a whore, and that's not right. This book highlights that, and I think that's great. Also, it's realistic, as now-a-days, teenagers this young do have sex. Nice one, Kody!

I enjoyed the "plot twists" if you can call them that, as we learn extra secrets from some of the characters, and the true colours of a few others. I knew about Randy from the start, just the way he was acting, and I can pretty much call him an a-class prick. Urgh.
I enjoyed Lissa's story, although she can make some bad decisions (don't we all?), she was still a nice character to read about. She's not as sassy as Bianca, but she was very similar to her in some ways, but had more of a forgiving nature, and tended to look past people's negative sides.

I liked the friendship theme of this book, as the girls get together and form a lovely bond over something like this, and realise how much they have in common. How, even though we have our secrets we're too scared to admit, if you open up, people will understand and not judge you. Hell, some might even be in the same situation as you. People from all kinds of backgrounds, with different friendship groups, and who seem the complete opposite of you, can be anyone's friend.

Although this story was predictable, it didn't take anything away from this book. Of course, all stories like these tend to be, but I was fine with that. I was reading Shut Out with the hope of an ending like this, and it happened. It was very satisfactory, and I don't think it could have ended any better! Very enjoyable, it's perfect for if you want a light read, maybe after something big, a story jam-packed full of action or fantasy (note: I read this after finishing Queen of Shadows, which gave me a major book hangover. Review is coming up soon!), or a beach read, something to cheer you up if you're feeling low. It's funny, quirky and such a fast book.

As a slow reader, I sped through this. It was typical Kody Keplinger style, which is an easy flowing book, a story that was super quick to fly through, and quirky characters with their each unique individual personalities. If you liked The DUFF, I'm sure you'll like this one. I, for one, class The DUFF as one of my favourite books, so this one I was bound to enjoy. It's also set at Hamilton High which is where her other books are set, so it's easy to get back into the same environment. Although no mention of any characters from the DUFF are brought up, but it's easy to get lost in Kody's fast-paced and effortless story. 

If you've yet read a Kody Keplinger book - you should really read one. I'm quite the fan, and I highly recommend that you give her stories a try. They're wonderful!





So, what's the verdict. Are you a fan of Kody, a new reader or a long-time loyal fan? Let us know your thoughts, either leave a comment, or find us at any of the following social media outlets:


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