Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review: Shut Out

Shut Out
Kody Keplinger
2011; Poppy (Little, Brown); ISBN 978-0-316-17556-2 (hardcover)

Summary:  For ten years, the football and soccer players at Hamilton High have been locked in a tense rivalry.  It's been getting worse--people are getting hurt now.  Lissa, the girlfriend of quarterback Randy, is sick of being left behind and coming second to the battle.  Then she gets an inspired idea: the girlfriends will hold a sex strike until the rivalry is over.  If the guys aren't getting any, they're bound to bury the hatchet.  It all seems to be going to plan . . . but Lissa didn't count on falling for Cash, who is Mr. Unattainable and the leader of the guys.  Lissa will have to figure out if the strike is about sex, the rivalry, or her desire to control everything to prevent getting hurt.

Once again mining the intersection of teenage love and sex, Kody Keplinger has crafted an opinionated, thought-provoking follow-up to her debut novel The D.U.F.F.  Like in the ancient Greek play Lysistrata, Lissa choose to end a war by withholding physical affection.  This makes sense to Lissa, a secret romantic with a powerful need for control.  These two elements of her personality clash throughout the novel, and it's thanks to people like Cash, her father and brother, and her friends that Lissa is able to balance the two sides of nature.  Through it all, the dialogue snaps with truth and the characters act like realistic teens.  Pass Shut Out along to fans of Carolyn Mackler or anyone looking for an insightful look into teen relationships.

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