Release Date: September 5th, 2011
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.
Kody Keplinger is awesome. She did an interview with me last year and is incredibly cool. Her agent is awesome, she has a great blog, and she's really young.
That said, I'm not sure how much I loved The Duff. It was a good, easy read, but not necessarily my favorite sort of book.
Shut Out, however?
Totally my favorite kind of book.
The characters seem real. Lissa is accessible to many girls for a myriad of reasons. She connected with me on way more levels than the characters in The Duff. She has issues with her friends, issues with her family, and most of all, is really confused on the whole 'relationship' thing. Her world gets way too tangled up in that relationship. You watch her compromise elements of herself and of her life for her relationship before she finally just gets fed up and decides that something needs to change.
The plot was really enjoyable, twisting and turning without being predictable or unnecessarily confusing. It was a great, fast read and one that I can definitely see myself picking up again. Plus, you know, there are cute boys.
Boys aside, though, Shut Out addresses bigger elements. It points at the many issues of high school dating and brings solidarity to a lot of different types of girls. Relationships in high school are aggravating, hard, heart wrenching and way too tricky to deal with alone. Kody Keplinger's new book makes sure that girls don't have to.
Plus -- seriously, people. There are some very cute boys.