Shut Out – Kody Keplinger

05 Aug

Shut Out
By Kody Keplinger
Available September 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.

This Blonde’s Review:

The rivalry between the football and soccer teams is getting out of hand. Every time Lissa and her boyfriend try to have a makeout session it is interrupted by pranks. Each time this happens Randy, Lissa’s boyfriend, runs off to get his revenge instead of staying with Lissa. Finally Lissa decides that she has had enough. She comes up with the plan with some of the other players’ girlfriends. No more hookups until the rivalry ends.

The boys don’t believe the girls will stick to their strike. The girls decide they must stick together and start having weekly sleepovers. At the sleepovers the girls really talk, about sex, about their insecurities, and they start to understand each other and themselves better.

The girls stand strong, and as expected not every boy stays true to his girlfriend. As secrets come out and people feel betrayed, the rivalry between boys and girls becomes bigger than the rivalry between football and soccer players.

Throughout it all Lissa must deal with the sparks she feels when she’s with Cash Sterling. Cash was not part of the original boy/girl rivalry but when he decides to step up as the leader of the boys Lissa doesn’t know what to think. She doesn’t want to admit how she feels about him, and she believes he is just playing with her. As things between Lissa and Cash heat up, Lissa loses sight of her original goals.

I really enjoyed this story. I especially liked when the girls talked sex, since their fears and uncertainties are the same many girls have had. It took a Aristophanes’ classic play Lysistrata, which the author smartly has Lissa read in the story, and made it something we can relate to. I hadn’t read the story of Lysistrata before but am interested in reading it now.

This is an adorable retake on Lysistrata with many misunderstandings and stubborn characters who lose sight of their original goals. I really enjoyed it and I’m sure you will too.


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