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Bookanistas Review: Shut Out

I adore Kody and I adore this book! I had the pleasure of listening to Kody read from it last night at the NYC Teen Author Night, and she was awesome!

It would have been more awesome if I had remembered to take pictures, but instead I’ve got an excellent review!

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it’s acivil 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.

Inspired by Aristophanes’ play Lysistrata, critically acclaimed author of The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) Kody Keplinger adds her own trademark humor in this fresh take on modern teenage romance, rivalry and sexuality.

WHAT I THOUGHT:

I adored THE DUFF and this book is a perfect follow up to it. I love the way Kody plays with the theme of sex. And I also love how this book has a completely different take on the subject. While The Duff was about casual sex, this book is about withholding sex. I think they work as nice companions to one another.

I’m a huge fan of retellings, and though I haven’t read the original source material, I thought the idea to set this as a sex strike in high school was really clever. I empathized with Lissa wanting to end the rivalry so she doesn’t have to share her boyfriend with it or risk him getting hurt in the violent war. What a unique idea!

Lissa’s a strong character. She knows what she wants and goes to great lengths to get it. I really admired that about her. The supporting characters around her may seem more confident on the page, particularly Chloe, but I think deep down Lissa is the strongest of them all. (Except when she gets a weakness for a certain boy, but I was PERFECTLY FINE with that weakness. In fact, I wanted more more more!)

I loved the way girls from rival teams banded together for a common cause and not only that, they became friends. Though this is a story about sex as power, it’s also about girl power. Each of the girls who band together to strike had their own unique motivation for doing so and unique personality. Lissa must reunite with her ex-best friend, another causality of a past rivalry. And there’s Kelsey, who stomps onto the page and steals lots of scenes. I also loved quiet Mary, who was strong in her own morals.

But of course, there wouldn’t be a strike without boys, and well, the sexual tension between Lissa and Cash crackled off the page. He’s a worthy opponent in this love triangle, and I confess, I wanted the rivalry to end just so they could act on that tension!

Yay for a contemporary that rocks!

CHECK OUT WHAT THE OTHER BOOKANISTAS ARE READING THIS WEEK:

Elana Johnson is obsessed with Possess

Christine Fonseca twirls for Audition

Shannon Whitney Messenger is wowed by The White Assassin – with giveaway

Shelli Johannes-Wells applauds The Pledge

Beth Revis interviews The Girl of Fire & Thorns author Rae Carson

Carolina Valdez Miller delves into The Future of Us – with signed book giveaway

Shana Silver shouts out about Shut Out

Sarah Frances Hardy fancies You Will Be My Friend

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Originally published at shana-silver.com. You can comment here or there.

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
dawtheminstrel
Oct. 6th, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC)
I thought DUFF was a brilliant book, primarily because of the way it shows that everyone is the DUFF on occasion. I loved the insight of that. I'll take a look at this new one too. Between her previous book and this review, how can I lose?
tinuviellen
Oct. 7th, 2011 10:48 pm (UTC)
You should definitely check out Lysistrata - it's hilarious, and you won't even believe how ribald.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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Shana's Novels

Represented by Sarah LaPolla at Curtis Brown Ltd.


WEBSITE
http://www.shana-silver.com


ALICE IN WONDERLAND HIGH
A non-fantasy retelling of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in which sixteen-year old Alice follows a rebellious new friend on an adventure through the underground (i.e. secret society) of Wonderland High. Curiouser and curiouser.


THE ART OF SELLING MY SISTER
Kasey Fishbein, sixteen, ruins her older sister's life by destroying her chances at a college dance scholarship. Now, she has to fix things for Lara before their parents find out.






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