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Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
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May 25, 12

Read in May, 2012

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON The Dancing Reader, a young adult book blog.
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Title: Shut Out
Author: Kody Keplinger
Release Date: September 5, 2011
Publisher: Poppy
Pages: 273, Hardcover (Read: Audiobook)

I've heard so many great things about Kody's novels, such as The Duff. When I saw that this one was available for audiobook, I immediately jumped at the chance, because, well, it was my first audiobook and it was Kody Keplinger. I have never read any of her books yet, and I decided to start out with this one. However, after finishing the book, I was definitely letdown a little. I wasn't expecting too much out of this one, as it IS a quick and easy fluffy read, but I think it could have been a lot better.

Lissa and her boyfriend, Randy, have been dating for quite awhile. But there relationship is hanging by a thread, all because of the school rivalry. Not with another school, but within the school sports teams, football and soccer. So Lissa gathers the girlfriends of these boys to start a sex strike until the rivalry is over. But when things don't go as planned, things unravel and the sex strike Lissa planned with the other girls goes in a completely different direction Lissa wasn't expecting.

First, the characters definitely bothered me. The main character especially. And if I can't like a main character in the novel, there is a high percentage that I won't enjoy the novel much, either. Lissa definitely had her flaws, and usually I like my character's flawed, but with Lissa, it seemed like she never really learned from them, even in the end. She was really indecisive and never seemed to know what to do. And when she DID decide something, it would always be the wrong choice. She wasn't the brightest, either. Why would she go out with a guy like Randy? To me, she just seemed to date him for popularity. I couldn't see past that fact. And Randy? Don't even get me started. I hated him with a fiery passion.

Suddenly, after about halfway through the book, Randy just disappears, and in pops Cash. Cash was awkward for me. He was supposed to be "perfect" according to Lissa, but all I could picture in my head was big chunky guy who talked in a too-deep voice. Not the best imagery there. The only character that I could enjoy was Chloe, even though she was a brat. She was hilarious and so out there that it was entertaining for me to read about her.

The next biggest problem was the plot. I thought the plot started out really strong in the beginning. A sex strike to end a school civil war? Sounds great. But the problem of the book just CHANGED dramatically when it soon became about Lissa's love life. I understand that the sex strike started out with Lissa and Randy's relationship, but the fact that there was an extreme change in plot & characters was just not for me.

The writing was really nothing special. There was a lot of profanity as well, which I definitely am not the biggest fan of. I did like the connection with the Lysistrada play. You could say that Shut Out is somewhat a retelling of that story.

All in all, Shut Out was quite the disappointment. There was hardly anything that I actually liked. However, I did not think once about putting it down or setting it aside. It is definitely readable. Although I didn't enjoy Kody's second novel as much as I had hoped, I am still looking forward to try her other novels.

Audio Performance: Since I "read" this book on audio, I would like to mention a few things. The reader was a little too perky, which suited Lissa's voice, but at times it just got on my nerves. Which, may just have contributed to my dislike of this book. Then again, I am glad that it wasn't some older lady who was ready a high school story…

Grade: C-

Source: Online library (audiobook)
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