Heidi's Reviews > Shut Out

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
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's review
Sep 09, 2011

it was amazing
Read from September 09 to 14, 2011

Five Stars: This is an important book that young adult girls should read as it discusses candidly and tactfully the taboo subject of sex.

For some reason when I began my e book, Shut Out I mistakenly thought I was reading a book about football. Instead I was surprised to find a novel that dealt with teenage sexuality. I applaud Ms. Keplinger's efforts with this book. She tackles a challenging issue not only for teenage girls but also adult women. She opens the door to the subject with candor and tact. This is certainly a book that mothers and daughters could read together and discuss. Though this book deals with a heavy topic, it is done discreetly. There are no graphic sex scenes. Instead it is about a group of girls who band together and form a pact to withhold any type of sexual activity from their boyfriends to bring about the end of an ongoing school feud involving the football and soccer teams. Along the way they gain a new understanding regarding sexuality and learn something about themselves.

What I Liked:
*Lissa, our protagonist. She is a complex teenage girl. She is obsessive compulsive and insecure. What I appreciated most was her maturation. She slowly discovers that sex is a personal experience for everyone. What is right for one person may not work for another. Deciding to have sex or remain a virgin is a private decision. No one can be categorized as weird or normal based on their preference. She finally learns that it is her choice. Such an important message that everyone should heed.
*Chloe, at first she came across as the slutty, bad girl but there is so much more to her character. She is comfortable in her sexuality and not afraid to show it, regardless of what people think or say about her. She is an example of the double standard that exists between the sexes. It was so invigorating to find a teenage girl content in her own skin. She is also a funny, loyal friend and confidant. I admired this character. If only more of us could free ourselves of societal constraints and bindings.
*Cash, our male protagonist. I wish the majority of teenage boys were like him. He is charming, kind, patient and above all respectful to girls.
*Finally, the many issues that were addressed in this book. The girls slowly begin an open dialogue regarding sexual intimacy. Most of the prevalent issues are covered. I truly appreciated the overall message; that sex is a personal choice and preference for every individual. Be comfortable with your own decision and do not let others influence or disparage your selections.

And The Not So Much:
*This book deals with many aspects of sex but one big, important issue that was not covered at all in this book is safe sex. There was absolutely no thoughts or discussion regarding birth control, teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. I felt that this should have at least been mentioned considering the monumental importance of these topics.
*The language in this book may deter some readers sensitive to books with swearing especially when the big, bad "F word" is present. I realize that this is the reality of teenage dialogue but it would be a shame for someone to miss the important messages that this book has to offer because of the offending language.

Shut Out is a novel that deals with several crucial topics facing young adults today. I would recommend this book for mature teenagers who are just beginning to grapple with sexual issues. Though this book covers a heavy subject, it is done in a considerate manner. Aside from some offensive language, it is a book that I think parents and teens can utilize to open their own discourse regarding sex.

Favorite Quotations:

"I want to be normal, but no one talks about sex, so how should I know what normal is?"
"I don't think normal exists."

"Sure, it had started because of the sports feud, but now it was about so much more. It was about independence and confidence and breaking free of stereotypes and labels."

"Sometimes you just need to relax and have faith that things will work out. Let go a little and let life happen. You don’t want to miss out on the best parts of life just because you were afraid of getting hurt."

"But she had known something all along that I hadn’t: that being ashamed of what you want or how you feel is pointless, and letting anyone else make you feel ashamed is a waste. We all wanted different things, and that was okay."

"Like maybe they’d thought about their relationships, about sex.
Like maybe this whole thing had changed them as much as it had changed me."

"I’m not the same girl who let you make me feel guilty for not doing the things you wanted me to do. I’m done with that, and I’m done with you.”
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Heidi Well as I said in the beginning I had no idea I looked at the e book cover and started to read thinking it was football I think I had this mixed up with Crossing Jordan anyway I was surprised to find it was about something else but it was a good read.

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