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Shut Out Paperback – November 6, 2012
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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 book dealing 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 talk over. 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 funny and loyal and a good friend and confidant. I admired this character. If only more if 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.
"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."
Oh well. I really did enjoy Shut Out and thought the subject matter was kinda risque for a YA book. Yet, even though sex is not traditionally talked about in YA I thought Shut Out did a really good job handling the subject. It felt very realistic of typical high school situations.
I can't wait to read more from Kody Keplinger and would recommend this book for fans of mature YA
She had me at Aristophanes.
I knew the premise of Lysistrata and I was excited to see how Keplinger would modernize the tale and make it her own. Let me tell you, she didn't disappoint. The book turned out to be such a refreshing and fun read. I'll go ahead and warn you, though (especially if you're not familiar with Lysistrata) that the novel revolves around SEX, SEX and more SEX.
Cover your ears, children ;D
I thought Keplinger did a really great job of bringing this type of story to life. I appreciate that she breached a subject that is frequently acknowledged, but never fully discussed, in YA lit. (Touchy, I know!) And she does it in a way that doesn't come off as preachy or judgmental.
She even goes so far as to touch on the double standard that exists between men and women. You know the one! I believe Christina Aguilera said it best:
"If you look back in history it's a common double standard of society. The guy gets all the glory, the more he can score, while the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore"
All jokes aside, Keplinger brings up a great point. At the end of the day sex is a choice. It's YOUR choice and there isn't a right or wrong answer.
So, thank you Kody, for allowing your novel to act as a spark for realistic, and sometimes even difficult, conversation.
A trait all good books should be in possession of.
From GrowingUpYA dot Blogspot dot Com
Besides the sex strike Lissa has other problems in her life, like a small attraction to a very attractive and charming Cash Sterling (God even his name is amazing) who is a player on the soccer team.
The book starts off slow and I was wondering where things were headed, but things certainly pick up. The homecoming dance had two of the biggest shockers of the book. One I saw coming and the other one came completely out of left field. I couldn't turn my electronic pages fast enough.
The ending was great and I have already re-read the book again, that's how much I enjoyed it! I do recommend both Keplinger's 'The DUFF' and this story 'Shut Out'