Published September 5th, 2011 by Poppy
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//
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.
Shut Out was a nice change from all the paranormal I've been reading lately. Lissa was an interesting character - one that I thought seemed very realistic. Sure, she wasn't perfect, and I know some people think she handled the sex strike in the wrong way, but I think it's the same way plenty of other people would have handled it.
Randy, Lissa's boyfriend, is always putting her second to the rivalry between the soccer and football teams. And when Lissa decides to start the sex strike and get all the other girls who are girlfriends of guys on the teams, well, Randy isn't very happy. I hate the name Randy. I'm glad he was an ass >_>
Cash Sterling made me happy ^-^ He was not a man-whore who'd slept with half the female population like too many boys in YA fiction. He was just a boy who wanted Lissa's attention, and that I was something I really liked.
However, I do feel like all of the characters were a little . . . skimmed over, I guess. They weren't developed enough, except maybe Lissa. As for Randy and Cash and some of Lissa's other friends? You know approximately two things about their lives, and that's it. i wish there could have been a little more about their families or their hobbies or something like that.
And another thing that was skimmed over was the details and descriptions. I wanted to know what her house looked like, the people, anything. I don't want to discriminate or anything, but I feel like most YA contemp. books leave out those details. That's not to say paranormal and fantasy and other novels don't do that, too; I think I just notice it less because there's too many other things to think about.
Overall: The plot was something I thought was fairly original - I've never read anything where so many people come together and go on a sex strike :P While I think the writing needed some work, Shut Out was a fast-paced novel I read in one sitting. I'd definitely recommend it for those days when you want to read a fast book that doesn't involve too much thinking. 4 stars.