Monday, 12 September 2016

Audiobook Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger


Shut Out
Series: None
Length: 7 hours, 19 minutes
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Release date: 5th June 2014
Buy: Book Depository | Audible

Add to Goodreads

Goodreads synopsis:
The girls of Hamilton High School are going on strike.

Sick of the rivalry between their boyfriends' American football and soccer teams, Lissa and her friends are determined that the boys won't see any action from them until they put an end to their immature pranks.

But Lissa hasn't counted on a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first ...


I read this one as an audiobook, and I actually think I ended up enjoying the story more because of this. Kate Reinders did a fantastic job of narrating this story – she was expressive and emotive, and despite her high pitched voice, I could tell when she was reading the dialogue of male characters. The performance was enjoyable and I whizzed through the 7 hour, 20 minute audiobook so fast! (Well, in 7 hours and 20 minutes, obviously, but it didn't feel that long!)

The story, however, was a little more problematic.
I enjoyed the story at the beginning; it was instantly gripping and the concept of the book was an interesting one. Put very basically, there is a lasting rivalry at Hamilton High School between the members of the football team (American football, for any fellow Brits reading this) and the soccer team. No one in the current teams was present when the rivalry started, and it's been going on for so long that no one can remember why it started – it's become more of a habit than anything else.
The long-suffering girlfriends of the team members have finally had enough, and so Lissa, the main character, plans a sex strike that will only end once the rivalry between the teams has been called off.

I love the idea behind the book – I think it's quite an empowering one for girls, and it allows sex and the expectations put on women to be discussed in an organic and safe way. I really loved the conversations the girlfriends ended up having about sex, how they feel about sex and their experiences of it. I think this is a really important thing to be discussed in fiction, and I loved how many different views and experiences are represented.

However, the story starts to deviate around half way through, and even the characters begin to acknowledge that sex is being used as a weapon – not good. Although this is an acknowledged problem that the characters have to overcome, and that's fine, what annoyed me about it was that Lissa was so blind to everything. This part is going to be difficult to discuss without spoilers, but I will do my best. What Lissa and the other girls want is for the rivalry to end, but it becomes more about 'winning the sex strike', and so they become blind to the changes that are being made around them. I think it would have been less frustrating for me if these things had been noted by the characters sooner, rather than occurring several times before they were acknowledged.

I also found Lissa quite annoying after a while. I loved her at the beginning, but maybe around two thirds of the way in, I started to find her whiney, selfish and just generally irritating. I wanted to scream at her half the time! This was especially prominent with the problem I mentioned above. She was so WILFULLY BLIND to everything. I did enjoy her character development towards the end of the book, though. I think it was good that Kody Keplinger had her outright admit that she had been wrong and had her speak about working on her problems and flaws.

The one thing I did really love about this book was the friendships between the girls. Of course there was some bitchiness going on at certain points (that's to be expected in a novel about girls in High School), but there were also a lot of supportive friendships between the girls. They weren't competitive with each other, but showed a willingness and want to help each other out. We need to see more supportive, positive female friendships and relationships in books!

Overall I did enjoy this book. The beginning was really strong, and it only really fell down on a couple of points. I think my rating of three stars is appropriate because of how long it took for the characters to reach their 'epiphany moment', the pivot point of the story before it reached the end, but otherwise it was an enjoyable, light-hearted story with some truly fantastic messages! The audiobook was a great, fun way of 'reading' this story, and I highly recommend it – I think it made the story even more fun than it would have been if I was reading it from the paperback.


5 comments:

aparajita said...

hmmm... haven't read it yet. Sounds interesting though. Maybe i'll keep it aside for when I need a distraction from my usual reading preferences.

Great review :)
Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

Penelope Sanchez said...

I loved this book not nearly as much as The Duff but it was still a great read. The play reference was pretty epic. The characters were a bit lacking here and there but it was still readable and enjoyable. The plot was cute and fun. I seriously cant wait to read my next Kody Keplinger book.

Kevin Elwood

So many books, so little time said...

Do you know I have never listened to an audiobook ever, this story sounds interesting, I don't think I will be rushing out t get it but would read it if I came across it. Thanks for your thoughts on this one.

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

Inez Shutts said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sharing Kali said...

Nice post.. thanx

tata cara mandi wajib

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