Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
Gifted young writer Kody Keplinger has created a novel for older teens based upon the theme behind Antigone's Greek classic play, Lysistrata, where the women withhold sexual favors to stop the men of Athens and Sparta from fighting each other. In Shut Out, high school student Lissa and her friends and former friends unite to do the same. At Hamilton High, the football team and the soccer team wage incessant war upon each other, and their girlfriends suffer. Soccer team members throw eggs at football players' cars when they are inside making out with their girl friends, thus ruining a romantic evening on purpose. Lissa begins her "withholding" and immediately catches her boyfriend, Randy, making out with a pretty sophomore girl. She is attracted to Cash Sterling who works with her in the local library, but is Cash coming on to her only to break the strike?
Shut Out is a well-written, well-plotted and well-edited book that is superior reading for older teens in this world where teenage sex exists even on the Family Channel. Lissa is a completely believable main character as she goes about being her teenage self, while caring for her brother and wheelchair-confined father since their mother's death. Her friend, Chloe, and the other characters, both boys and girls, are also well drawn and never step out of character throughout the story, which makes it more than authentic. The story follows Lysistrata faithfully, and the author has the characters well aware of this Greek classic's theme. Kody Keplinger has written a book here that speaks to older teens in a language they will understand and should be found on library shelves everywhere.