Thursday, September 1, 2011
Book Review: Shut Out
I had been eagerly awaiting this book for several months, since about the time that I read The DUFF. So when I found an early copy at Chapters, you know I didn't hesitate to grab it and crack it open ASAP.
As usual, what immediately drew me into the story was the main character's voice, Lissa. Lissa is a little more reserved, a little more "virginal" than I expected, and honestly I was glad for the surprise. It made her sometimes seem younger than some of the guys, but it also brought a real sense of sincerity to everything she did. Another aspect that immediately drew me in and held on tight were the cast of characters and the way they interacted. Every character in Shut Out was fully developed, with their own quips and quirks, wants and needs. Because of the way this book is oriented, we stay mostly on the female POV of some of the issues addressed, but Keplinger doesn't hesitate to let her boys shine at the right moments.
The book was a fast-paced, absorbing read. Keplinger has a real gift for voice and characters who are so genuine they might as well be real people. This book also addresses a lot of issues with teen sex, especially when it comes to girls and sex. What's expected of them, what's not expected of them, invisible guidelines that society puts up. Nobody talks about them, but for some reason they're there.
I enjoyed the points that Keplinger made in Shut Out, and for the most part I thought they were well integrated with the story. But I could definitely understand if some readers saw it as a bit preachy at times.
Another thing I wish we saw more of was Cash. I wish Cash and Lissa had been able to have more conversations, a deeper meaning to a lot of their interactions. Because of plot details, this would have been impossible. I still wish it could have happened, because Cash is a sweet, understanding boy who is the type of love interest that makes me melt, and I wish we saw more of them as opposed to the "bad boy" that treats the heroine like shit. The lack of Cash was more my own desire as a fan than as a fault in the book.
What can I say? A book with a battle of the sexes? A book with issues involving sex, including hypocrisies and using sex as a weapon? A fabulous story with evolving characters, a moving storyline, and an awesomely wicked message?
What more reasons could you need to read this book?
This one's getting 5/5 stars from me. You don't want to miss it.