Sunday, June 12, 2011
Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
So it was like Lysistrata, only instead of ending the Peloponnesian War, it was sports. I really liked it. And I appreciated that Lysistrata is mentioned. Lissa didn't get the idea from reading the play, but one of the boys, Cash, brings it up. And it wasn't a clunky reference either. It was well integrated.
While for the most part this was pretty light, as the sex strike goes on, the girls have some good discussions about what's expected of them, and how they feel about sex. They don't come to any dramatic conclusions, but I think it's good for those kinds of things to be voiced.
Lissa's best friend, Chloe, has a reputation as a slut because she enjoys sex and isn't shy about letting people know it. There's a boy counterpart to Chloe, Shane, but he isn't looked down on and called a slut. Why can boys have lots of sex and it's OK but girls can't? Girls aren't suppose to want to have sex, but if they don't, then they're a prude or a cock tease. So girls can't like it too much, or initiate it, or admit that they want it, but they also can't...not want it. Yeah, it's pretty confusing girls.
The girls are brought closer together as they start trusting each other and talking more about themselves. One of the girls, Mary, is a virgin, and at first she feels awful, like there's something wrong with her that she doesn't want to yet. Kelsey feels like there's something wrong with her because she doesn't enjoy sex. Some of the other girls feel guilty because they miss having sex or being physical with their boyfriends and they feel like they shouldn't. So there was some interesting stuff going on. Again, they don't solve any large societal problems, but they were talking about it.
While all that's going on, Lissa is also dealing with her boyfriend, Randy, giving her the cold shoulder as the strike goes on, and to make things even more confusing, she finds herself attracted to a soccer player, Cash, who has taken it on himself to organize the boys in a counterstrike. Randy ends up acting like a total asshole, but I could see why Lissa liked him, even loved him, originally. He had a lot of good qualities, and he was very supportive of her and her family after the death of her mother. That, however, does not excuse when your boyfriend cheats on you because you're not putting out and then announces to the whole school that you're still a virgin and a cock tease. So yeah. Asshole.
Cash was someone Lissa naturally felt comfortable with. More comfortable then she ever did with Randy. Which is why she probably never had sex with him. Lissa struggles with this feelings since she's, first of all, in a relationship, and second of all, thinks Cash doesn't like her. Oh, there's all sorts of misunderstandings going on! But don't you worry, everything works out just fine in the end.