The Knockout by Sajni Patel

Disclaimer: I received this arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Knockout

Author: Sajni Patel

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: Indian MC and characters, Filipina character, Hawaiian side character, Diabetes character

Recommended For…: young adult readers, contemporary, romance, muay thai, badass female characters

Publication Date: January 27, 2021

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Recommended Age: 14+ (violence, gore, romance, sexual content, bullying, lesphobic comments, dieting, weight)

Explanation of CWs: The book focuses on a Muay Thai competitor, so there is violence and very slight gore in discussion with her fighting. There’s also some discussion on dieting and her weight in relation to her competing. The book also focuses on the main character’s romance, so there’s insta-love romance in the book and very slight sexual content. The book shows bullying, which is dealt with, and has a couple of lesphobic comments, which are also dealt with very quickly.

Publisher: Flux

Pages: 358

Synopsis: If seventeen-year-old Kareena Thakkar is going to alienate herself from the entire Indian community, she might as well do it gloriously. She’s landed the chance of a lifetime, an invitation to the US Muay Thai Open, which could lead to a spot on the first-ever Olympic team. If only her sport wasn’t seen as something too rough for girls, something she’s afraid to share with anyone outside of her family. Despite pleasing her parents, exceling at school, and making plans to get her family out of debt, Kareena’s never felt quite Indian enough, and her training is only making it worse.

Which is inconvenient, since she’s starting to fall for Amit Patel, who just might be the world’s most perfect Indian. Admitting her feelings for Amit will cost Kareena more than just her pride–she’ll have to face his parents’ disapproval, battle her own insecurities, and remain focused for the big fight. Kareena’s bid for the Olympics could very well make history–if she has the courage to go for it.

Review: I loved this book so so much! The book shows a very strong female character who’s a Muay Thai competitor and I loved that the book went into the MC’s culture and how she comes back into it after being separated from it due to her sport, but not trading away any part of her sport or personality in the process of coming back. The book is a phenomenal contemporary read and I can’t believe that I’ve not heard more about it. The character development is great. The world building is great. The pacing is well done. The plot is sound. And it’s honestly one of the best contemporaries I’ve read ever. I can’t wait to read more from this author.

The only issue I had with the book is that it got a bit too long winded in the middle, but it quickly cleared up towards the end.

Verdict: Highly recommend! I loved it!