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The Knockout Queen

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4.62  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Rufi Thorpe returns to the subject that made her debut novel The Girls from Corona del Mar so endlessly compelling: the complexity and urgency of best friendship. In The Knockout Queen two unlikely friends form an alliance—a slight, hyper-intelligent gay teen named Michael Hesketh and his next-door neighbor, the remarkably tall Bunny Lampert. Each is antagonized for their ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Expected publication: April 28th 2020 by Knopf
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Chris
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic -- deeply moving, astute, and often funny as hell. Rufi Thorpe writes about friendship with grace and insight, and the emotional mechanics (and emotional landmines) of growing up with a wisdom that floors me.
James Beggarly
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing novel about the high school friendship of two people. It’s told with great warmth and humor and it takes you back to your own time in school, even though the two have extremely unconventional home lives. But then violence, enacting by one person and sustained by another, turns the book into the highest of drama. The thrilling part is that the author is able to pull this off to the point that I wished the book was twice as long, so I could keep following these two. A great read.
Ilyssa Wesche
Oct 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I had zero expectations going into this, and am glad I read it. Coming-of-age stories are not usually my thing but Michael was a good narrator and was eminently believable throughout the book. Even when his heart was hurting, it wasn't childish or angsty. The end was amazing, even though a little sad since his friend Bunny ended up maybe not in the greatest place.

Also on a side note it is hilarious that he refers to Bunny's father as "Ray Lampert" throughout the entire book. Does so much to let
...more
Angela Lashbrook
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
WOW wtf??????? Longer review coming later but I just put this book down and it is immediately going into the favorites pile. Incredibly powerful and FUNNY. Just so good.

Full review is here but I'll excerpt it below:

I knew I was going to love Rufi Thorpe’s The Knockout Queen the minute the protagonist’s neighbor and new friend Bunny Lampert, in the middle of offering a tour of her suburban McMansion, opens up a package of Pop Tarts, spreads butter between the two pastries, and eats them as a
...more
Jillian Doherty
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such an incredible, immersive story - you want to keep reading just to see what happens next.
With well developed and colored characters, an original plot and relatable themes that enrapture you as you read - this is a calming, reviving and empowering journey.
I'm only mad that it's not an imprint I sell ;)!

Galley borrowed from the publisher
Melissa
Jan 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I’m gonna be thinking about this one for a while.
Kat
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautiful and difficult, much like Bunny and Michael.
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Rufi Thorpe received her MFA from the University of Virginia in 2009. Her first novel, The Girls from Corona del Mar, was long listed for the 2014 International Dylan Thomas Prize and for the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. Her second novel, Dear Fang, With Love, is forthcoming from Knopf in May 2016. She lives in California with her husband and two sons.