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The Knockout

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  55 reviews
A rising star in Muay Thai figures out what (and who) is worth fighting for in this #ownvoices YA debut full of heart.

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-e
Expected publication: January 26th 2021 by Flux
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  80 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Into the first chapter, I was like 'okay! Calm down! We all want to stay alive while reading this book!'
Into the second chapter, I was like 'whoa! Did she just turn mellow and all girly? Is there an insta romance happening right there? Are we even talking about the same person from the first chapter?'
Then into the third chapter, I was like 'Okay I am so not buying the emotions. Is something wrong with me?'
Into the fourth chapter, I was wishing the 'too-hyped-up-character-vibes' to die down a bit
TABI⁷ (ᕗツ)ᕗ
my MMA loving heart needs this book
Bree Lauren
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

I'm absolutely in love with so many things about this book. The diversity (her best friend is Filipino!), the characters, the sweet romance, and the inspiring sports and STEM aspects.

I absolutely adored Kareena's character. Even though she is so young, her confidence and self-awareness and perseverance is so inspiring, yet still believable for someone her age. She still has a lot to learn, but I appreciated how NOT annoying it was to be in her head.
Silvia (roomforbooks)
CWs misogyny, bullying
Rep Indian American mc, Indian American li, Filipina American side character, Indian side characters

I received an early copy of this from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

I rarely read the blurb of a book before starting it but I don't know why with this one I did and it was exactly that that drew me in, I'd never read a book where the main character did martial arts, Muay Thai in this case and it seemed like an original story.

I always say thi
Mahnoor  Waqas (she.reads.too.much)
I got this book as an ARC by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! Thank you for the opportunity to review this #ownvoices book.

An Indian girl who's into Muay Thai and is also simultaneously battling with the judgements of the people of the Indian community who seem to think she's deviating from the norms? I was immediately intrigued. As a Pakistani girl, I could relate to the whole conservative views of most desi people, that girls taking part in rough contact sports is something to be d
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was given an early copy for a review, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. It did NOT disappoint. I LOVED it!

If you're a fan of Miranda Kenneally and YA sports romance, you do NOT want to miss this one! <3

Kareena Thakkar is a Muay Thai fighter (Thai boxing) who's raising money to go to the Muay Thai US Open. It'll give her a shot to be invited to the World Championship team with an eye toward the Olympics, and she is one determined, badass character who I was rooting for the entire time.
Hira Chaudhary
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

This is it. This is the best, cutest, most powerful story you will read all year. Look no further, because Sajni Patel has written a stunning young adult novel after hitting it out of the park with her debut adult romance, The Trouble with Hating You.

This book is just amazing. Kareena is a Muay Thai fighter, and she's good at what she does. Good enough that she could make it to the US Open. If she can produce
Nicole| Booklover.zzz | Zamudio-Roman
Wow! That story was very compelling, I’m not gonna lie. The main character has a very distinct voice which I loved! At no point did it come across as boring or slow. Indian-American Muay Thai fighter teen, Kareena Thakkar experiences an extraordinary coming of age through friendship, cultural experiences, family, romance, and fighting. She struggles against sexism and questioning the appropriateness women to partake in such a sport. Not only that, but she also has to overcome identity struggles. ...more
Vighnesh Muraly
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
4.5 stars.

This was good. Really good. The premise of the book was so intriguing and it definitely ticked all the boxes for me.

The main character was so complex and she struggled a lot but her character arc is one of the best I have read so far.

The plot went in a direction I did not expect it to take but I definitely loved it.

The love interest in this novel was developed so well and I liked how the author delved into his situation and I really got to read both experiences of being an Indian Amer
Kajree Gautom
Nov 19, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I think this was such a fun and powerful read! I loved the premise of the book, the storyline and the way it proceeded. There were parts in between where I felt the romance was kind of overpowering the main plot and it did get a lot cringy to my liking, but otherwise I enjoyed the friendship and the way the author handled culture and family. Overall, it was a really sweet story filled with strength of goals and dreams, and I loved that our MC was so well crafted. To see the dilemma o
Ahana M Rao (Heart’s Content)
*Received an ARC via NetGalley from publisher in exchange for an honest review! Thank you!*
Sylvs (NOVELty Reads)
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
ARC given through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

When I first came across The Knockout, I thought it would be just another sports or Indian-culture themed book but I got so much more than I hoped for. It was a book about self-love, friendship, family, support and of course, Muay Thai.

The story follows Kareena Thakkar, an Indian girl who just got the opportunity of a lifetime to compete in the US Muay Thai Open which could result in her getting onto the first ever Muay Thai Olympic t
Vaishnavi -bookishbelle1008
Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Knockout 🥊


I would like to thank Edelweiss+ and Flux Publishing for an ARC of this book.

Kareena Thakkar has landed a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend the US Muay Thai Open which could lead to a spot on the first ever Olympic team. Her Parents are extremely proud of her, she is doing exceptionally well in school and working to get her family out of debt. The only downfall is that she feels alienated from the Indian community who leave her feeling that she is not Indian en
Gayathiri Rajendran
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher, Flux Books for providing me with a free advance readers copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Knockout by Sajni Patel follows the story of Kareena Thakkar,a Muay Thai fighter who gets an opportunity to compete in the US Muay Thai Open which in turn might open doors to getting on the Muay Thai Olympic team. I do not generally read books about sports and I think this has to be my first. This book falls under the YA category but it has some serious th
Mariah Wamby
Sep 13, 2020 rated it liked it
“I was the girl on fire. And what was fire if not unpredictable?”

Thank you to both NetGalley and North Star Editions for an ARC of The Knockout by Sajni Patel in exchange for my review!

The star of The Knockout is Kareena Thakkar who is making her way through her senior year of high school while struggling with financial issues brought about by her father’s serious illness. Kareena’s outlet through all of this has been Muay Thai, a form of martial arts that she loves and excels at. Thanks t
Shehzeen Muzaffar
May 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was SO excited for this book and now that I have read it, i am sad because it was just not good?

While I am really happy about the American Indian representation and that HOLI scene made me REALLY happy, this book overall didnt work for me.

I mean i get it that Kareen is an athletic person and she's supposed to be strong but I found it SO hard to root for her ans I hate to say it but she was very one dimensional and don't even get me started on Amit!!! Amit. The perfect Amit. Who is so perfect
Apr 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Rating : 3.5/5

It was superb! The concept of martial arts and high school also about female fighter are well-written. Hearing the word fight or martial art probably leads to something heavy or epic but I feel much cozy when I was reading this.

There were a lot of different conflict about schools, friends, boys and even Muay Thai itself. I really impressed by the way they all tangled and resolve together.

Personally, I do like Kareena. She's a good representative of a female fighter and an Indian h
Faith Noelle
Nov 01, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars - Overall I enjoyed this book. I think it's a nice, heartwarming story with a lot of girl power, friendship and family, and culture throughout. I didn't actually find the romance itself that interesting - it just fell flat a bit for me, and while the love interest has sweet moments which I liked, he was weirdly secretive about things that didn't really warrant it to me, and the romantic drama wasn't that interesting. That being said, I like that romance was really only part of the book ...more
Alessandra Erazo
Ever since I started this book I couldn’t let it down. I just loved how fierce and brave Kareena was regardless what people in the Indian community said about her. It shows how real her character is. This book reminded me that girls can be athletes too. This book deserves all the recognition of the world.
Mar 06, 2020 marked it as definitive-tbr
Shelves: 2021-releases
March 7, 2020: My desi heart is flipping right now because I'm genuinely so excited to read this! A brown sports-romance is what I needed in life and now it's here. Thank you, Flux Books for the digital review copy via Netgalley!
Sara Jo
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This. Book. Is. Amazing. 👏

A strong female high school athlete who knows exactly who she is and what she wants in life with amazingly supportive parents and a difficult family situation. I loved Everything! I want more! Amit, Lily, Kimmy! Do not skip out on this story!!

I was provided with an ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I'm not crying 😭😭😭😭. This book was so beautiful, and I'm so grateful that I got to read it as an ARC
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was extra excited for this, so now I'm a little heartbroken to give it just an "okay" rating. A 17-year-old Indian girl excelling in the male-dominated arena of Muay Thai, with a little side of romance, seemed so promising! But while it did deliver in the cultural aspect (Holi part was 😍) and the "am I American/Indian enough" narrative—plus a mention of Filipino food culture (lol Pinoy pride, go swipe and see), something about the characters didn't feel quite right. They were either too one-di ...more
Mar 24, 2020 rated it liked it
The Knockout is a story about seventeen-year-old Katreena, a Muay Thai fighter who gets the opportunity to fight at the USMTO (United States Muay Thai Open) that, I’d she wins, could put her on the path to be part of the first MT Olympic team and could get her family out of medical debt.

Imma be real, there were a number of moments where I was not a fan of Kareena, and that is valid. Sometimes she was repetitive and stubborn when she didn’t need to be, but I was on her side and I supported her t
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
"Whatever sadness or anger or loneliness you might face, harness it."

That was such a promising ya debut and one of my most anticipated ones. The book follows Kareena, a 17-year-old Indian who's training in preparation for the US Muay Thai Open, while coming to terms with her father's illness, figuring out her place in the Indian community and navigating her way through her first relationship. As someone who loves learning about different cultures I was pretty excited to read about traditio
Aug 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs-to-read
Somewhere between a 2.5 and 3 is how I would rate this book. I was really interested to read to this because of the desi representation and the plot itself seemed interesting with the Muy Thai part, but it really didn’t meet my expectations in the end. Not to say that it’s a bad book, and I encourage others to give it a try if they seem interested but some parts really fell flat for me. As an Indian American, I like to see that representation, as there is with Kareena and Amit. And the struggles ...more
Cece Beckman
The Knockout Advance Readers Copy (ARC) by S.A. Patel

“Let's talk about the cover of this novel: a close up drawing of a female torso, where she is preparing for a fight, her brown arm flexed, her fist tight as she finishes wrapping her left hand with pink fabric, the Henna tattoos etched on her fingers like war paint. It’s an impressive image, one that would have readers buying the novel purely on the cover alone.” Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink

The Story

Kareena Thakkar is a fighter. But not just a
Annette Jordan
The Knockout by S.A. Patel is the story of seventeen year old Kareena Thakkar , a young Indian - American girl who feels disconnected from her culture and heritage because of her love for Muay Thai . She does not just love to fight, she excels at it , so much so that she wins a spot at a prestigious national competition that could lead to a place on the US National Team and possibly even a chance to represent her country at the Olympics. Despite the wholehearted support of her parents, she strug ...more
Kate Larkindale
Jul 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Netgalley let me read this book early and I'm grateful for that. I mean, look at that cover! It's gorgeous!

The Knockout is about Kareena Thakaar, a seventeen-year-old Indian American who does't quite fit the mould of perfect Indian daughter. She fights Muay Thai and is making a name for herself in the sport. If she can raise enough money, she can fight in the US championships. And if she does well there, she might even make the Olympic team.

She needs to focus and she needs to train. But it's not
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Sajni Patel was born in vibrant India and raised in the heart of Texas, surrounded by a lot of delicious food and plenty of diversity. She draws on her personal experiences, cultural expectations, and Southern flair to create worlds that center on strong Indian women. Once an MMA fighter, she's now all about puppies and rainbows and tortured love stories. She currently lives in Austin where she no ...more

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