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The Knockout

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  282 ratings  ·  128 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
360 pages
Published January 26th 2021 by Flux
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  282 ratings  ·  128 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
An Indian-American athlete and aspiring Olympian, who is bound to devote her limited time to the household too, finds herself in the middle of clashing aims: to land a chance at a prestigious competition and to belong in a community she isn't attached to much.

Refreshing in the manner it diverges from the typical perspective of a diaspora teen always chasing a sense of belonging and instead focusing on how an identity shouldn't be boxed, the conflict arising amidst struggles and dreams is a wond
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-fuck-yeahs
Thank you to the author and Flux Books for providing a physical copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This book was EVERYTHING! Kareena Thakkar, a badass Muay Thai fighter, tells her story in raw fashion. She often worries about sharing her passion with others in fear of being judged. When given the opportunity to attend the US Open, she begins to rethink her current strategy. We watch her navigate through friend breakups, a school crush, and even overwhelming debt. This gave me all
Nicole| Booklover.zzz | Zamudio-Román
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
Bree Lauren
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aabookshelf
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.
♠ Tabi⁷ ♠
Feb 19, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
my MMA loving heart needs this book
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

3.5 Stars

The Knockout by Sajni Patel is a book I had been anticipating as I have never read anything about the sport of Muay Thai before. This one contains feminist messages and a main character who gains self-confidence, and I enjoyed the themes of cultural identity. While the concept of the book is excellent, I found most of the characters to be one-dimensional, and there are certain aspects I would have liked to see developed further.

This book follows Kareena, a
belle ☆ミ (thisbellereadstoo)
actual rating: 3.5 stars

Received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.

full review on my blog~

Badass Kareena Thakkar is a fantastic Muay Thai fighter. The future ahead of her promises an invitation to the US Muay Thai Open and maybe the Olympics. Between school and her Muay Thai trainings, Kareena has no time to deal with any romantic connections. Inconveniently, though, Amit Patel appears in her life and she’s moved.

The Knockout is about Kareena feeling conflicted about her de
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
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Thank you Flux and Netgalley for providing me an ecopy of this title for honest feedback.

I feel like sharing a pretty large secret with you that many don't know. I LOVE boxing. I adore it. I like doing it. I like watching it. If I had a dream job, boxing would be it!

When I was asked to review this I jumped at it! This book didn't disappoint.

In my copy I was immediately drawn in by the foreword. Patel shares a very emotional aspect of why this book is important and I adored that.

I enjoyed that th
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya, publisher, blog-tour, dnf
This book! No!! I had really high hopes for it and it just flopped so hard.

The synopsis had sounded so intriguing and I was so excited about this book. It really was a great idea going in, but just executed wrong. The biggest thing for me was the dialogue. It was awkward and sometimes, choppy and didn't have enough descriptions in it. I would oftentimes have to backtrack to figure out who was talking or would have to take a guess at what they were feeling while saying their lines. Without good d
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
Gina Carra
Nov 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book stood out to me as something I had to read since I trained in Muay Thai for a few years, and Patel has perfectly captured the love for a sport, for training, for technique. I always had to navigate people seeing martial arts as violent and it really touched my heart to read about Kareena's passion for the strategy and elegance of the sport.

I didn't expect this story to also resonate with me as Kareena worries about her sick father. There's often side plots with sick relatives in books
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars! This was a very cute own-voices YA novel with strong romance themes even though it’s not an out and out romance. The premise is that Kareena is an Indian-American highschooler and somewhat of a prodigy Muay Thai fighter. Unfortunately, in her community this is perceived to be not quite the thing for a proper Indian girl as it’s not a feminine endeavor and she’s feels ostracized for her athletic pursuit. Add to this, she has some deep problems at home, making her senior year especially ...more
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.
Jan 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
I feel slightly disadvantaged reviewing Sajni Patel’s, The Knockout – I’m not Indian American, I know nothing about Muay Thai, and I haven’t been a teenager in a long, long time. That said, I enjoyed The Knockout. I’ve had it sitting in my NetGalley queue for months because it was suppose to come out last year, but the pandemic pushed it back. I received this as an advance reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Once I started reading I realized that last year I read Sajni Pa
"The Knockout" was one of the first books I requested on NetGalley almost an entire year ago, but I've put it off in favor of earlier deadlines and what I thought would be better books. But I LOVED this one, and I'm sorry I didn't pick it up earlier.

High school senior, Kareena, is a badass Muay Thai fighter who qualifies for the US Open. The only problem? Just about everything -- her father has been quite ill, her parents don't have the money, and she isn't comfortable being an non-comforming me
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an eArc copy in exchange for an honest review!

Such a strong YA story! I loved the conversations about culture, feminism, family, and individuality. Kareena is such a powerhouse of a girl, someone who knows herself well and will stop at nothing to achieve her dreams, and I LOVED that! I also loved that even though this book is pitched as a romance, the romance doesn’t overpower Kareena’s goals or her relationship to her friends and f
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
Jan 06, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, arc, sport-romance
The debut contemporary romance The Trouble with Hating You by this author is one of my favorite books of 2020!! So, I jumped on the opportunity to read another book by her.
The plotline is very intriguing. But I am a little bit disappointed. Maybe, is just my issue with YA where my tastes are very specific and I rarely love that genre anymore.
I love everything that this book represents; diversity, female Muay Thai fighter, family dynamic, young love. I wish I cared more about it. Kareena's stru
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
Shruti Ramanujam
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Knockout is an empowering story with great commentary on culture and acceptance. I absolutely adored how supportive Kareena's parents are despite Muay Thai being seen as too violent in their community. While it is sports fiction, the book also has a splendid portrayal of female friendships, good rep, and a body positive message.

Some parts of the story did get repetitive at one point but it was an entertaining read nonethel
Michelle Huber
Dec 26, 2020 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book!
It was packed with action, family, and a real exploration of struggle and trying to defy odds.
I found Kareena's character to be so relatable, thinking of her family, studies, but also wanting something so badly.
I found myself holding my breath for some of the scenes, I liked the descriptions!
Samantha (WLABB)
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, ya, arcs, diverse
Rating: 3.5 Stars

While the rest of her world was crumbling, Kareena earned the chance of lifetime - an invitation to compete in the US Muay Thai Open. This could be a door-opening opportunity, and Kareena could not help but see hope for more in her future. The related financial obligations, though, might derail her plans unless Kareena learned to open up and trust in others.

I absolutely loved the premise of this book. Elite athletes intrigue me, and I love getting into their heads and seeing th
Mar 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
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
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary, 2021
Initial Thoughts

I was so super excited to be chosen for this tour. When I read the description of this book, I knew it would be an #ownvoices review for me, but I had no idea how much I would identify with the main character. And no, before anyone even thinks it, it’s not because I am any kind of athlete 😂.

Some Things I Liked

Themes of cultural identity. Never have I ever felt more like a main character in a contemporary story than when Kareena said she’s “not Indian enough”. As an Indian America
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
Vaish -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
Randi (Rampant Reading Reviews)
I received an advanced copy of The Knockout through Netgalley so I could share my review with you!

Kareena Thakkar is a fighter, someone who won’t back down no matter what. That’s why she loves Muay Thai, an intense combat sport, so very much. When she is fighting, she is in control of her world, something which is rare in Kareena’s life. Unfortunately, the Indian community doesn’t exactly approve of her hobby, because its “unbecoming” for a young woman to participate in such a sport. But, when
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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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