The Knockout

By Sajni Patel

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A rising star in Muay Thai figures out what (and who) is worth fighting for in this 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-ever Olympic team. If only her sport weren’t seen as something too rough for girls, something she’s afraid to share with anyone outside of her family. Despite pleasing her parents, excelling 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.

About the Author

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 personal experiences, cultural expectations, and southern flair to create worlds that center around strong Indian women. Once in MMA, she’s now all about puppies and rainbows and tortured love stories.

  • Hardcover ISBN: 9781635830590
  • Ebook ISBN: 9781635830606
  • Reading Age: from 14 to 18 years
  • Interest Age: from 14 to 18 years
  • Hardcover dimensions: 5.25 x 8 in
  • Publication date: Jan 26, 2021
  • Rights/Sales territory: Canada | Philippines | United States
  • Format: Hardcover | Ebook
  • Pages: 360
  • Imprint: Flux
  • Subjects:
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Diversity & Multicultural

Reviews of The Knockout:

"The beauty and power of being a high-school girl, an Indian woman, and a female athlete are all showcased in this triumphant novel."—Booklist, starred review

"Patel paints a badass female athlete who is stubborn and proud but yearns to be accepted by a community she isn’t sure she identifies with."—Kirkus Reviews

"A good purchase for libraries where female-led sports books circulate well."—School Library Journal

"Patel showcases the fascinating world of female martial arts in her YA debut, as seen through the eyes of a protagonist from a desi background."—Publisher's Weekly

Awards received by The Knockout:

Moonbeam Awards Gold Medalist (Young Adult Fiction)

A 2021 IPPY Award Silver Medalist, Multicultural Fiction – Juv-Young Adult

A Booklist Top 10 Sports Books for Youth Selection

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