Author, Rufi Thorpe’s novel, THE KNOCKOUT QUEEN (Knopf) is a tough one to wrap your head around. But if you put in the effort, it’s a fabulous read. It’ll take you back to your high-school years (cringe). It’ll also introduce you to two unlikely friends you definitely haven’t met before.

Bunny Lampert is the princess of North Shore⁠—beautiful, tall, blond, with a rich real-estate-developer father and a swimming pool in her backyard. Michael⁠⁠—with a ponytail down his back and a septum piercing⁠—lives with his aunt in the cramped stucco cottage next door. When Bunny catches Michael smoking in her yard, he discovers that her life is not as perfect as it seems.

“I always seemed to be the right person there, loving the wrong person, betting on the wrong dark horse.

At six foot three, Bunny towers over their classmates and is a volleyball champion. Even as she dreams of standing out and competing in the Olympics, she is desperate to fit in, to seem normal, and to get a boyfriend, all while hiding her father’s escalating alcoholism.

Michael has secrets of his own. At home and at school Michael pretends to be straight, but at night he tries to understand himself by meeting men online for anonymous encounters that both thrill and scare him. When Michael falls in love for the first time, a vicious strain of gossip circulates and a terrible, brutal act becomes the defining feature of both his and Bunny’s futures⁠⁠—and of their friendship.

Rufi’s storytelling will grab you from the start and won’t let you go until the last page. It’s a highly emotional depiction of two people craving friendship and finding it in the most unlikely place. If you don’t mind some inappropriate words and some somewhat shocking scenes this is for you. It’s not for the timid.

It’s definitely one of my favorite books of the year, so far.


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, was published by Knopf in May 2016. She lives in California with her husband and two sons.

We have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us what it was like growing up. Everyone has a story. We’ll announce winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

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23 thoughts on “THE KNOCKOUT QUEEN by Rufi Thorpe – * GIVEAWAY CLOSED **

  1. I hated high school and I couldn’t wait to graduate and go to college. I was a geeky kid with glasses and braces. I was one of the smart nerds. I wasn’t into sports and I wasn’t musically inclined so I didn’t bring to any groups or clubs. I loved to read though. I still love to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved my childhood playing with cousins who were my friends too. Picnics on weekends, swimming in the lake. I used to go to my grandmother’s house for lunch daily since she lived next door to my elementary school.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I grew up in the best era, the 1950’s when life was beautiful and we had the freedom to walk to and from school on our own, ride our bikes all over the city, walk to our friends houses and play at the park. We enjoyed this life as children and were able to experience so much. Living in a big city was easy and fun since buses took us downtown to shop, walks to the grocery store and pharmacy and Woolworth’s was an everyday occurrence. I miss those days.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had a great childhood but middle school and high school were awful! Bullied badly and went to private school first two years of high school because my mom felt she’d be throwing me to the wolves if I went to public school. 157 kods total in my provate school, pre-k thru 12th grade.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I grew up in a nice neighborhood with great parents, but I stopped liking school when I got to junior high and then struggled through till I left college.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Childhood wasn’t good… abusive household, painfully shy and easy to bully. Years of therapy later, I love my life and all the struggles that got me where I am today!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It was okay growing up. I had a loving family, but my social life wasn’t all that great. I did theater and speech team in high school, which helped a bit. I never would want to relive high school though!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This book sounds very intriguing ! When I was growing up , all was well, I was shy , so I usually spent my lunch break in the HS cafeteria, I had friends, but a lot of times I was better off by myself , I didn’t want to get in trouble, of which, I didn’t. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Life as a teenager in the late 60’s & early 70’s with 3 older sisters??? Amazing, chaotic and dramatic. Such a great era to be a teen in. We had the best music, fun styles and great cars. I lived out in the country in a very small town. Lifetime friendships were made. I’m sure I thought my world was ending on a weekly basis. Our class was extremely close so school was even better than family. I was a good student, loved to read…it wasn’t ideal, some of my life was totally crap but I did have alot of wonderful experiences. I’d like a do over please!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I loved my childhood, growing up in a very, very small town. I was the oldest of four kids. I always wished we lived closer to school so that we could join in extracurricular activities. There were no jobs to be had where we lived, so we had no way to make any money in the summer, that was the only other drawback of where we lived. Such a great place to live, though. So many relatives lived close by and my parents worked close to home.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I had to move around several times so I never developed lifelong friends. When I got to my high school for my last 3 years, there were students who had been together forever. When my husband and I had children we made sure to stay in the same place so that our children didn’t have to go through that. Surprisingly though, our daughter doesn’t keep in touch (other than on FB) with her high school friends. However, she does a weekend getaway every year with her 4 college housemates.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great childhood – family vacations every summer, families getting together at my parents’ house for Thanksgiving, etc. good memories!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Grew up with my mother, brother and grandparents in a beautiful home with a wonderful flower and vegetable gardens.


  14. I loved living near the ocean in Brooklyn, NY. Summers were spent on the beach or at day camp. My town always had fun things to do, and most teenagers “hung out” outdoors chatting with friends and neighbors, or playing ball games. There were roller skating rinks, amusement parks, bowling alleys, street festivals, and theaters. I grew up without computers or cell phones and most of my relatives lived nearby.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Growing up was tough. We moved every year or two and making any lasting friendships was nearly impossible. Finally, in my sophomore year of high school, we stayed put. I met my future husband in my senior year and finally had my forever friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ugh…I always had self esteem issues and just wanted to be liked by everyone…which is impossible…so glad I finally figured that out! I was a cheerleader and loved to learn…so it wasn’t all bad.

    Liked by 1 person

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