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