This was my final book of June (#12!) and it definitely helped me end a great month of reading on a high note. Thanks to all of you who’ve been following along as I’ve revamped my blog and bettered my Bookstagram — it’s been so much fun. Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, etc., I’d love to hear them! You can do so by dropping me a comment below or sending me an email via my “Contact” page.
𝘛𝘪𝘵𝘭𝘦: The Knockout Queen
𝘈𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘳: Rufi Thorpe
𝘎𝘦𝘯𝘳𝘦: Contemporary, LGBT, Young Adult, Romance
𝘉𝘰𝘰𝘬 #: 48/75
𝙎𝙮𝙣𝙤𝙥𝙨𝙞𝙨 (𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙂𝙤𝙤𝙙𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙙𝙨): 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. At six foot three, Bunny towers over their classmates. 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. With storytelling as intoxicating as it is intelligent, Rufi Thorpe has created a tragic and unflinching portrait of identity, a fascinating examination of our struggles to exist in our bodies, and an excruciatingly beautiful story of two humans aching for connection.
𝙂𝙤𝙤𝙙𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙙𝙨 𝙇𝙞𝙣𝙠: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50045075-the-knockout-queen
𝙍𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙚𝙬: This one was a slow burn for me, but I ended up really enjoying it!
This was a very character-driven book, which I typically don’t end up enjoying as much, but this one had me captivated. This was definitely not a light romance like I thought it was. It dealt with SO much more: from the struggles of just being a teenager, to sexuality, to abuse and alcoholism and everything in between. It hones in on societal expectations and how what actually happens can defy expectations in life. It gave some beautiful messages about life and fitting in and finding yourself which I think we all need a little of nowadays.
Bunny and Michael should not have been friends. Plain and simple, they were from and lived in such different worlds. Bunny was a popular volleyball player, while Michael was gay with a ponytail and a septum piercing. Yet their close proximity at home drew them together into a seemingly unbreakable friendship.
I thought it was interesting how, while the story is about Bunny, the Knockout Queen, it was told from Michael’s point of view. Next to nothing that happened in the book actually happened to Michael, which had some important moments falling a little flat. I did think it was interesting to see how these events affected Michael and what he drew from it. This book may have worked better from a first-person point of view, but it was still an incredible read nonetheless.
There were quite a few underdeveloped characters. Michael, Bunny, and Ray were all very well rounded, but I wish that characters such as Ann Marie, and Michael’s mom and sister, and his aunt, and Jason had been a little more developed because they all played an incredibly important role in this story. That being said, the character arcs of Bunny, Michael, and Ray were spectacular. Ray was especially interesting to watch as Bunny and Michael grew up. I also liked how Ray and Bunny’s mom’s pasts were left kind of a mystery, with many different possibilities.
I really liked this read. I thought it had wonderful representation and sent some beautiful messages to readers.
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