"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 or movies. This complex conflict was written in a way that feels like your best friend is looking to you for comfort. It's not overdramatized. It is what it is and it sucks. That's life. That's what Patel has captured. Kareena also must navigate her relationship with the desi community in Texas: not being feminine enough for what's expected of her, not being devote like others around her, and her parents not wanting to pressure her to be a part of that community. All these complications and how one person's dream can bring people together made for such an incredible, inspiring story about a girl who discovers that being true to yourself is the strongest thing you can be. ...and I'm always weak for flirting that's mostly bickering ??"— Gina Carra
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.