I've spoken a lot in the past about a book I have called Less Than Perfect. It's a book I wrote a few years ago that I hope to one day have published (either traditionally or self-published). However, I've been rethinking it and reworking it and it's just not ready to go anywhere yet. But that's okay! I have plenty of other books and today's post is actually about one of those.
Knockout Girl is a new young adult novel that I finished writing a few months ago. It's about a girl named Elli who is forced to move from Hawaii to Toronto in the dead of winter. Although she's rather resistant at first, she makes friends with Julian, who she discovers is being used as a punching bag for the school's boxing champion, Red. Elli quickly realizes the only way to get this guy off her friend's back is to beat him at his own game. With the help of a cute jock, a sweet tattooed loner, and Elli's burnt out boxing champion uncle, she and Julian enter a boxing tournament where Julian will have to face his bully in the ultimate showdown.
Why I love this story so much is because, for starters, Elli is hilarious. She's moody, sassy, and generally unhappy with her life, which somehow comes across in the funniest of ways. Once she learns that living in Canada is not the end of the world, however, she becomes a pretty good friend to Julian. (Just friends.) Julian is a perfect counter-part to Elli's narration - he's calm, cool, and collected. He's smart and and a self-admitted loner. But he's also compassionate to Elli's plight in having to be the new girl in school and in a new country.
This story isn't just about bullying or how two people learned how to beat someone up. It's a coming-of-age story about finding friendship in unlikely places and having courage in the face of adversity. I don't want to give away the ending,* but I will say that before Julian even fights Red, he's already won in the eyes of his peers.
So there it is! This story is already being sent around a little bit. With a few minor tweaks, it would be ready for publication. If I can't find a publisher or agent who wants to take it on, I'll do it myself, because I really believe in this book. (My mom says it's great, so obviously it is.) No matter what, I'll see this manuscript turn into a book.
*Interested in finding out what happens? Ask about being a beta reader.