Total Knockout Reviews
"Gr. 4-8 -
Skillful first-person narration deftly captures the nuances of the protagonist's personality. She's clearly self-centered and judgmental, but still likable from the start. While she earnestly embraces her role as a highly competitive go-getter, readers will detect the insecurity that lies beneath the outward self-confidence. The well-paced plot balances Lucia's inner turmoil with interesting episodes involving school political, friendships, and family relationships. Supporting characters play key roles as Lucia gradually discovers that her friends and family are more complicated and more interesting than she had assumed when everything was going her way. Her relationship with her father is particularly well drawn. Lucia's frequent missteps ultimately lead to hard but valuable lessons, and her final emergence as a more thoughtful and empathetic person is convincing. Lucia has learned that she can 'Take a hit and keep going.'"
"Once again, Ms. Morris has created a delightful cast of characters [ . . . ] Sprinkle in a few upper cuts and jabs, and the result is a total knockout!"
"Total Knockout is yet another delightfully candid read from Taylor Morris, who is rapidly proving herself very talented in navigating through middle school politics in her second novel [ . . . ] Total Knockout is one story that middle grade readers will eagerly devour."
"With her second novel, Taylor Morris comes out swinging."
"Who doesn't love a kick-ass female heroine? …I now know I can rely on Taylor Morris to write fast-reading, feel-good books with a splash and dash of depth where you'd least expect it."
"This book has only convinced me more that Taylor Morris secretly has the brain of a teenager. Or she's got one locked up in a dungeon somewhere that writes these books for her, because she pulled off Lucia's voice, and everyone else's, very well. Lucia acted like a teen. She reacted like a teen. She sounded like a teen. She got very mad, just like a teen. So did everyone else, from her best friend Cooper to her sort-of best friend Melanie. Her parents were also very real too - they were annoying but lovable and made you want to just bang your head against the wall whenever they fought. [ . . . ] Ms. Morris knows how to write some awesome characters and fun plots."
"So I am now officially addicted to Taylor Morris' books [ . . . ] Her characters and plotlines are just great to read about."