Fifteen-year-old Ilyas is under pressure from everyone: GCSE’s are looming and his teachers just won’t let up, his dad wants him to join the family business and his mates don’t care about any of it. There’s no space in Ilyas’ life to just be a teenager.
Serving detention one day, Ilyas finds a kindred spirit in Kelly Matthews, who is fed up with being pigeonholed as the good girl, and their friendship blows the social strata of high school wide open. But when Kelly catches the eye of one of the local bad boys, Imran, he decides to seduce her for a bet – and Ilyas is faced with losing the only person who understands him. Standing up to Imran puts Ilyas’ family at risk, but it’s time for him to be the superhero he draws in his comic-books, and go kick the moon.
I’ve got a slightly different post for you today! I was very kindly provided with an e-ARC of Kick the Moon by Muhammad Khan by Macmillan Children’s Books, and so today I have a post about my thoughts on what I have read so far as well as a small guest post from the author about one of the scenes in the book. I am also running a giveaway for a finished copy of this book over on my Instagram account, so keep reading to find out more about that!
I am about a third to a half of the way through this book, and so far it is fascinating! I am loving so many aspects of this story but the characters are probably my favourite part thus far, and I can’t wait to keep reading to find out about what happens to them!
So far, not too much has happened regarding the plot but it is definitely starting to pick up and I am really excited to see what else happens later in this book and how it all resolves. However, even without much action or anything in the plot I am extremely invested in this story already and definitely want to know what happens next and to know what everyone will be okay. I think this is partially down to how much I love all of the characters.
Ilyas, the protagonist, is such a sweet character who is just trying so hard to combine his passions with fitting in, which seems impossible. This feeling is something I have experienced so many times in my life and it is a really difficult balance! For example, reading and blogging are things I am extremely proud that I do and yet most of my friends don’t know that I do because I worry they would think it nerdy! I try very hard to own what I do and not let other people’s opinions tarnish that but it is tough, and so I can really relate to Ilyas’s struggles.
I also really enjoy Shaista’s (Ilyas’s sister) character, she is so interesting and not the sort of character I have seen many times. So far I am really enjoying reading about her and also gradually figuring out her relationship with Ilyas as the book progresses. However, from what I have read so far, I am very worried for her and what may possibly happen to her later in this book! I am keeping my fingers crossed that she comes out of this book unscathed.
The writing in this book has taken some getting used to as there is a lot of colloquial language which I was not previously familiar with but once I got into the flow of the writing it has turned out to be very effective at conveying everything necessary to form a real connection to these complex characters.
That is about all I have to say with regards to my thoughts so far! I will read the rest of the book as soon as I can, and update with a full review sometime soon! But even from this first section I would definitely recommend checking this book out and giving it a read!
– Maddie Browse
Author Guest Post
Without giving too much of the plot away there is an explicit scene in the book, how did you find writing this for young adults?
I hope my writing is never gratuitous. The focus of that particular scene was on reactions – the emotional response – and how quick people are to judge one another. This was crucial in looking at issues such as slut-shaming and toxic masculinity. If something like it happened to you or one of your friends, what would you do? I think the dilemma is both frighteningly real and wholly relevant.
It was incredibly difficult to write that scene because as a writer you form a bond with your main characters and want to protect them from all the bad stuff. But in order for them to grow, to show resilience and courage in the face of adversity, sometimes they have to earn it by being tested. As a teacher, I am always in awe of my students who have difficult home lives but manage to rise above it, come to school every day and act like everything is fine.
Macmillan Children’s Books have been kind enough to provide a copy of this book for me to giveaway to one of you! There will be a post on my Instagram account later tonight that outlines all the rules for this giveaway, so keep an eye out for that and please enter! It will only be for UK participants but I am still planning something for all my International followers!