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Kick the Moon

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  165 ratings  ·  51 reviews
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 goo
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 24th 2019 by Macmillan Children’s Books
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  165 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
After being told that brown kids can’t be superheroes, Ilyas creates his own one. PakCore is made from his own blood, sweat, and tears who continue to grow beside him. Now fifteen, Ilyas is under pressure. GCSE exams looming, his dad wants him to take over the family business and his friends don’t care because their crew, DedManz, is for life. Until he’s serving detention and meets Kelly, who is just as fed up as he is, however, the protection that their detention provides won’t last forever and ...more
Kate (Reading Through Infinity)
3.5 stars

I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

TWs: racism and racial profiling, sexism, revenge porn, physical violence, emotional abuse, and bullying.

This book follows Ilyias, a British-Pakistani teen, who loves drawing superheros and comics, but ends up getting involved with a gang at his school. I read Muhammad Khan's debut, I Am Thunder, last year and I enjoyed it but thought there were issues with stereotyping and dialogue. In this novel, h
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I received this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

It took me a little while to get into Kick the Moon, but I loved the themes once I did. Ilyas is so heartbreakingly real and lovely! And Kelly is fab too - i really wanted more of her in the book to be honest.

Ilyas is getting in with a bad crowd, and has ended up in a gang and doing things he doesn’t want because he’s scared and this comes across so well. But I also love how Kelly is the reflection of that
Jo Coleman
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm fond of YA genre novels and it was nice to read one set in London (albeit a vague unspecified 'South London'), with a diverse mixture of street-talking teenagers slogging their way through life at an academy school while trying to dodge gang life and shaming on social media. I wasn't entirely convinced by the adult characters (the saintly cool Maths teacher as much as Kelly's evil snobby mother), and felt like the climactic scene where the protagonist gets to prove his worth in a big competi ...more
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a solid book with great representation and tells of a world we might live in which people learn from there mistakes. It was almost like a Disney film in this way.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ilyas is 15 and under a lot of pressure...

My full review is here!

Faye {Daydreaming_Star}
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Upon hearing about this book, I knew it was going to be one that I wanted to have a look at and I am so glad that I decided to give it a read. It was a very important, timely read and one that I really enjoyed reading. I loved how Muhammed Khan brought important and sensitive topics to light in this book without it becoming too heavy or offensive. I truly felt for the main protagonist, Ilyas, and absolutely loved witnessing his journey of finding out who he was. Further to all of that, at the he ...more
Fatha Hassan
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was really an exceptional read. I loved the fact That Muhammad highlighted a lot of important issues within teenagers especially with what happens with teenage boys if an Asian background. It’s a new perspective that I could see being viewed in a different light. There was a lot of mainstream identity politics that works within teenagers of today and having brothers who are slightly older than the MC age but I can see that peer pressure and not wanting to conform with friends can be a big p ...more
Esmé Boom
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
3,5. I thought this was a very enjoyable read, but I was definitely too old for it. I loved the comics, loved Ms Mughal, loved the feminist development. Main character Ilyas felt like a very very young fifteen considering everything he had already been through, while his peers felt a lot older (but no wiser). There were a few things that should have gotten more attention, the novel felt somewhat rushed but also at times a little too slow. However, this debut is quite promising and I'm curious to ...more
Rania T
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fifteen-year-old Ilyas Mian wants to be a comic artist, but his traditionally Pakistani macho dad has other plans for him. Life in South London seems tough if you are neither white, nor middle class. You need to speak street and do it for the gang, which Ilyas soon realises it isn't all it's cracked up to be. Nifty intertextual reference to the author's first book also appears in one of the chapters (Muzna Saleem anyone?). ...more
Feb 13, 2021 rated it liked it
lots of slang
idk what else to say
Kate (beautifulbookland)
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
Muhammad Khan's writing feels like getting kicked in the chest but in the best possible way.

Full review to come.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
A full review can be found on my blog, Headscarves and Hardbacks!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review!

Trigger warning for sexual assault and harassment.

For the most part, I thought the premise of this book was incredibly promising – a narrative that explores the themes of racism, sexism, gang culture, misogyny, toxic masculinity, friendships, peer pressure and bullying through the eyes of fifteen-year-old comic b
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Pan Macmillan for sending my this eARC. It does not affect my opinions of the book.

I read I Am Thunder last year and loved it so I was really looking forward to reading Kick the Moon and was really excited when I was approved for the arc! It’s safe to say that I loved this book even more than the I Am Thunder!

I read this book in one sitting, I just could not put it down! It’s a book that deals with many social issues prevalent in today’s society and I felt it handled it really well.
Isobel Ramsden
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great read about a teenager, Ilyas, who dreams of becoming a comic book artist. His father wants him to work in the family business but his maths teacher encourages him to pursue his dreams. When Ilyas meets kindred spirit, Kelly, who offers to help develop the story, things start to finally go his way. But Ilyas has been hanging out with DeadManz, a gang of troublemakers lead by the charismatic Imran, and there's a price to pay for their protection. This book explores teenagers naviga ...more
Matilda Chapman
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ilyas Mian is one of the most special characters I've had the pleasure of following in all of my years of reading literature. No exaggeration.

I've read countless stories about being strong and taking control of your life, standing up for what you believe in and basically, not giving a shit what people think and I have to say it was refreshing to see a protagonist do this, whilst also struggling to speak up. He's a geek. He's emotional. Most importantly, he has a good heart but he's got the weig
A Severs
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What other books might centre on as main themes, this book sidelines, making them the very fabric that the story is woven from: growing up, racism, sexism, family, friendship, gang violence, mysogyny, masculinity, homophobia, culture, religion, love, sex, and so on. In fact, the main thrust here is one of ownership.

Some might dismiss stories such as this as encouraging sentimental slush about finding yourself and then being true to self. But 'Kick The Moon' is about more than that: it allows tha
Jessikah Hope
I received a copy for review via Netgalley.

Kick The Moon is the highly-awaited follow-up from the YA Book Prize shortlisted author Muhammad Khan. Ilyas is balancing the threat of a local gang and his creative future aspirations with parents who can’t decide on how to raise him and friends who don’t want the best for him. With everything going against him, it seems impossible that he’ll come out on top.

Ilyas’ story really begins when he ends up punching a fellow student for saying horrible things
Katy Noyes
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Powerful, contemporary and frightening.

I adored Khan's first: it pulled no punches, showed the realities of how teenagers can get sucked into dangerous worlds, and the author's second does something similar, this time with a young Asian male.

Ilyas is unhappily embroiled in a gang, a group of young men who egg each other on to acts of vandalism and petty crimes within their community, who one-up each other with exploits involving girls, and are all in thrall to their 'leader'. Ilyas is stuck - wo
Emily Lloyd
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yarc2019
*I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Kick The Moon was a fantastic book that dealt with a wide range of themes that affect teenagers today. Muhammad’s style will hopefully appeal to many who have struggled to feel represented in fiction before.

Kick the Moon follows fifteen-year old aspiring comic illustrator Ilyas as he approaches his GCSE exams. He is struggling internally with feeling threatened to stay part of a gang whose actions he doesn’t agr
Reuben Thomas
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not feeling writing a proper review atm so here’s my notes:

- I appreciate the nerd references throughout
- Comic art is a nice touch. Personally I’m not a fan of Birdi’s style, but I do like that it’s a British Asian artist and he seems like a lovely guy so fair play.
- Sets up a serious core theme straight away with the experience of racism in formative years
- Nuanced rep - British Pakistani Muslim - didn’t feel like a stereotype
- PakCore doesn’t sound like a superhero name, more like an evil co
Angela Jariwala
Full disclosure: I am a middle-aged woman so definitely not the demographic this high enery novel is aimed at! However, I flipping enjoyed it and recommend that all the teens out there, put down their smartphones and read this. I loved the multi-cultural array of characters, including the nasty mean boys and mean girls and the struggle of wanting to be accepted versus being yourself.

There's an underlying message throughout the novel of self-worth, and the presence of positive characters like Ms
Angela L
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
So firstly lets say that I'm probably not the target audience for this book but my oh my does it ever give an insight into the life of a school age teenager these days. Ilyas Mian is trying to be all things to everyone and has found himself inexorably drawn into a "gang", Dedmanz. It's lead by the, frankly, odious Imran. Trouble is that Imran is cool, good looking and considered a bit of a god at school. Meanwhile Ilyas just wants to draw and develop a character he has created, Pakcore.
When he e
Emily Nagle
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
wow wow wow
I have SO much love for this novel. It honestly blew me away.
First of all, Ilyas is a DELIGHT. Struggling with pressure from all around, he's lost but freaking determined to make something of himself. He's eager to break away from the violent, revengeful gang he's stuck in. He's determined to pursue his creative side, to draw and create a comic book that would represent his religion and culture. He cares about his family and his best friend, Kelly. Most of all, he's got a good soul. H
Eve beinguniquebooks
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ilyas is part of the DedManz gang with his so called mates which makes his mum worry for him.

He crushes hard on Jade but after meeting Kelly in a near accident has his head turned as Jade and her girl gang are mean to her.

Despite his best efforts to protect his family and Kelly from the gang, soon enough more trouble looms ahead from them and Kelly becomes the but if their cruelty in the school while Ilyas works to make his future dream of being a graphic designer a reality by entering a competi
Jayne Bauling
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
YA contemporary. Fifteen-year-old Ilyas Mian creates comic-book heroes, but he isn’t sure if he can ever be a hero.
He is kind and vulnerable. He loves his mother, he tends to an adorable rabbit called Sparkle, he is a talented artist, and his maths has improved enough for him to be moved to another class, with an inspiring teacher, Ms Mughal, where he might just find his tribe. But his dad wants him to man up, so that he won’t get bullied, and that’s partly how come Ilyas (not Elias) finds himse
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding second novel from the assured writer @MuhammadKhan. This book is even more powerful than the first, and speaks directly to young people in their language. Khan works in a school, and so the interactions between the protagonists is pitch perfect. The book deals with slut shaming and self respect, gangs and finding your own voice. One for older students, but a must read for your students.
Clare Canavan
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow - or should I say POW WOW!! A fantastic book with very relevant characters. It encompasses race, class, friendship, peer pressure, gangs, young love and individuality in a way that I couldn't put the book down. The use of slang enhances the story and makes it more real. I personally think that every teenager should read it and that very adult should also to remind themselves of the pressures and temptations of being a teenager! Well done Muhammad Khan for yet another riveting read 📚 ...more
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic read. It was raw, real and engaged with many of the issues faced by young people today. The author realistically captures the harsh realities of teenage life in London through his protagonist and the other characters in the book-so well that it was difficult not to feel the knife’s edge as Ilyas navigates the trials and tribulations of his life as it reaches a crossroads. Definitely a must-read!
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh @mkhanauthor, I know it is only February but you have written one of my books of 2019! Loved Ilyas *so* much, friends & family brilliant, social commentary important, & language pitched just right to annoy adult reviewers on Goodreads 🙄 but totally engage teens! #BAME #UKYA ...more
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Muhammad Khan is a maths teacher in a secondary school in Tooting and takes his inspiration from the children he teaches, as well as his own upbringing as a British-born Pakistani. He lives in South London and will be studying for a creative writing MA next year at Roehampton.

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