Books by Muslim Authors, Diverse Books, Muslim Shelf Space, YA Books

Kick the Moon by Muhammad Khan – ARC Review

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!


Rating: 5/5

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

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 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. Like his first book, I feel that many teenagers will relate to this and is a book I feel young boys should read. The main character being Pakistani Muslim is not something that we see in books, especially YA books and I hope we get to see more because we need more representation of young Muslim boys and girls.

There are so many important issues addressed in this book, they are interwoven really well and feel like a natural part of the story and not forced. The main theme that is addressed in this book is toxic masculinity and how this can affect not only the boys life but also those around him. He also addresses sexism, racism and prejudice. And how these can all be interlinked.

Ilyas has to deal with so much, he was a really well rounded character and so relatable. He was brought up with the “boys don’t cry” mentality and you can see how much it affects him. How showing emotion and being “soft” is seen as unmanly. He doesn’t enjoy sports like the other boys, instead he loves to draw comics and loves his rabbit. All things which are perfectly fine but he’s taught it’s not from his dad and his friends and the society around him. I felt so much for Ilyas because I have seen this growing up. Watching people tell my cousins that boys don’t cry and essentially teaching that they should not show emotion. So they never learn how to manage their emotions. They learn to hide parts of themselves if it doesn’t match what they are taught about what makes them a “man”. It just makes them unhappy and stressed and can lead them down a bad path like it did for Ilyas.

I loved that the gang culture, peer pressure and cliques were also addressed in this book. I’m sure it’s something we all saw while in school and were all affected by it. When Ilyas stands up for what is right, he puts himself and his family at risk. The fear he feels felt so real and it made me really root for him because it takes strength to stand up and fight for what’s right. I also loved Kelly, who is a reflection of the rich, privileged school girls and how this privilege gives them an advantage over other students. It was nice to see that she realises her privilege.

One of my favourite parts was that Ilyas was an artist and that he drew comics. But not just any comic, one that represented him and other South Asians. I have always wanted to see a superhero who looked like me and I was so happy to see that in this book! I just want to read a whole comic based on his superhero! I really loved that Ilyas holds onto his identity of being Muslim and a Pakistani. It isn’t something we see enough of in books.

There is so much more I want to say but I don’t want to spoil anyone so I will just say this, this book deals with really heavy topics but it is also fun and uplifting and that representation is so important and I want more and I’m sure many others do as well! I highly recommend picking this book up and also reading his other book I Am Thunder if you haven’t!

Kick the Moon releases today, 24th January.

Fiction Books, YA Books

Enchantee by Gita Trelease – Book Review

I love historical fiction books especially when they have magic involved so I was super excited when my request for this book was accepted on netgalley. Thank you to Macmillan Children’s book for sending me this book. It does not affect my review in any way.


Rating: 4/5

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…
When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.
But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…

I really loved this book, there was great world building and I loved the characters so I was really invested in their story. The was a lot of intrigue and suspense and a major theme throughout the book was that everyone was hiding something so the deception kept me hooked. I wanted to know what was truly happening, who each of the characters truly were.

Each character had their own secrets for various reasons, from needing to blend in to keeping a loved one safe, and it made their deception grown until they were almost spiralling out of control. It really made me root for the characters and wanting them to work everything out.

I personally loved the romance in the story, even though there isn’t a lot of it, it felt very realistic for the time period it’s set in and honestly they were so adorable!
The world building was amazing, it was rich and intricate, so I felt like I was right there walking the streets with the characters. It shows Paris’ dark and bleak side where the common people live but also the glitz and glam of the aristocracy. It made it seem much more real.

I also loved how Gita incorporated true historical events and people into the story, from the revolution to Marie Antoinette to the hot air balloons. I especially loved how the hot air balloons were shown as the revolutionary event in the story as it was so accurate for that time and how the characters were so invested into making using a hot air balloon a reality. Their enthusiasm and zeal was completely addictive and it made me want to join them in the hot air balloon!

I was really glad to see that Gita accurately depicted the stark differences between the rich and the poor and how the rich often cared very little for the suffering of others. While Camille and Sophie had to deceive people to just be able to buy bread, the rich were gambling and drinking their days away. Showing this made it clear why the revolution happened.

I loved the diversity in the books and how it was portrayed from Lazare being half Indian and facing racism even amongst the aristocracy, with them making it clear that he is not their equal and Chandon having to hide his relationship because it was seen as unacceptable.

Although I loved the book I did feel it dragged a little near the end but it did not lessen my enjoyment of the book. Then the ending was a lot more fast paced and I loved the way it ended.

One thing I did love was that although there will be a book two, this book had a complete arc so you can technically read it as a standalone. I am most definitely looking forward to reading more and being back in this world as I so want to see what will happen with the characters during the revolution.

If you love historical fantasy books I highly recommend you pick this book up when it comes out in February!

Adult Books, Fiction Books

If Cats Disappeared From The World by Genki Kawamura – Book Review

So this book has a cat in it so I knew I had to read it! I love books that have cats in them especially if they show the relationship between the cat and their owner. So I was really looking forward to reading it and I really did enjoy this book.


Rating: 4/5

This review has minor spoilers.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Our narrator’s days are numbered. Estranged from his family, living alone with only his cat Cabbage for company, he was unprepared for the doctor’s diagnosis that he has only months to live. But before he can set about tackling his bucket list, the Devil appears with a special offer: in exchange for making one thing in the world disappear, he can have one extra day of life. And so begins a very bizarre week . . .
Because how do you decide what makes life worth living? How do you separate out what you can do without from what you hold dear? In dealing with the Devil our narrator will take himself – and his beloved cat – to the brink. Genki Kawamura’s If Cats Disappeared from the World is a story of loss and reconciliation, of one man’s journey to discover what really matters in modern life.
This beautiful tale is translated from the Japanese by Eric Selland, who also translated The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide. Fans of The Guest Cat will also surely love If Cats Disappeared from the World.

This book was different to what I was expecting but I still really enjoyed it. The book is thought provoking and deals with death and how we live our lives. The story follows an unnamed postman who has been told by his doctor that he has only months to live, then one day the devil appears and in exchange for making something disappear from the world he will get an extra day to live. This is when he begins to reflect on his life as each day something else disappears. Although this book has lots of humour, with the main character making light of some situations, overall the book is pretty sad as he realises how many regrets he has in life and no time to fix them.

He comes to many realises about the way he lived his life from not staying in touch with friends, how he should have been more affectionate towards his mother and how he wishes he had done things differently with his ex-girlfriend. This book makes us think about how we live our lives and that we should be the best version of ourselves and find joy in the smaller things in life.

We come to realise that each thing that the devil makes disappear is something that is significant to the main character. Were they chosen for a specific reason, to make him realise his mistakes?

The first item is phones, and while he thinks about what effect it will have to not have mobiles, the advantages and disadvantages of having phones. He spent most of his relationship talking to his ex-girlfriend talking to her on the phone instead of actually having conversations when they were together.

The second thing to disappear is films. This connects him to both his girlfriend and his friend in school, who is a huge film buff and who he lost contact with. He thinks about how he didn’t have any significant friends in his life to spend time with in his final days.

The third thing to disappear is clocks which connects him to his estranged father. His father is a clock repairer and someone who he hasn’t spoken to in years. He thinks about how when his mother was alive she wanted them to reconcile and thinks about why he hasn’t spoken to him.

The last thing that the devil decides to make disappear is his cat, Cabbage. This is when he begins to weigh the value of his life over making things disappear. Is it worth it to lose his only friend and the one thing that still connects him to his mum to have an extra day of life? He thinks about what his life would be like without Cabbage, and what would happen to Cabbage if he died? He starts to think about if anyone would miss him if he died, would anyone remember him? It makes you think about how you lived your life and whether you have lived a meaningful life and if anyone will remember you once you’re gone.

I think the only issue I had with the book was that the translation felt a bit awkward at times though I’m not sure if it’s the writing style itself or just the translation.

I do recommend reading this book it really makes you think about your life and how we spend everyday and how we should reflect on our lives and also about our relationships with family and friends.

Fiction Books, YA Books

Floored ARC Book Review

Thank you to Pan Macmillan for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

So I originally heard about Floored at YALC last year where I was lucky enough to pick up a sampler and it left me really intrigued to know more. So I had been eagerly awaiting the release of this book and was so happy when my request for the ARC was approved!


Rating: 4/5

So if you haven’t heard of Floored then here is the synopsis taken from Goodreads:

When they got in the lift, they were strangers (though didn’t that guy used to be on TV?): Sasha, who is desperately trying to deliver a parcel; Hugo, who knows he’s the best-looking guy in the lift and is eyeing up Velvet, who knows what that look means when you hear her name and it doesn’t match the way she looks, or the way she talks; Dawson, who was on TV, but isn’t as good-looking as he was a few years ago and is desperately hoping no one recognizes him; Kaitlyn, who’s losing her sight but won’t admit it, and who used to have a poster of Dawson on her bedroom wall, and Joe, who shouldn’t be here at all, but who wants to be here the most.
And one more person, who will bring them together again on the same day every year.

This book was written by 7 of the top UKYA authors; Melinda Salisbury, Eleanor Wood, Lisa Williamson, Non Pratt, Tanya Byrne, Holly Bourne and Sara Barnard so I was really interested to see how they would all manage to write one book that would flow well. And let me tell you they certainly succeeded! The story was cohesive and flowed and had a great group pf characters who felt real.

So this book revolves around 6 teenagers who have absolutely nothing in common except being stuck in the same lift. This is where the story begins and through this one thing that binds them their whole lives are affected and changed by it.

It was really interesting to see that the story is set over several years so we really do get to see how they progress and change as they get older. Each of them is affected by what happens in the lift and they end up staying in touch with each other because of it.

The book more character focused than focusing on the story development. There is a story but it completely revolves around what is happening in the lives of each of the characters. So this book was really different to books I normally read but I really enjoyed it.

I loved how through each characters unique situation and living circumstances they wove very real issues for us as teenagers and young adults into the story. From social class, financial situations to dealing with chronic illness.

The one theme that went throughout is the strong friendship bond that developed between them. That no matter how little they saw each other they were always there for each other. It reminded me of some amazing friends I have met through being part of the book community even though I don’t actually get to meet them.

I did find reading the story a little confusing at first as there is six points of views but each character has a unique voice so it became easier to distinguish between them. I personally loved Hugo’s character development best. He went from a spoiled rich boy to someone who actually cares about others. But my favourite character was Kaitlyn who has been recently diagnosed with stargardt disease. As someone who was diagnosed with a chronic illness in my late teens I really related to her even if mine is not the same as hers. I loved how despite struggling with it she persevered to get to where she wanted to be.

I think the only think I wish I got more of was to see more into their lives we only get glimpses that they discuss when they meet each other. I would love to have got a more in depth look into their lives.

So I would recommend reading this book and it’s out today so you can now go buy it from the shops!

If you read it let me know what you thought! Who was your favourite character?