Home » Reviews


Praise for I KICK AND I FLY 

“Gupta renders Heera’s perseverance amid grueling circumstances via straightforward prose and imbues this searing tale with an ominous ambiance that complements its dark themes.””

Publisher’s Weekly

“A triumphant debut…the narration contains vivid sensory descriptions that, along with the Hindi words scattered throughout, bring the setting to life, quickly immersing readers in her world.”

Kirkus Review

“This intense, important novel is a must read for everyone. Gupta brings sex trafficking into stark relief with her debut novel in a way that’s accessible and suitable for teens. Heera is fierce and brave. I love her determination to fight for herself and those she loves. It’s an important message to young girls — and everyone — that they deserve to be safe.”

Brandi Stewart, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ

“This book had me crying AND cheering on the subway. It’s an age-appropriate indictment of global sex trafficking that’s also inspiring and illuminating. I loved Heera’s commitment to her family and friends and her unwillingness to ever give up hope. A powerful story about courage, community, and kicking ass. Highly recommended!”

Rebekah Shoaf, Boogie Down Books, Bronx, NY

“An incredibly immersive, honest, yet YA-appropriate novel based on the real experiences of trafficked young women and those who work to free them. This incredible book manages to offer an uplifting and hopeful story without downplaying the incredibly harsh realities its characters, and the people who inspired them, face. Must-read.”

Emily Autenrieth, A Seat At The Table Books, Elk Grove, Ca

“Ruchira Gupta gives readers an empathetic and unflinching glimpse into a world little known to outsiders. Visceral, prismatic detail lend an authentic sense of place, while Heera herself anchors the tale and pulls us in. In one corner is duty to her beloved family. In the other a chance to soar above the destiny everyone tells her she was born into. We watch breathlessly, never sure until the very end how she will kick and punch her way past her circumstances to find her own path to freedom.”

Natalie C. Anderson, Author Of City Of Saints & Thieves

“I Kick and I Fly is a powerhouse of a debut. Ruchira Gupta has crafted a page-turner of a read, stepped in place and full of indelible characters, managing to be at once propulsive and enlightening, infuriating and inspiring”.

Gayle Forman

“Gupta’s I Kick and I Fly is simply magnificent. A beautifully tender and sensitive exploration of one girl’s fight to reclaim her body in a world where the sex trade is seen as inescapable. I challenge anyone to read Heera’s story and be unmoved. Though a difficult read at times, it is an absolutely necessary one. Gupta’s compelling passion for a world free of the sex trade and her experience in helping vulnerable girls and women is evident in every word she writes. IKick and I Fly is brilliant, horrifying, necessary. I am so grateful for the chance to have read Heera’s story and to have been a part of her journey to self-empowerment.”

Aayan Mohamud

“Any work from Ruchira Gupta is sure to further the cause of liberating women, and in this novel, it is the freedom of girls.It takes a strong belief in us, & especially in our young ones, to persevere as she does in both art & politics. with the absolute belief that if the heart is moved, so might the mind move towards positive activities for justice & freedom.”

Alice Walker, The Color Purple

“Having been to the red-light district, I Kick and I Fly so searingly captures, I can testify that this book is essential reading. Ruchira Gupta is nothing less than a great hero, and in her book, she has created one in Heera, as she defies the destiny of rape assigned to her.”

Ashley Judd, All That Is Bitter And Sweet

“In I Kick and I Fly, Ruchira Gupta has given readers an irresistible story, and one that could save lives. The book is a gift. Headlines tell us that global sex trafficking rivals drug trafficking in illegal profits, and this novel tells us the human realities behind that statistic. Only knowing the story can help us change its ending.” 

Gloria Steinem, Revolution From Within
Take My Pledge

Create a world in which no child is bought or sold.

Ruchira Gupta is an Emmy winning journalist and founder of the anti sex trafficking NGO, Apne Aap that helps women and girls exit systems of prostitution. I Kick and I Fly is her debut fiction novel.
Apne Aap
Apne Aap was co-founded by twenty-women from a red-light district in India with a shared vision to create a world in which no child is bought or sold.
Learn More
new york web development
© 2024 All Rights Reserved.