Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed | Reviews

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: January 16th, 2018

Trigger Warnings: islamophobia, terrorism, white supremacy mentions, bullying

Pages: 281

Publisher: SoHo Teen

Goodreads blurb:

A searing #OwnVoices coming-of-age debut in which an Indian-American Muslim teen confronts Islamophobia and a reality she can neither explain nor escape–perfect for fans of Angie Thomas, Jacqueline Woodson, and Adam Silvera.

American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and maybe (just maybe) pursuing a boy she’s known from afar since grade school, a boy who’s finally falling into her orbit at school.

There’s also the real world, beyond Maya’s control. In the aftermath of a horrific crime perpetrated hundreds of miles away, her life is turned upside down. The community she’s known since birth becomes unrecognizable; neighbors and classmates alike are consumed with fear, bigotry, and hatred. Ultimately, Maya must find the strength within to determine where she truly belongs.


R E V I E W

Love, Hate and Other Filters deserve all the hype. I was pretty much sucked into the story straight away. I feel like this book is one almost everyone needs to pick up. Not for the fact, it is beautifully diverse but because I feel like the plot really held an important message to follow your dreams despite the opinions of others.

Adding to the importance of this book, its #ownvoices. Which I will do my best to edit this post and include #ownvoices reviews when they come along. I won’t be speaking on any of the diversity because it really isn’t my lane to talk about the culture or inclusion, I will be talking about the plot and characters instead.

L I K E S

✗ NOT YOUR TYPICAL STORY

Maya wasn’t your typical YA heroine. Love, Hate and Other Filters wasn’t your typical story either. I’m not even sure how to really put it into words but it felt different. There was more depth in this contemporary novel than many others I have read. I mean, obviously there’s a focus on romance in this book considering the title has the word ‘love’ in it but it really doesn’t become the centre of the plot. Maya is dedicated to following her dreams of becoming a filmmaker, which I’ll talk more about in my next point. It was just so great to see a female character not forget her ambition or even be embarrassed by what she wants to do, even after a boy is introduced to the plot. I am so tired of seeing that point used time and time again. I mean, one of the most important things to me is that the romance didn’t continue once the book ended. I’m typically not an open endings fan, but in this case, I feel it really went well with the story.

✗ PASSION ISN’T FORGOTTEN FOR A BOY

This was probably my favourite of all things. The main character continues recording and filming whenever she is with the boy. He even supports it and talks to the camera. It was honestly really sweet. But, Maya’s goals never wavered. She was going to go to New York and be the first Indian woman to win an award for her films. I just love to see young women following their aspirations and not being deterred.

✗ WRITING IS INCREDIBLE

I really can’t say much on this point. The writing is incredible. Honestly. I can’t speak on the accuracy of the cultural aspects but I presume it is similar to what Samira Ahmed grew up with. I just love the style itself, it was captivating and so easy to follow.

D I S L I K E S

✗ DISAPPEARING FRIEND ACT

My main problem with Love, Hate and Other Filters is that there was the disappearing friend act from Maya’s best friend. It seemed the friend was only there when she proved useful. Obviously, when she was useful she was. But, every other time it seemed she disappeared, either out of the country or just there as a convenient reason for Maya to lie to her parents. Which, obviously all teenagers do but the friend really stayed on the sidelines of everything and was just there to encourage Maya to do what she wanted and disregard her religion.

✗ MAYA’S RELIGION IS NEVER THOUGHT OF

It seemed that Maya never once thought of God or her religion, only disgruntledly thinking about it in regard to her parents. That’s all I’ll say on the matter because I am not religious in the slightest and I don’t want to disrespect anyone by accident.

Overall, Love, Hate and Other Filters quickly reached one of my top favourite books of the year and it’s only January. I am so excited to read more of Samira’s work! I just don’t have enough words to describe this book.  


Happy reading everyone!

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