Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed – BOOK REVIEW
“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, Jacquelyn Woodson, and Adam Silvera.
Maya Aziz is torn between futures: the one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter (i.e.; staying nearby in Chicago and being matched with a “suitable” Muslim boy), and the one where she goes to film school in New York City–and maybe, just maybe, kisses a guy she’s only known from afar. There’s the also the fun stuff, like laughing with her best friend Violet, making on-the-spot documentaries, sneaking away for private swimming lessons at a secret pond in the woods. But her world is shattered when a suicide bomber strikes in the American heartland; by chance, he shares Maya’s last name. What happens to the one Muslim family in town when their community is suddenly consumed with hatred and fear?”
I really enjoyed reading Love, Hate and Other Filters. I’ve been anticipating this book for such a long time and I couldn’t wait to read it!
This book covers some very important issues that are rarely discussed in books and that is fantastic. It was great to read about Maya, especially her Muslim background and what it’s like to grow up in contemporary America after terrorist attacks. The fear that Maya lives day to day is dealt with in a very sensitive manner, and the influence that her religion and culture has is a key feature that is explored throughout.
The plot felt a little disjointed at times, but I thought this was a great YA book, with a mixture of both serious and life changing issues covered, as well as general teen worries, relationships, friendships and family life.
A debut novel that I highly recommend, especially if you’re looking for a bit of a romance novel with Muslim/Indian representation, with religion and parent expectations being a key issue explored throughout.