To be honest, this book had been on my TBR ever since I heard about it, and I even bought it a few months ago so I really don’t know why I didn’t read it before. I heard many great things about it, and I’m glad I finally read it because I really enjoyed it.
Title: Love, Hate and Other Filters
Author: Samira Ahmed
Release year: 2018
Genre: YA, Contemporary
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
Maya Aziz is a senior in high school, trying to find a perfect balance between her parents’ expectations and what she truly wants. They want her to go to law school and have the perfect arranged marriage, while her dream is to study filming at New York University. To her already complicated life as the only brown student of her school, add a terrorist attack where the supposed perpetrator carries the same last name as her, as well as a cute boy whom she has a secret crush on, and you get Love, Hate and Other Filters, Samira Ahmed’s fantastic debut novel.
Love, Hate and Other Filters was a very beautiful and refreshing book. I loved reading through Maya’s perspective, and also really enjoyed the fact that this was a quick read. The book tries to tackle the issues of racism and islamophobia in the United States, and I think Samira Ahmed really succeeded in that aspect of her novel.
Warning: May Contain Spoilers
I absolutely love the main character Maya. She is the only daughter of a couple of Muslim Indians who emigrated to the United States before she was born, and she has to deal with all the high hopes that her parents have put on her career and marriage- wise. But her dream, ever since her dad gave her a camera as a kid, is to become a film-maker. She even applied to NYU, and was accepted. All she has to tell her parents is that she has actually been accepted and NYU, and wants to go there, and also maybe just want to get married just yet. Maya is strong and knows what she wants. She is also a huge nerd, who loves movies and works in the film section of her local bookshop, which is probably my favourite thing about her. I also really loved her friendship with Violet, as well as her relationship with Phil, even if it was all too predictable – it was still definitely enjoyable. Even though I can’t even begin to understand Maya’s life, I also sometimes found her rather relatable sometimes – in her passion for what she loves, and her relationship with her parents for example – and that’s something I always love in a book.
As for the other characters, aside from Maya’s aunt Hina, who succeeded in not getting married and spends a lot of time with her, we also have Maya’s parents, who struggle to understand her, and Kareem, the perfect Indian Boy her parents wish her to marry. They actually do share a few movie-worthy romance moments, but thankfully, the love triangle was not too shoved into our faces which is something I definitely appreciated. I also love how Kareem supported Maya’s dream no matter how their relationship turned out. That was definitely a pleasant turn into the novel.
Before I end this review, I just wanted to say how much I love the cover. And finally, I really appreciated how the book kept an open ending, it was a nice touch and it was also very realistic, and a good reflection of how much one’s life can evolve in between high school and college. Love, Hate and Other Filters was definitely worth the read, and I really recommend it, especially for the issues it deals with.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (review)
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali (which I haven’t actually reviewed?)
Please feel free to recommend me more similar books!