Disclosure: I received a finished copy of Love, Hate & Other Filters from Pansing Books, a regional distributor, in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed • contains 255 pages • published by Hot Key Books, Bonnier Zaffre on January 16, 2018 • classified as Contemporary, Young Adult • obtained through Pansing Books • read as paperback • shelve on Goodreads
Maya Aziz dreams of being a film maker in New York. Her family have other ideas. They want her to be a dutiful daughter who wears gold jewellery and high heels and trains to be a doctor. But jewellery and heels are so uncomfortable...
She's also caught between the guy she SHOULD like and the guy she DOES like. But she doesn't want to let Kareem down and things with Phil would never work out anyway. Would they?
Then a suicide bomber who shares her last name strikes in a city hundreds of miles away and everything changes...
Where do I begin with Love, Hate & Other Filters? Even though it has less than 300 pages, there is so much to unpack! It touches on themes of cultural and religious diversity, to romance, to extremism and terrorism. That might seem like quite a lot but I think they’re dealt with pretty well.
Maya was an Indian American Muslim daughter of US immigrants. I enjoyed reading about how she navigated her parents’ culture and the local culture. It’s not easy balancing two cultures that are at odds, especially when one is conservative and the other liberal.
Although Maya didn’t have a strict Muslim upbringing and she wasn’t religious either, she still grew up in a Muslim household. She had taboos deeply ingrained in her. She wouldn’t dream of consuming pork or alcohol. At the same time, she yearned for the freedoms her friends took for granted. These conflicts that she faced as a result were wonderfully portrayed in Love, Hate & Other Filters.
Romance Despite Conservative Parents
When I was still in high school, I used to read one cute, fluffy romance after the other. Love, Hate & Other Filters reminded me of them but also brought so much more. What particularly excited me about this book was that it mirrored my high school experiences much more closely than any other book.
Living in Singapore, I was immersed in a fairly conservative society. That’s why I found Maya’s circumstances rather familiar. A lot of parents were against their children dating. Did teens care? Some did, but many more didn’t. Love, Hate & Other Filters is the first YA contemporary book I read that addressed that disparity.
Rooted in Current Affairs
While Love, Hate & Other Filters portrayed the day-to-day life of Maya, there also were the ominous threads of terrorism. Those parts were disturbing but also focussed on prejudices, Islamophobia and extremism. These impacts are always far-reaching. In the case of Love, Hate & Other Filters, it demonstrated the unfair treatments many Muslims faced because of growing fear.
Highly Recommend Love, Hate & Other Filters
Love, Hate & Other Filters is a very current and relevant read that I recommend picking up for sure!