I was able to read one of the most talked about YA books of 2018 last month! Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed is about seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz, an Indian-American Muslim girl who has her heart set on film school in New York and a certain boy at school. However, after a recent terror attack near her hometown, Maya is forced to grapple with bigotry and hatred from some members of her community, and her parents become more protective than ever. How can Maya stay true to herself, respectful of her family’s wishes, and safe from the hate she experiences from some of her classmates?
The author, Samira Ahmed, is an Indian-American Muslim, and readers can feel how personal this novel is because of that! The novel tackles complex issues like racism, Islamophobia, and parental expectations in a way that is accessible and realistic. Throughout the book Maya is usually filming the events of her life on one of her cameras, or she is imagining her life through the lens of a cinematographer. The first half of the book is about the love triangles in which Maya has found herself. If you’re a strict no-romance reader, this might not be the book for you! If you enjoy a little romance, like me, you’ll appreciate the added insight into the characters’ personalities. This may be an unpopular opinion, but Maya certainly wasn’t my favorite character in the book. Instead, I want to be best friends with Maya’s Aunt Hana and soak in all her advice. If you’d like a quick read that explores important topics and has an often-silly but highly relatable main character, read this book! If you read the book, I’d love to hear what your opinions are! Library staff are always excited to talk about their recent reads.
--Shanel, Teen Services Specialist