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 received an ARC of Love, Hate & Other Filters from NetGalley. Just look at the cover, it’s so beautiful and I will admit it was one of the main reasons behind my requesting it. I also was intrigued by the premise.
This book is #ownvoices for Muslim and Indian American representation.
It was a wonderful read. There are two storylines that alternate in being told. The first is told from the perspective of Maya, and follows her regular life. Maya is so dedicated to her hobby. I don’t know much about filmography, and it was fascinating to learn quite a bit through the chapters of this book. Her half of the book reads a bit like a film script, I could see the scenes coming alive in my head. It really felt like I was in a movie.
The second storyline focuses on the suicide bomber and is told through a third-person narrator. At the beginning, the difference between this storyline and the other is quite jarring, and the sudden inserts of the second storyline, took me out of my reading flow and I needed some time to get used to the change of storyline. The storyline describes the terrorist’s life and the reasons for the bombing. I kept guessing as to who the suicide bomber was and thought that the reveal was very well-written.
The merging of the two storylines occurs after the bombing, even though the reader still does not know who the suicide bomber is. It shows how prevalent Islamantagonism is and how it creates fear and tension within the Muslim community. For an in-depth review on the Muslim representation, check out Fadwa’s review.
The characters all had distinct and nuanced personalities. The first love interest is not stereotypically awful but actually a nice person, which was lovely to read. I hate it when the love-interest-that-doesn’t-work-out is an awful person, sometimes a person can be nice but not the right person for the main character. I seriously wish more romance books would understand that.
I very much enjoyed Love, Hate and Other Filters. The main issue I had was that the switch between the storylines was often very sudden and thus I kept having to reimmerse myself into my reading.
Trigger warnings: suicide bombing, Islamantagonism.
Have you read love, hate & other filters?