Book Reviews

Review: Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

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Title: Love, Hate and Other Filters

Author: Samira Ahmed

Format: Digital ARC

Published: January 16, 2018 by Bonnier Zaffre, Hot Key Books

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

Reading Period: October 28-November 3, 2017

Rating: ★★★★★ 


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, Jacqueline 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?

About the Author:

cropped-saa-profile1SAMIRA AHMED was born in Bombay, India, and grew up in Batavia, Illinois, in a house that smelled like fried onions, spices, and potpourri. She currently resides in the Midwest. She’s lived in Vermont, New York City, and Kauai, where she spent a year searching for the perfect mango.

A graduate of the University of Chicago, she taught high school English for seven years, worked to create over 70 small high schools in New York City, and fought to secure billions of additional dollars to fairly fund public schools throughout New York State. She’s appeared in the New York Times, New York Daily News, Fox News, NBC, NY1, NPR, and on BBC Radio. Her creative non-fiction and poetry has appeared in Jaggery Lit, Entropy, the Fem, and Claudius Speaks.

Her writing is represented by Eric Smith of P.S. Literary.


Thank you NetGalley and Bonnier Zaffre for providing me a digital copy of this book.

Honestly, I am not really familiar with Islamophobia and I think books with that that theme is really important. As well, I’m not a Muslim and not well-educated with Islam, so, I don’t know if Samira Ahmed did the justice on presenting it.

Maya Aziz, an Indian-Muslim, lives in Chicago and dreams to study film making in New York. However, a terrible incident happened that brings their community to hate and fear her family.

Hina is the coolest Auntie! And I don’t know if I’m Team Kareem or Team Phil. Kareen is an Indian-Muslim, a gentleman, sweet and humurous. Phil is American, Maya’s classmate since kindergarten, but they only got close now, and he has a girlfriend named Lisa. However, I do felt what Maya feel towards Kareem. He’s like a big brother that she never has, but I’m still rooting Kareem and Maya!

Just a thought of a possibility that the suicide bomber has same religion like you (I know for a fact that Muslims always receive the hatred when there are attacks even though not all terrorists are Muslims), but what’s worst is the possibility that you have the same last name with a suicide bomber. I want to hug Maya because I know how suffocating it is, but I’m glad to see how strong woman she is. She is being rational and understands her parents though her dreams are shattered. Muslims who lives anywhere in the world always struggles because of negative image of Islam in the media, and most people around them stereotypes.

I’m learning so much about Indian’s culture and Islam from this book. I couldn’t stop searching at Google the Indian words especially the foods, to help me imagine what it is. As a Filipino, I noticed that there are Indian cultures and traditions that was mentioned in the book that are similar to Filipino culture and tradition. Moreover, I like it that this book does not mainly focus on the romance but also focuses on culture, religion, family relationship and friendship. The characters are likable though at some point there are parts wherein it is predictable. Love, Hate and Other Filters focused on Maya’s life but I like it that I get snippets of the other perspectives. But overall, I like this book so much.

It took me so long to finish this because I had those days wherein I do not want to move or do anything. The book is not the problem but me. I enjoy reading this book because it does not only give me added knowledge but also this book also represents POC. I highly recommend Love, Hate and Other Filters to other readers because of its diversity, especially to those wants to understand more about Asian culture and Islam.

P.S. Do you see how beautiful those covers are?! 🙂

Quotable quotes:

“The lies make life easier for everyone.”

“Violence has no place in religion, and the terrorists are responsible for their own crimes, not the religion and not us.”

“Terrorism has no religion.”

“Terrorists have their own ideology. Who knows what hatred compels them? They’re desperate and unthinking and ignorant followers—” I interrupt my mother. “Too bad none of that matters. We all get painted like we’re un-American and terrorist sympathizers, no matter how loudly we condemn terrorism and say it’s un-Islamic. It’s guilt by association.”

“Sometimes you’ve got to be less cerebral and more intuitive. So I figured I’d take a chance, trust my heart, and be less concerned about all the made-up things that were supposedly getting in our way.”

“Listen, if you give up now, you’ll regret it later.”

“But we all have secrets, hopes that stay locked deep inside, trapped by our fears of the world’s judgment.”

“I feel like I have so much to say and also nothing to say. Like I’m full and sort of hollow at the same time. Endings. Beginnings.”

Buy links: Amazon   Barnes and Noble    Booktopia    Book Depository 


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