Saturday, 20 January 2018

Review - Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
Published 16th January 2018 by Hot Key Books
Star Rating - ****
Goodreads Challenge - 4/75
Diversity Bingo - Indian Main Character (Own Voices)

I was provided with an early copy from Readers First to read and review. 

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

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?

My Thoughts

This isn't my usual genre choice but my diversity bingo challenge pushed me to give it a go and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It's an own voices novel and, although I can't comment from an own voices perspective, I really liked the representation in this book. I thought it was a really important look at how a single act can change someones life so quickly. I thought it depicted the prejudice that Maya received in a very true way and it gave us a real view of today's society and how we need to fight this. What happened in this book is not okay, in any circumstance!

I enjoyed the writing style. I thought it merged the cute and fluffy romance story line with the more hard hitting Islamophobia story line well. It showed you just how affected Maya and her family were and how difficult this made their lives. I also enjoyed the inclusion of the italicized paragraphs at the beginning of each chapter showing the parallel story. I thought this was a good way of doing this as you felt the build up to something and, although we know what from the synopsis, it does give the added feeling of intrigue and suspense. I also thought there was some great culture in this book. It was nice to see this and to learn about different aspects of their lives, although reading some of the own voices reviews they seem to think this could of been better. That being said, from me, someone who cannot comment from an own voices perspective I thought it was good.

I really enjoyed the characters in this story too. I thought Maya was great, I loved her passion for film and movies and I loved how she was determined to follow her dreams. Even though the way she handled her parents near the end wasn't the best, this didn't affect my liking for her. I could understand why she did it. I also loved Violet as a side character. I thought it was great how she always stuck by Maya's side and wasn't influenced by any outside party. Even when life got tough she stuck up for her. I thought it was a great depiction of a female friendship. There was also a love triangle written into the story and at first I wasn't sure if I was going to like it as I'm not a fan of this YA trope however, this one was fine. It wasn't cringey or frustrating and Maya was completely honest with herself, breaking off one of the relationships early. She did keep this friendship though and I liked this. The romances were cute and fluffy and the love interests were sweet and understanding. They really seemed to care for Maya.

Overall, as a book outside of my usual comfort zone, it was a really enjoyable read. I loved the own voices Indian rep and I thought it covered some quite prominent and hard hitting topics. This mixed with the sweet contemporary aspects of the story made it a really great read. I would definitely recommend reading some of the own voices reviews if your interested in any opinions from that perspective however, if your looking for a quick, sweet contemporary mixed with some slightly more intense themes then I would recommend this one. 

Overall Rating 



  1. I like books like this. I loved The Hate you Give. They make you see the world from a different perspective.

  2. Liking the looks of this - thanx for the review!

  3. I love your review! I am going to check this book out

  4. Great Review! I absolutely love own voice book. I will most definitely check out this book, hopefully soon. Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. What a great sounding book. It's good that you read something different but even better that it worked out for you.

  6. I love books that you read because of challenges and they take you outside your normal genre :) Great review!