Hey you guys and welcome to the second review this month (and not the last one either – I’ll be on a roll this month)! As I mentioned in my The Cruel Prince review I got approved for three super fun January releases and today we’ll be talking about the second one: Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed!
In Samira Ahmed’s debut Love, Hate & Other Filters we follow Maya Aziz, a girl torn between doing what her parents expect her to do and what she wants to do in a world where a suicide bomber hundreds of miles away can destroy everything she has and holds dear by simply sharing Maya’s family’s last name.
It’s actually been quite a few months since I read this book because there was just simply no way I would wait until it was closer to the release to read this book because I had been looking forward to it for such a long time and I couldn’t wait any longer.
Love, Hate & Other Filters is described as perfect for fans of both Angie Thomas’ debut The Hate U Give and Sandyha Menon’s debut When Dimple Met Rishi and I completely agree with that statement. Samira Ahmed dealt with the topic of Islamaphobia so, so well in this book (in my opinion) while also introducing us into Maya’s world and what she holds dear the way Sandyha did in WDMR.
The way this book is written, we follow Maya in her everyday life as she deals with her parents’ expectations and her own wishes for herself which is then contrasted by quick single page ‘chapters’ that follow the second storyline in this book and every single time I came across those quick chapters, I could feel my heart rate go up and I grew more and more worried as the story progressed – you just can’t help but feel this way.
I also felt like the way Samira Ahmed portrayed the community’s reaction to the news of the suicide bomber (and this isn’t a spoiler in any kind of way) was so close to what we have seen on the news in the past decade and a half. Which makes you so angry as a reader and you can’t help it because it’s unfair the way people are being treated. The actions of a single person should never defy an entire group.
Obviously, I can’t speak on behalf of any Muslim and the experiences they have had with Islamaphobia or growing up as a Muslim child so I won’t do that. But what I will do is link to Ilsa’s review for this book as she is a Muslim teen herself and can speak to it more.
And while this book deals with some really tough topics, Samira also managed to keep it light-hearted when possible. I really liked following Maya’s story and while it’s compared to When Dimple Met Rishi, I often found myself reminded of the movie Bend It Like Beckham which I absolutely adored in high school. If you enjoyed the movie and would like a similar story that deals with racism more, this is exactly the book for you!
I honestly never quite know how to talk about and review books where the characters experience life quite differently from me due to their religion, nationality or any other aspects that are going to define them as a minority as it’s not something I am familiar with. But I still hope I was able to convince some of you guys to pick this book up because I really enjoyed it and I definitely think it’s a book people should read!
Overall, I gave this book a 4-star rating and would definitely recommend you check it out and show your support for Samira Ahmed in any way you can when the book comes out on Tuesday (January 16th)!
Have any of you guys already read this book, if so: What did you think? If you’re a Muslim teen who has reviewed this book, I would love to add your review too, so please leave me a comment down below!
For those of you guys who haven’t read the book yet, are you going to be picking it up?