Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Book Review: Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

I don't remember what I read that prompted me to order Love, Hate & Other Filters through interlibrary loan.  But it arrived, and I read it--and really enjoyed it.

Maya was born in the United States and has Indian parents.  She dreams of going to film school in New York, but her parents have other ideas.  Ideas about her finding a suitable Indian boy and attending a local college.  But she's been hanging out with  Phil, who she's known since they were in grade school. An act of terrorism hundreds of miles away changes all of Maya's hopes and dreams.

Maya's struggles are real and authentic.  She is dealing with parents having difficulty letting her go, with the added issue of her becoming Americanized and losing her Indian culture.  She's dealing with the attention she's getting from Phil, even though he supposedly has a girlfriend. And she's dealing with an act of terrorism that, because of her heritage, causes her to suddenly be besieged by students at her school.

The reader gets insight into the terrorist through small vignettes between chapters throughout the book.  This is a nice technique and works well to dole out the information. Maya is a sympathetic character that I wanted to see happy.  Her supportive aunt gives an alternative idea of an Indian woman succeeding in the United States, which also worked well to demonstrate the turmoil of these poor Indian parents. The plot moves quickly, and the book is easy to read.

I do have a small nitpick.  I really don't see schools being locked down for a terrorist attack hundreds of miles away.  Not a biggy, but seemed odd.  An added bonus is that this takes place in Illinois, which is where I'm located, so this will definitely appeal to my students. Actually, that might be why this ended up on my list.  Students of Indian heritage will be able to relate, and others will enjoy learning about Maya's situation and seeing it through their own eyes.  I'll be purchasing a copy for my library.

Published by Soho Teen, January 16, 2018
Copy obtained from the library
281 pages

Rating: 4/5

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  1. I'm really glad books like this are being published. I hope it continues.

  2. I have seen a couple reviews of this book and it looks like a good one. Onto the TBR list it goes!

  3. I've heard good things about this one and I like books that talk about people caught between cultures. I'm definitely going to read this one. Glad you enjoyed it!


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