Love, Hate & Other Filtersby Published 16 Jan 2018
|Love, Hate & Other Filters.pdf|
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.
American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and maybe (just maybe) pursuing a boy she’s known from afar since grade school, a boy who’s finally falling into her orbit at school.
There’s also the real world, beyond Maya’s control. In the aftermath of a horrific crime perpetrated hundreds of miles away, her life is turned upside down. The community she’s known since birth becomes unrecognizable; neighbors and classmates alike are consumed with fear, bigotry, and hatred. Ultimately, Maya must find the strength within to determine where she truly belongs.
"Love, Hate & Other Filters" Reviews
So in case you didn't know, I am Muslim Teen. This book features a Muslim Teen main character.
IM PRETTY SURE YOU CAN HEAR MY SQUEALING ALL THE WAY OUT ON JUPITER for those who live there. Let's make this clear, I've never read a YA book with a Muslim main character. And that's partly because there is actually so little of them and that's a problem!
So when this sweet little book arrived from the publishers in the mail a few weeks ago I couldn't contain my excitement because 1) MY FIRST PHYSICAL ARC and 2) A MUSLIM MAIN CHARACTER. I REPEAT. A MUSLIM MAIN CHARACTER. AGAHAH, it was so impossible and surreal for me to finally, hopefully see myself in a book.
And then from there, when I opened up this book, a lot of feelings came through. Some happy, and some gutted and some angry.
+Maya gives me mixed feelings
On the one hand, Maya is honestly really sweet; she absolutely loves making movies and has this major crush on Phil, a guy in her class. And she's so rootable and likeable. I could connect with her over the course of the book, understanding her motives and sympathising with her a lot. She was real and very well developed!
On the other hand, I feel like Maya a lot of the time was a lovesick puppy.I mean the beginning, the insta love was making me sick. And the cute fluff. It's not the book, it's mostly me because I honestly can't stand cute texts and blushing. Not to mention, Maya is the queen of blushing. She's just crushing on Phil all the time and obsessing over him and it was boring Sorry. It was.
Maya has an Indian background and while I am not Indian, a lot of the food mentioned like samosas and Tandoori Chicken were mouth-watering in a familiar way. YAS. It was so great to see the lovely food part of culture being shown in this book and just added an extra level of depth to the book BECUASE REALISTIC. I eat this food too. I want to eat this food right now. But I mean there's also a lot of cake sharing between Phil and Maya which warms my heart.
+So, let's talk about the romance.
And here comes the part WHERE I AM SO TORN. So we have Kareem and to me, that was total insta love. I did not ship it and I am glad Maya cut ties with him before anything really developed. And then we have Phil, who is Maya's all-time crush, and that is not insta love. It's developed and I admit, very fluffy. I shipped it and sometimes I thought this book focused to much on the romance.
But my problem with this is not about the way the romance was developed. It was about the whole controversy of "Muslims girls dating". And In a contemporary with a Muslim MC, I was hoping this was going to be tackled in some way. But No. Maya just says "I know how to sneak out". But really? She doesn't struggle with wanting a relationship with Phil but also wanting to please her parents. I mean sure she jokes about her parents are not okay with it. But she never feels one ounce of guilt or regret about Phil, concerning her parents and her religion.
Also I was kinda uninvested in the romance. IT WAS SO FLUFFY. Me? Do I like fluff? HAHAHHA I HATE FLUFF. And while there were so many important serious issues discussed so much of it was ROMANCE and SQUISH at which I couldn't take it. Plus in the epilogue, SHE MENTIONS ANOTHER DUDE?!?!??! LIKE DUDE WHAT THE HECK. You develop a WHOLE romance with Phil and...ditch it? WTF?
+ And MY OWN PERSONAL thoughts on the Muslim Rep.
There was a lot of "culture" in this book but for me, religion is a struggle. There are ups and downs. But for Maya, there was none of that. She never mentions her beliefs in God like things like whether believes in Him or not. She never even talks about her religion, well at least not much. And this is an #ownvoices book so I'm not undermining anyone's experiences. But for me, religion plays a huge part in my life. I think about it. But Maya NEVER thinks of God in her life. At. All. It's like her religion is simply just a label.
Look, everyone has their own relationships with their religion, and I'm not questioning that. But if I hadn't been told Maya was Muslim, apart from the terrorist attack and the mention of the Qu'ran from her parents, I wouldn't have known. That's because I never see Maya pray, or think of God, or think of the Qu'ran and struggle with her beliefs or do anything, to show she is a Muslim. And this is a hefty topic because belief is in the heart. But this was 1st person, i wanted to something to relate to. Anything. BUt really Maya only struggles with her Indian culture and not her religion. It's like, WHERE IS ANY SINGLE PART OF HER MUSLIM IDENTITY?!!?! Where are those part fo her, those Muslim parts of her? I DONT SEE IT ANYWHERE.
And i'm not expecting a perfect Muslim who prays 5 times a day but there was LITERALLY NOTHING to show she was Muslim. And for a Muslim reader, that's difficult. Becuase I was looking for Muslim rep. Instead, I got Indian rep which is great but a massive seller of this to me was the Muslim representation.
Another example is when at one point, Kaleem drinks wine and Maya is dumbstruck. And he's just like "Yeah my parents know. NO BIGGIE" ANd see what I mean? Religion is totally discarded here. And then he jokes "No need to be shocked, Maya. it's not like I'm eating pork.". WHAT NO?? You are not allowed to eat pork, same with drinking Wine. One is not worse than the other. ANd the problem here is that if someone wanted to know whether Muslims were allowed to drink and read this book, they'd probably think the whole Wine being forbidden was a joke. And Islam is not a joke.
+I definitely could relate to the Islamaphobia though.
She got a lot of hate from Brian which was horribly relatable. And people called her terrorist and things like that and again, shockingly familiar to me. It showed the horrors of hate crime and how "terrorism has no religion" as Maya's dad amazingly said.
I'm scared. I'm not just scared that somehow I'll be next; it's a quieter fear and more insidious. I'm scared of the next Muslim ban. I'm scared of dad getting pulled into Secondary Security Screening at the airport for "random" questioning. I'm scared for the hijabi girls I know getting their scarves pulled off while they're walking down the sidewalk––or worse. I'm scared of being the object of fear and loathing and suspicion again. Always
+AND CAN WE PLEASE HAVE BETTER PORTRAYAL OF MUSLIM PARENTS?!!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!??!?!?
I want to freak tear something or punch something right now. Most of the book, we had an amazing portrayal of the parents but realistic as well. But there were parts that irked me. Like the mum fell into every stereotype EVER. "You need to get married", "You need to find a sensible man". And I don't want people to see Muslim parents potrayed like that. And now it's just showing that's all Indian/Muslim parents think about. Marriage.
And frick, that may be true in some cases. But I really want to see supportive mothers and fathers who don't even care if their daughters get married. Like my mum cares ABOUT OTHER THINGS ABOUT ME. Like all Maya's mum cares about is if 1)Maya gets married and 2) if Maya seats properly. Now, the second one is relatable but the first?!!? Your mum should care about your hobbies, your interests not just if you are going to freaking get married. It annoyed me.
I mean it sure was relatable when Maya's mum kept reminding Maya to "eat food" and when Maya says that you are "either too skinny or too chubby" BECAUSE YES I AM HERE WITH YOU MAYA. But [spoilers removed]
+ The Supporting Cast is perfect
VIOLET.I wanted Violet to have more of a part of the story but she was always there for Maya and she literally stood up for herself and Maya so many times. I love amazing female friendships like this
Phil is a pure sweet cinnamon roll and I love him. He had his own struggles and he suffered and he's literally the best romantic bean ever.And Kaleem? He backed off after a while and was such a great friend of Maya despite everything. THANK YOU.
The honest, pure, kind, HINA had me cheering. Hina is not married and she's a graphic designer and literally my favourite. OMG, WHY CAN WE NOT FOCUS ON HER MORE?! Please give me a whole book on Hina, thanks. She is marvellously great and breaks all stereotypes which are honestly so refreshing to see! AGH Hina supports Maya through everything and it honestly made me smile.
+What I actually thought of the story? It was crap. NOT COMPLETELY AND UTTERLy. It was an important story but in my ARC copy? It really wasn't something to marvel at. I had no idea what the terrorist POVs were talking about and they were so unnecessary and what the story itself is just filled with so much romance...I can't even anymore. I don't like romance books and that's literally what it was. I don't know I'm changing this because there's nothing memorable about this book, the characters aren't developed enough and while it's sweet and impacting it just didn't pack anything I just don't see why this is five stars for people? It really wasn't that good.
I finished this in a matter of hours because the writing was quick so...that's something?
My father picks up where my mother leaves off. "These terrorists are the antithesis of Islam. They're not Muslim. Violence has no place in religion, and the terrorists are responsible for their own crimes, not the religion and not us."
See look, the Muslim struggles concerning society ARE THERE. But the actual belief and religions and teachings? ZILCH.
Anyways, the Muslim rep is just me! Other Muslims may think it was great. I did not...really. Still a roller coaster of a book I guess
This was basically a 50/50 split between fluffy romance feels and a very personal look at racism and hate crimes. I think it was a great balance because it full on tackles some heavy topics, plus it's an #ownvoices author and I think it's amazing and needed! My only problem was honestly the romance...it just didn't work for me on any level lmao but remember I am basically an unfeeling bucket.
I know this book is super important to a lot of people!! I'm really happy it exists!!
+ I have mixed feelings about Maya.
On one hand she's really into filming and being independent and following her dreams (GO WOMAN) and references a ton of movies that I recognise about 0%. A lot of them were old?? I mean, I recognised Casablanca but only the title. I READ, OK??? ALL I DO IS READ. But Maya was also very rude to her parents. I get it. They were smothering her with old ideals and wanting her to be a traditional Good Indian Daughter and Get Married To a Sensible Man and Become A Doctor Or Lawyer ASAP. I get Maya's struggle, but I guess that it's just when they were being super loving/caring of her, she was still always angry at them.
+ So much Indian culture!
I loved reading this and the writing really utilised the five senses and all the foodie scenes? NICE. I was surprised that this book is pitched heavily as being about a Muslim Indian teen, but honestly Maya doesn't talk/act on her religion much.
Ah hahhaa. I mean, it's just VERY romance focused so if you love that!! Then this!! is for you!! But I struggled with how much Maya's happiness depended on her boy(s) and I literally have no idea what she and Phil even had in common. But they had a cRUSH. And that is all that matters when you are 17. There's also a bit of a love-triangle for a while. [spoilers removed]
+ Anyway, it was short and sweet and really delved into the ripple-effect of how racism affects individual lives.
Maya's life is massively threaten after a terrorist attack, with just the hate of white supremists. So even if the attack didn't physically touch her, it had a huge affect on her life and how she was treated, and that's definitely something that should be written about.
An important dialogue, but just the romances felt shallow and splashed everywhere and that's not really my thing.
Gosh, I don’t know where to begin. I already know this book will be on my top books of 2018. I feel like this is one of those books that has changed how I see the world a little bit. That taught me things.
I fell in love with Maya’s character immediately. I wanted to be her best friend. I wanted to stand by her side through everything she went through. The writing was perfect and in every sentence I could feel that this was the story of Samira Ahmed’s heart. I’m so grateful that she shared this story with the world. I will buy any work this author publishes in the future - she’s fantastic!
This is such an important book, and I hope it gets the love it deserves. Similar in importance to The Hate U Give, I hope this book stays on the NYT list for as long as it can, and that people continue to pick it up. I can’t recommend it enough.
First and foremost, this book is exquisitely authored. Beautiful, not in a flowery, colorful sort of way; but rather in a raw, natural, simple-yet-stunning kind of way. And so, a snap-shot of Maya’s senior year: dating, spring break, planning for college…as an Indian Muslim American…would be wholly satisfying, entirely engaging and enlightening. But it would only scratch the surface. With a wide lens, Ms. Ahmed provides perspective; contrived categories soften into truer compilations.
To most of Maya’s peers, her parents are almost unreasonably strict. Maya may secretly agree, but at least they “aren’t exactly the fire-and-brimstone types”. Aware of her family’s (limited) leniencies, Maya is surprised when Kareem, a desi Muslim, has a glass of wine. But, as he points out, “…it’s not like I eat pork.” More importantly, he is not a white American boy. Like Philip.
And so, the scene is set.
But, a somber tone seeps through. Snippets of seething anger and frustration simmer to a frenzied, desperate desire for revenge. Building tension becomes tangible. An explosion is imminent.
The inundation of information immediately following a blow-up is, unfortunately, often inaccurate and incomplete. Even more egregious, these initial errors are what people tend to remember. By the time facts have been collected and the whole, true story can be told; no one is there to listen. Life goes on, public perception remains unchanged.
Except for the person presumed guilty. And his family. Or everyone with his last name.
Love, Hate and Other Filters is the rest of the story and it is relatable and relevant.
We follow Maya who is an aspiring filmmaker who dreams of attending NYU fall short because her parents are afraid of her being away from home.
Maya is a Indian American Muslim teen and loves her country. Then one day an attack happens in another state and the person responsible shares the last name as Maya, only it wasn't her family.
This book touches on so many important subjects. On what it's like to be a Indian American Muslim teen living in a country that is full of people that hate her and her religion. It touches on family life and the importance of family & so many more things.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. Maya was a strong character and had strong beliefs and stood up for what was right. I loved reading about her dreams to become a filmmaker. There is also a super sweet romance in this book as well.
Maya often feels like she doesn't belong in this book and it was amazing watching her progress throughout the book until the end when she felt like she finally was somewhere she was meant to be.