Thursday, January 11, 2018

Love, Hate, & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

e-ARC, 288 pages
Release Date: January 16, 2018
Published by: Soho Teen
Read from: January 7-11, 2018
Source: Edelweiss (I received a copy of this book from the Edelweiss and the Publisher in exchange for a just and honest review. This did nothing to influence my review.) 
For fans of:  Contemporary, Romance, Serious/ Tough Issues, Diversity, Coming of Age, Debut Author, YA

     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.


   This wasn't on my schedule to read so soon, but I have been on this contemp kick lately and I think I made the right call in reading this one now. It had everything I wanted, romance, serious and pertinent issues, and characters that I loved!
"To me, you've always been the girl who knows the right answers. " "Funny, because I don't even know all the questions."
      According to her parents, Maya's life is all mapped out for her. She will go to a college close to home and will be paired off with a Muslim boy who her parents approve of. Unfortunately, this is not what's on Maya's list of things to do. She has much bigger plans that involve going to film school and being with someone of her choosing.
"I want to run away. But there is no place to go where I won't find myself."
      I had some pretty mixed feelings about the characters. At times I struggled with the main character, Maya. I just felt like she was being completely unreasonable about the things her parents were scared of. And how she handled it was completely out of line. Doing what she did was childish and out of line. But then there were also characters like Kareem and Violet who made everything worth it. I loved them and everything they did for Maya.
"It's not outside of you. It's a part of who you are, not an object you can film and capture in different kinds of light. It's love. If it wasn't real, it wouldn't hurt."
     I also loved the way Ahmed tackled the issue that arose in this book. I applaud her for going a different way than the norm. It was a welcome change than that I thought accurately depicted the world today. I hope this serves as an eye-opener to people who need this wake-up call.
"Violence has no place in religion, and the terrorists are responsible for their own crimes, not the religion, and not us. [...] Terrorists have thier own ideology."
     As for the romance, my ship sunk, but I called that from the beginning. After getting to know Maya I could tell it would happen. I just didn’t think the person who she ended up crushing on really deserved it. And because of that, it didn’t give me the warm fuzzies that it should’ve. Add on to the fact that it was extremely predictable (I called the ending at about 35% of the book) I was less than thrilled.
"Some love stories are tragedies- epics, spamming years, and built on dramatic irony, wars, Russian winters, and hours of film. Others are romantic comedies, a meet-cute ruined by mishaps and bad timing, finally leading to a kiss atop a tall building- the metropolis glimmering in the background, moon rising, love song playing over the credits. But other romances, like this one, are simply short-subkect documentaries- lacking traditional narratives and quippy dialogue."
     This is yet another #ownvoices book that I think should be added to a required reading list. This book has a bit of everything and I can’t wait for it to be out in the world. 
Overall, I give this

(Real rating 3.5)


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