This one surprised me a little bit even though the summary gives you a hint that things are going to get real pretty quickly. We start out following Maya as she struggles through fairly typical 'about to graduate high school' problems. She's secretly applied to another university, far from her traditional Indian parents, for film studies, and has a crush on seemingly unavailable guy at school while at the same time her parents are trying to find her a respectable boy for her to marry after university - which of course will be very nearby.
At first it's kind of a romance and then when a terrible event occurs and Maya has to face the ugly side of being Muslim in the US; it gets dark pretty quick. Even the end I did not see coming - the epilogue was a nice balm but dang.
The thing that really sort makes me a bit 'hmm' about the whole thing is just steep the turn was from fun romance/teen book into 'wow we're in it now' territory. Without the event happening it probably would have come to this less violently but I was having a lot of trouble reconciling how Maya and her parents were interacting with one another before everything went crazy. I'm sure others reading this may have something more meaningful to say on that subject and may identify more with what happens and the feelings and specific situations involved.
This is a good addition to diverse YA and is worth a peek if only for someone to talk it out with me because wow
Great read! I liked that I was reading about a world that was familiar (hasn't everyone has been a teenager and disagreed with their parents?) and yet very different at the same time!
This is an important addition to the diverse voices in YA literature. The voice belongs to Maya, an Indian-American Muslim high school senior. She lives in a largely white suburban community and, initially, Maya does not deal with the effects of abject discrimination in her her every day life. The beginning of the book instead shows Maya's struggle with breaking from her family traditions to pursue a more independent life - her family attempts to set her up with a Muslim man while she is actually interested in a white classmate, for example. Weaved into the coming-of- age narrative is the voice of a terrorist who is plotting an attack on a location near Maya's hometown. The attack brings to light the fears of those around her and it is this fear and hatred that darkens Maya's otherwise normal life of falling in love, navigating friendship, and applying for college. This book is definitely worth reading, however I wished that the events seemed more authentic and not quite so "plucked from the headlines", while Maya's story contain more depth and perhaps even more grittiness.
The story was okay but rather superficial. Her troubles revolve mainly around such things as which expensive college she gets to go to and whether a particular boy will like her. Still, there is some meaningful parts about racial profiling and how first generation Muslims are effected by fear of terrorist threats in America.
Join Maya as she falls in love, deals with the fall out of Islamophobia and learns to advocate for her dreams despite the more traditional expectations of her Muslim-immigrant parents. Excellent read, entertaining and thought-provoking. A YA title which I believe should be required reading for all highschools.
A solid addition to Muslim American YA fiction; the suspense from the interspersed narratives related to the terrorist attack keep the book moving on a larger scale while the main story works through Maya's own personal journey.
This is Maya’s story, a girl who is expected to be the good Indian girl, marry the person of her parents’ choice and attend the college which her parents want her to. Yet she wants to pursue her dreams and marry the person she wants to. She wants to be independent- she wants to keep her roots, but do something different as well. But her parents are old school and it isn’t going to be easy for Maya to convince them to open their mind a little. I like the honest narration of this book; the author doesn’t try to sugarcoat any of the difficulties minorities face in a foreign country. Something that could have been changed is that it is going to be a bit hard for someone who is not a minority to connect with this book. Minorities have faced these difficulties so they know how it feels, but for someone who hasn’t, it will be hard to imagine this. The mood of the book isn’t all serious or emotional, it has its fun parts. There is not foreshadowing as the reader doesn’t know until the end what happens. With all the hate crime and racism going on, it’s really important for the world to have a Muslim point of view. Not everyone that belongs to the same group can be described as being good or evil. Not every Muslim is a terrorist, there are some good people in that religion. They all may share the same religion, but their views, values, and beliefs are different. We cannot put someone in a certain category just because of their religion. This book really helps us understand that. I would highly recommend this book for everyone as it really gives us the perspective the world desperately needs right now!
- Manraaj Kaur Grewal
Love Hate and Other Filters is a coming-of-age story about a teenager named Maya Aziz who is an aspiring filmmaker, but is struggling to accept the expectations her parents are placing on her, like going to a local college and finding a suitable love interest.
One thing that I enjoyed about this book was the Muslim representation in this story. YA books are not always written with diverse characters, so I’m glad that we are starting to get more representation of various cultures and communities. This book also discusses an issue that is prevalent in our society today: Islamophobia. Islamophobia and other issues are not always talked about in the YA/teen genre, so I admire that this book didn’t shy away from tackling a difficult and important topic that teens should be exposed to.
At times, I was irritated by Maya, as she was somewhat portrayed as the typical “angsty teenager,” sneaking out of her house and running away from home. I also think this book focused way too much on the romance aspect instead of the main character facing the actual problems within the story. The love triangle and instant love clichés overshadowed what the book was really about.
Overall, I thought there were both pros and cons to this book, but most of all I enjoyed how the relevancy of this story pertains to our world while also teaching a valuable lesson of acceptance and the importance of being kind to one another.
So wonderful! The main character, Maya, is super likable; She's smart, driven, a little sarcastic, and a really believable balance between confident and insecure as she deals with first romances, negotiating her parents' expectations, and eventually some darker struggles with Islamophobia. The latter is handled well, and it's probably at least partially due to the fact that it's an #ownvoices book that's by and about an Indian American Muslim woman (but also because Samira Ahmed is just a really good writer). That being said, though, it's not all serious- it manages to balance the different aspects of the story really well from the the big events to the low-key everyday stuff to the frankly adorable romance.
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