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

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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.

- Shae-Lynn

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