Maya Aziz sees the world through the lens of a camera. She thinks about her life in constructed angles, impeccable lighting, and the perfect soundtrack for a memorable and moving scene. Unfortunately, real life doesn't always comply with her vision. She'd love to leave the Midwest and go to film school in New York, but her parents want her to stay local and study something practical. She has had a crush on ** forever, but her parents want her to date an Indian boy, preferably one who is Muslim like her. She's navigating the life of a conflicted teenager, caught between two cultures and varying expectations. All of that would be hard enough, but then an Islamic-focused hate crime gives Maya and her family an entirely new set of worries.
Why It's Worth Reading:
This book almost reads like two related stories - the initial plot of Maya's daily challenges captures the daily reality that many multicultural teenagers, including many at Novi, face. It's incredibly challenging to find a happy balance between American culture and heritage traditions, particularly with significant pressure from parents who are more connected to their native culture. After the terrorist attack occurs midway through the novel, much of Maya's focus shifts to an arguably greater cultural challenge - fighting against stereotypes that others force upon her due to race, religion or ethnicity. While the transition between the two sections feels a bit rushed and clunky, it seems that the adjustment to relatively new racism and Islamophobia that Maya faces would feel very abrupt as well. The bottom line is that both components of this novel convey welcome and much needed perspectives in YA literature, and are put together in a quick, interesting novel that will be difficult for readers to put down.
Title: Love, Hate and Other Filters
Author: Samire Ahmed
Publisher: Soho Teen
Publication Date: January 16, 2018
Awards/Accolades: 4 starred reviews in just a month!
Do We Own a Copy?: 2 copies