Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was overall not bad. I just feel it was poorly marketed. The overview/bio thingy makes this novel seem like it focuses mostly on Islamophobia similar in genre to the Hate U Give, however this is not the case. It seemed more like a rom-com to me with bits of information on muslim culture mixed in. It was as if the romance was the first genre and the overcoming racism part (is that what you would call it?) was the sub-genre. Maybe I just read it differently then it was intended to be read, but I just feel that readers don’t get what they expected. Ignoring all that though, the book was adorable. I really liked how cute Phil and Maya were together; although I believe calling the main male character Phil was not the best choice. Also, I liked how into film-making Maya was and how she was ready to give up everything for it, but she didn’t seem to have many other hobbies other than obsessing over Phil and hanging out with Violet. Something else that kind of irked me in this book was how protective Phil was and how little Maya was able to actually stand up for herself. He was the perfect shining knight and she just went along with that. I feel like this really made me a little annoyed with her character, although I understand a little why she wasn’t able to come to her own rescue in the Brian-Theme park scene what with fracturing her arm and cracking a few ribs. I was also very weirded out with how Maya’s parents acted when she said she was going to go to NYU no matter what. Is that really how it is in Indian families? I’ve been to India before and I know about all the arranged marriages and family pressure but is it really like you are dead to them if you disobey? That’s almost kind of scary! Overall though this was a nice read. I liked how supportive Violet was during the entire book; we need more people like her in the world. I also like how awesome Hina was, and Kareem’s relationship with Maya was something that really needs to exist in real life. There needs to be more boy-girl relationships that aren’t just people dating each other; (I was a little mad that Kareem blew Maya off when she needed him to go hang with his girlfriend though). Altogether, I really liked this book and it was nice to read something that was cute and easy for a change.