Book Review: Love, Hate And Other Filters By Samira Ahmed

Book Details

Title: Love, Hate And Other Filters

Writer: Samira Ahmed

Amazon: Buy here

Author Profile

Samira Ahmed was born in Bombay, India, and grew up in a small town in Illinois in a house that smelled like fried onions, cardamom, and potpourri. A graduate of the University of Chicago, she taught high school English, helped create dozens of small high schools, and fought to secure billions of additional dollars to fairly fund public schools. She’s lived in Vermont, Chicago, New York City, and Kauai, where she spent a year searching for the perfect mango.

Synopsis

A romantic and relevant debut about Islamophobia and how it affects the normal life of a teenage girl. Maya Aziz dreams of being a film maker in New York. Her family have other ideas. They want her to be a dutiful daughter who wears gold jewellery and high heels and trains to be a doctor. But jewellery and heels are so uncomfortable . . . She’s also caught between the guy she SHOULD like and the guy she DOES like.

Non Review Rant

I review from a personal point of view. You will see my thoughts and feelings woven into the review. If you like only a summary of the book, then this review may not be as helpful. If you prefer a personal touch, please read on. Thank you!

Plot & Review

Plot

The story starts with a wedding. The wedding itself sounded a bit Indian. Maya’s comment about her cousin being a kiss-ass, seemed random because the said cousin has no further appearances. I guess we all have some characters we want to put in our story (and kill them). Eheheh.

I don’t get why she talks to her parents the way she does – rude. If parents are conservative, the kids can’t really talk that way. They are scared of their parents. She continues to talk that way even wlafter their clinic is vandalized. I mean, they have just been through some shitty experience. I expected her to behave differently.
Except for the name, nothing was Muslim. If it was under a Hindu protagonist, it may have made more sense.

The Kareem fellow is perfect match for Maya. He is Muslim, he is older, he is good looking, he likes her. Their 3 kisses on first date was a bit of a shock. Maya kisses him and enjoys it. Yet, she wants to be kissed by Phil. She does kiss Phil.

Kareem and Maya decide to stay friends. That’s commendable. They declare that Kareem looks at Maya as a sister (and that they kissed, yuck).

I think it should have been left to ‘we are good friends’. Kareem goes back to (sleeping with?) his old flame Suraya. People move on pretty quick in this book.

Review

I have not tagged it as “Muslim protagonist” because I use the tag when the the main character is Muslim and the plot contains elements that MC demonstrates Islamic values.

I felt like the characters was given a Muslim background so the terrorism and hate crimes against them could be justified.

I have a list of things that I want to point out but I just woke up – yep, 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning. I will get to it.

Some Urdu words are spelled wrongly. I mean…

The best character is that of Violet – a true and faithful friend.

Why does the whole Brian incident happen in first place? Are they in a public place or a cave where only the Brian, his two accomplices have cornered the damsel in distress Maya? Phil saves her, of course.

Talking about Phil, you gotta man up, buddy. Just tell Maya that you like her. Just tell Lisa that it is over.

I find the dressing style a bit too non- Muslim-y. But maybe that’s me.

Verdict:

I am not impressed. But if you like a young adult romance book, you may like this book.

Shabana Mukhtar


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