February 25, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed | SLJ Review

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redstarAHMED, Samira. Love, Hate & Other Filters. 288p. Soho Teen. Jan. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781616958473. POP

Gr 9 Up –Maya Aziz should be on top of the world. She got accepted into film school at NYU, and the cute boy she has been spending time with seems to be into her. The only problem is, she’s been hiding all of this from her loving but very traditional Indian American parents. They have already chosen a local college for her to attend and introduced her to a nice Muslim boy who is (eventual) marriage material. As she builds up courage to tell them the truth, a terrorist attack takes place nearby, and one of the suspects shares the same last name as Maya’s family. They are suddenly the targets of suspicion, fear, and intimidation in their own community. Maya is singled out by an unhinged student at her school, and when his harassment escalates to violence, not only is she physically hurt, but all of the ground she gained with her parents is lost as their protective instincts go into overdrive. Maya’s voice is pitch-perfect; funny, warm, and perfectly teenaged in its bouncing focus—she is afraid for herself and her family, crushed by the hatred she is facing in her community, scared of disappointing her parents—but she also really wants to go to film school and is really falling in love. Sweet and smart with a realistic but hopeful ending, this novel is a great examination of how hatred and fear affects both communities, and individual lives. VERDICT Recommended for all libraries serving teens.–Beth McIntyre, Madison Public Library, WI

This review was published in the School Library Journal November 2017 issue.

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