No Filter and Other Lies

Holiday House. Feb. 2022. 336p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823447183.
Gr 9 Up–Seventeen-year-old aspiring photographer Kat Sanchez is addicted to Instagram and the validation it provides. After a drunken night of partying, Kat decides to create a new Instagram profile as “Max” using the pictures she has taken of her friend Becca. Max immediately begins receiving the attention Kat desperately craves. So what if it means lying to Becca about her pictures and lying to Elena, a girl she meets online and has a crush on who doesn’t realize that Kat and Max are the same person. When Elena meets and begins to like Kat in person as herself, and Max begins to ghost Elena online, the teen has to figure out a way to reveal what she has done without hurting the people she cares about. Kat’s closest friends are given enough depth that readers feel connected to them as much as to her. Kat is biracial, fat, and questioning her interest in girls while maintaining a “friends with benefits” relationship with her best guy friend Hari. There is family drama as Kat lives with her grandparents while her parents and brother live a few houses down in the same neighborhood. Family problems and lies eventually catch up with Kat as she tries to salvage various relationships. Realistic consequences make this a cautionary tale for anyone who thinks catfishing is a good idea.
VERDICT Coming of age isn’t easy; especially when you are pretending to be someone else. A first purchase for high school realistic fiction collections.

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