Time for a new blog series featuring my favorite things related to some of my recent reads!
Warning: While I won’t reveal any major spoilers, some of the details I list could be considered minor spoilers.
First up is Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed. Samira’s debut has been getting tons of attention since its highly-anticipated release in January, and it deserves every bit. It starts off as a sweet/fluffy YA contemporary about Maya, an Indian-American Muslim teenager caught between her dreams and her parents’ overbearing expectations while also juggling the onset of a love triangle.
Then an attack ignites a storm of Islamophobia that affects Maya and her family, and everything changes.
It’s jarring. It’s relatable. Maya’s voice is genuine and honest, and I truly enjoyed getting to know her.
Five things I love:
- Maya is an #ownvoices character, and that comes through in the narrative. She’s so authentic. The #ownvoices movement is bringing attention to some brilliant and very deserving voices in YA fiction, and LH&OF is a great example of that.
- Maya’s use of her video camera as a shield between her and the rest of the world. “The camera gave me distance and something to hide behind.” SO RELATABLE. I often feel like I need a shield too, and I’d definitely need one in the sort of boisterous family wedding scenario Maya describes.
- Speaking of weddings, the book opens with a an Indian-American wedding that’s just… SOMEONE ADAPT THIS BOOK INTO A MOVIE RIGHT NOW JUST SO I CAN BE DAZZLED BY ALL THE COLORS IN THIS SCENE PLEASE. It’s so vivid and gorgeous and I can’t even.
- Hina, Maya’s aunt. I adored her! I’m a bit of a sucker for cool aunties (Natalie has one in MAMMOTH, too), so I was already biased. Hina is so awesome and supportive, and her refusal to follow tradition gives Maya a more balanced perspective:
- The fact that Phil remembers the barfi story from when he and Maya were seven years old. Come on, how cute was that?? ❤
Those were my top five, but there’s plenty more to love about Love, Hate & Other Filters!