Review: Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed


Title: Love, Hate and Other Filters

Author: Samira Ahmed

Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Published: 16 January 2018

Publisher: Soho Teen

Seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and pursuing a boy she’s known from afarsince grade school.

But in the aftermath of a horrific crime perpetrated hundreds of miles away, her life is turned upside down. The community she’s known since birth becomes unrecognizable; neighbors and classmates are consumed with fear, bigotry, and hatred. Ultimately, Maya must find the strength within to determine where she truly belongs.


“But we all have secrets, hopes that stay locked deep inside, trapped by our fears of the world’s judgment.”



This is my first time reading a book where the character is a Muslim-American. I was hyped and excited because well, I am a Muslim too and maybe, I’ll get it. But unfortunately, I don’t, not for this book.😐 It is so far fetched from how the Muslims I see so far in my life. Well, maybe I just need to really understand it because Maya’s life is a mix of the American culture. And I know how opposite it is. For me, this book should be more about Indian-American because the Indian culture is more showing here. I like it, though.🤗 I get to know a lot more of Indian culture from this book. But saying this book as a Muslim representation… I don’t think so.🤔

Like I said, I was excited with this book but my feeling really turned nowhere. Especially the part about that one Muslim boy. Especially him (ain’t telling the name to avoid spoiler). I disagree the idea of him casually drinking alcohol and said it’s not like he eats pig.😳 Say whuuuut now? Boy, you’re still breaking the rule. It is strictly forbidden for Muslims to consume even alcohol. And pig, for sure. The way he says it is just same like someone poisoning a person to death and said “It’s not like I stab him with a knife.” …K, hun.

There. It’s still the same sin, with different ways of doing it. I’m really surprised that he still can say that. I’m just… not comfortable with it. 😐 I get it that not every Muslims follow all the rules and practice everything but since this book claimed of the ‘Muslim’ representation, I think we’re supposed to have good side of it. It’s totally different though if we want to make the characters rebellious who disobeys. But this one… it’s not it. 😕

It got me thinking throughout the book, “Is this how Muslims in America lives? So far from what we’re supposed to practice?” I’m so sad. 😔 I’m not that religious, but this is just too much for me. 😣 I’m disappointed. I think if non-Muslims read this and see it as fully of Muslim representation, they’re really going to see of what actually is not a Muslim life. Not of what I see in my daily life especially in where I live.

Other than that, I’m not really feeling the writing. Maybe because I’m not good at metaphors or English at all, for that matter as it confuses me a lot.⁉️ I sometimes found myself lost.😵 I get the sarcasms but I’m not feeling it. It just feels off to me. It feels forced.😐 Also, I believe that piece of a part before every chapters should be something pretty, I guess? Maybe like literary thing? But unfortunately, I can’t dive into the words and it just confused me more.☹️

Okay, despite everything that I’m not very happy with, I like the parts of the Islamophobia.😊 It’s the only part I like as it present the concept of the book. The author really did a great job at this.👍🏼👏🏼 For someone who never experienced this thing in real life, I, in some way get to know how ones experience it. And so is the attack. I feel terribly guilty for those of my Muslim friends who went through things like this. It’s not fair. 😔

Last but not least, this book fall into the cliché love trope.💝 I admit Phil is kind of sweet and romantic. But I’m not really invested in the romance. The romance is just… took me off guard.🙃 As we have a Muslim character (oh here we go again dragging the religion thing. Oh yeah, of course) I thought maybe they won’t be any kissing, skin to skin or whatever that thing is but other than that, it is not what i expected.😦 I know you’re saying “So what? Just because you’re Muslim you can’t do this things? But it’s romance! It’s what couples do. It’s sweet! Come on, you old lady!” Yeah, I know.☺️ But truthfully and honestly, we aren’t supposed to do it. Not before we get married. Maybe you see other Muslim couples do this in real life too. Well, I’ve seen it too.

I believe they know what they’re doing and they know the consequences. It’s just… the thing with ‘relationship goals’ really getting over everyone nowadays that it doesn’t matter what God forbid anymore.😞 Believe me, friends, this topic is actually sensitive and I’m really looking for trouble talking about this. But I’ll take whatever you’re going to throw at me. I just want to clear everyone about the truth that lies beneath the trend of the society.😊💖

If you want to read a book about Islam and Muslims, this isn’t it…. chief. I can recommend you a good book with a Muslim representation. ☪️ But this is not it. I’m sorry. I don’t hate this book, though. It’s an okay read, but minus the Muslim things.😄🌹


Want to read this book?

Amazon   |   Goodreads


If you have read this book, what do you think about it? Let me know in the comment! 🌷✨

3 thoughts on “Review: Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

  1. Thank you for this review! Your thoughts are totally valid, and I’m sorry that this book didn’t work out for you, especially since it was the first book you’ve read featuring a Muslim-American. :c
    If you would like any recommendations of books featuring Muslim-American characters, I think I have some!


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