Love, Hate & Other Filters written by Samira Ahmed centres on a seventeen year old High School girl named Maya, who has a dream of becoming a Filmmaker and being the first Indian Muslim, Muslim Indian (face palms) to win an Oscar. With that said, Maya is Indian, Muslim and lives in America with her parents who are not thrilled about her becoming a Filmmaker. They want their baby girl to become a Lawyer (borrring). Sorry, my dear Lawyers (smiles weirdly).
I like that this novel is not the regular teenage high school novel where the main character is a nerd who gets bullied by the popular girl in school that we may find out used to be the nerd girl’s friend and they’ve somehow become arch enemies. And then the main character that is a nerd and an outcast is in love with the most popular guy in school who might be the popular girl’s boyfriend yadda yadda yadda. OK, this novel does have a little of these but not in the cliché way.
Yes, she is bullied in school, but not by the popular mean girl, mean popular girl (dang it!). In this novel, the main character is bullied by a guy who hates her because she is Indian and a Muslim (not cool). And yes, she likes the most popular guy in her school but, there is also another guy in the picture too. Ho! Drama, right? Maybe not as much drama as you’d expect but, it’s not in my place to tell.
The novel treats issues like terrorism, insecurity, Islamophobia, making hard decisions and clinging unto your dreams even when the people you love see your dream as stupid or just a hobby that should remain that, a hobby.
This is one of those novels I’ll love to be made into a movie. I feel like it would be much better when turned into a movie as I was picturing it as that the whole time I was reading it.
PS: if it is to be made into a movie, Alia Bhatt should be cast as Maya, Avan Jogia should be cast as Kareem and Noah Centieno should be cast as Phil. What an interesting watch it will be.
I will rate this book an 8.5/10.
If you’ve not read this novel, do read it and add it to your list of books you’ve read.