I will go on record saying Love Hate & Other Filters is the best Muslim-authored YA book I have read so far. Samira’s introduction of a tough yet timely topic woven into a relatable coming of age high school story is riveting and epic. Her thoughtful, understated descriptions of an archetypal abused outcast seeking violent revenge on hundreds hit me to the core. I was thunderstruck with the unsuspecting terrorist at the end. Even I, a Muslim, gave in to stereotypes and believed it was a traditional racist attacker, but was reminded of the similar hopeless, fearful lifestyles that drive people of different backgrounds to these horrible roles.
Admittedly, I skipped this book at first because I assumed it was a shallow, ‘wannabe’ high school story of a POC trying to fit in with mainstream culture. There were actions of the main character, Maya, that I did not agree with, but I overlooked them because of the quality of storytelling, and her young age. Also, I thought it was a story I have heard before, living through 9/11 and prejudice myself, but it turns out it provides a perspective that is valuable.
I can’t recommend this book enough, and I think it deserves more accolades than it has received.