Title: Love, Hate and Other Filters
Author: Samira Ahmed
My Rating: 2/5 stars
Maya Aziz is an Indian-American teenager. She feels the pressure from her parents to meet a nice Muslim boy who will marry her. She feels the aggression from a good population of the world that assumes she’s a terrorist. And she feels torn between staying true to her culture and staying true to her heart.
Maybe I just need to take a break from contemporaries because I was having none of the romance in this book. I can’t decide if this is because I’ve grown tired of romance, or if the romance in this book was tired. It had similar vibes as When Dimple Met Rishi, but I’m surprised that I actually enjoyed Dimple more. The romance was much more authentic, believe it or not.
I had such a hard time connecting with any of these characters. I appreciated Maya’s humor but it seemed to be her only personality trait. That and crying. And it seems like with any story like this, they’re all the same. The Indian son/daughter wants to be a coder, an artist, a comedian, a filmmaker, and the Indian parents want them to become a doctor or a lawyer. There didn’t seem to be anything special about Maya and her situation.
And like with any story dealing with Indian culture, the character struggles between pursuing the good, Indian partner or someone less than ideal but someone they have a true connection with.
Love, Hate and Other Filters didn’t feel distinct enough to stand out among the hundreds of other stories like this one. I hoped this would be more like The Big Sick movie and less like When Dimple Met Rishi. I was disappointed on both fronts.
This book tried to deal with other social issues and racial tensions, but really, this was a love triangle through and through. And not a successful one at that.