Before I begin, allow me to direct you to some reviews by Muslim reviewers because I think it’s important for you to see how Own Voices reviewers experienced this Own Voices novel. Fadwa’s post is here and she gave the book five stars and replicated the cover in the most brilliantly perfect way, which you can see here. In contrast, Ilsa did not love this book and talks a lot about how the Muslim representation is not her experience with her religion. If you read through the comments on Ilsa’s review, you can see several people also expressing unhappiness about the religious aspect of this book. If you’re looking for a video review, Saajid reviewed it here. He gave it four stars!
And now I’m going to tell you my feelings about this book, which for the record, I loved. Before you start reading this book, get some samosas or pakoras or dosas and have briyani in the oven/stove/take out order. Because for all the more serious topics this book covers, it is also a bit of a love letter to Indian culture, including its food. This was a struggle to get through, in the sense that not having Indian food to eat was physically painful. In every other way, this book was a great read.
In the vein that The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is balanced between levity and tackling police brutality and racism, Love, Hate, & Other Filters tackles Islamaphobia while truly focusing on what it’s like for Maya to start coming into her own. I would say that Love, Hate, & Other Filters is more light and fluffy in comparison though. I will also note that the romance in this book reminded me a little bit of the romance in Anna and the French Kiss, which many people dislike because of the issues surrounding the hero having a girlfriend while flirting with Anna.
I genuinely adored this book, but for some reason seem to be utterly incapable of writing this review. In the interest of getting this up before we’re halfway through February though, I’m going to go ahead and post this. I’ll try to do better with articulating my thoughts on February’s book of the month.