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love hateMaya’s life is full of all the usual teenage stuff – figuring out who you are and what you want to do with your life, navigating changes in your family, friends, and romantic life, and dealing with jerks who range from stupid to mean to dangerous.  And she’s got some added challenges in her immigrant parents who want her to stay close to home for college (while she dreams of New York) and are already planning to marry her off to a suitable boy.  And she’s Muslim, too, in a predominantly white community, with some people who are quick to label people who are “different” terrorists.

Love, Hate & Other Filters diverges a bit from similar stories by adding a window into the mind of the terrorist who’s planning an attack which might upend Maya’s life.  His thoughts break into the flow of Maya’s busy life, poisoning the happiest moments a little, but doing it in a way that reminds us all of how fragile life and love really are.

There are many windows into lives here, and many reminders that whatever the choices in front of us, there’s a whole history spreading behind us, too.  Does it weigh us down so much that we can’t keep moving forward?  Do we let it change us, or do we choose to leave it behind?  Can we forge a different path?

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

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