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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Love, Hate and Other Filters

1. Maya begins her story with the phrase, "Destiny sucks." What do you think she means, and why does she start her story this way?

2. Maya tells Phil that she doesn't know how to be a good daughter while at the same time chasing after her own dreams. Why does she feel that these things are at odds? Does she change her mind over the course of the book?

3. Maya's story is told in the first-person POV, and the intercalary story is told from the third-person POV. Why do you think the author made that choice? How did that influence the way you related to the two narratives?

4. Why does Phil feel responsible for Brian's actions? What, if anything, could he have done differently that might have changed the outcome? What does this say about the broader theme of how events outside of our control affect us?

5. When we first meet Kareem, he is a possible love interest for Maya, but he transforms into something different. Why do you think Kareem still holds an important place in Maya's life?

6. Do you think that Maya is right to lie to her parents? Is there a difference between a protective lie and a self-serving lie?

7. Maya is a Muslim from an immigrant family. Even if you aren't from the same background as Maya, how could you relate to her struggles and dreams? What about her experiences felt familiar?

8. Consider the title LOVE, HATE AND OTHER FILTERS. How does Maya use filters in her daily life? How do the other characters use filters? What filters do you use?

9. Maya inhabits a variety of different worlds. How are they at odds with one another? What (if anything) brings them together? Should they be brought together?

10. What is the significance of the Whitman poem in the last intercalary chapter? What values/ideas in the poem are reflected in Maya's choices? Why would this poem have had meaning to the bomber?

Love, Hate and Other Filters
by Samira Ahmed