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Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira AhmedLove, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 16th January 2018
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Maya Aziz is torn between futures: the one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter (i.e.; staying nearby in Chicago and being matched with a "suitable" Muslim boy), and the one where she goes to film school in New York City--and maybe, just maybe, kisses a guy she's only known from afar. There's the also the fun stuff, like laughing with her best friend Violet, making on-the-spot documentaries, sneaking away for private swimming lessons at a secret pond in the woods. But her world is shattered when a suicide bomber strikes in the American heartland; by chance, he shares Maya's last name. What happens to the one Muslim family in town when their community is suddenly consumed with hatred and fear?

For such a short book, Love, Hate & Other Filters packs quite a punch. It tackles Islamophobia, identity struggles, first love, and so much more.

It took me no time at all to get sucked into this book and fall in love with Maya. She’s such a great main character and I loved following her on her journey as she tried to be a Muslim, and an Indian, and an American, and a teenager.

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The Savages by Matt Whyman

The Savages by Matt WhymanThe Savages by Matt Whyman
Genre: Horror
Release Date: March 6, 2014
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

They'd love to have you for dinner . . .

Sasha Savage is in love with Jack - a handsome, charming ... vegetarian. Which wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the fact that Sasha's family are very much 'carnivorous'. Behind the family facade all is not as it seems. Sasha's father rules his clan with an iron fist and her mother's culinary skills are getting more adventurous by the day. When a too-curious private detective starts to dig for truths, the tight-knit family starts to unravel - as does their sinister taste in human beings . . .

With the popularity of the show Hannibal, are publishers going to release more and more stories about cannibals? I hope so. I do love a good, creepy story, even if it does make me feel physically sick.

I have mixed feelings about The Savages. On the one hand, I thought it was a funny story, and was intrigued by it. On the other, I was disgusted by the family. Am I supposed to like them? Or maybe I’m meant to be conflicted.

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Say Her Name by James Dawson

Say Her Name by James DawsonSay Her Name by James Dawson
Genre: Horror
Release Date: June 5, 2014
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Roberta 'Bobbie' Rowe is not the kind of person who believes in ghosts. A Halloween dare at her ridiculously spooky boarding school is no big deal, especially when her best friend Naya and cute local boy Caine agree to join in too. They are ordered to summon the legendary ghost of 'Bloody Mary': say her name five times in front of a candlelit mirror, and she shall appear... But, surprise surprise, nothing happens. Or does it?

Next morning, Bobbie finds a message on her bathroom mirror... five days... but what does it mean? And who left it there? Things get increasingly weird and more terrifying for Bobbie and Naya, until it becomes all too clear that Bloody Mary was indeed called from the afterlife that night, and she is definitely not a friendly ghost. Bobbie, Naya and Caine are now in a race against time before their five days are up and Mary comes for them, as she has come for countless others before... A truly spine-chilling yet witty horror from shortlisted 'Queen of Teen' author James Dawson.

Say Her Name is, as you’ve probably figured out, a horror story about a very popular urban legend that just happens to be one of my favourites. Bloody Mary is also one of my favourite (and one of the scariest) episodes of Supernatural, so I couldn’t not request this book when I got the offer. As promised, Say Her Name is a creepy read that almost has the classic horror story feel to it.

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The Elites by Natasha Ngan

The Elites by Natasha NganThe Elites by Natasha Ngan
Genre: Dystopia
Release Date: September 5, 2013
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: one-star

‘There is a rumour that the Elites don’t bleed.’

Hundreds of years into the future, wars, riots, resource crises and rising sea-levels have destroyed the old civilisations. Only one city has survived: Neo-Babel, a city full of cultures – and racial tension.

Fifteen-year-old Silver is an Elite, a citizen of Neo-Babel chosen to guard the city due to her superior DNA. She’d never dream of leaving – but then she fails to prevent the assassination of Neo Babel’s president, setting off a chain of events more shocking and devastating than she could ever have imagined. Forced to flee the city with her best friend Butterfly (a boy with genetically-enhanced wings), Silver will have to fight to find her family, uncover the truth about Neo-Babel and come to terms with her complicated feelings for Butterfly.

Packed full of adventure, romance, exoticism and the power of friendship, The Elites is a highly compelling and beautifully written novel from a supremely talented debut author.

There is a rumour that the Elites don’t bleed.

Like the rest of the blogosphere, I was dying to read The Elites. From the cover, to the tagline, to the promise of a badass main character, I was sure this one was going to score with me. Unfortunately, as you can see by the rating, that wasn’t the case at all. The Elites was a basic dystopian that has been done time and time again in YA. Continue reading