Hometown author's book emerges as Batavia's favorite

Did the hometown girl, Samira Ahmed, have an unfair advantage in winning the 2019 Tournament of Books at the Batavia Public Library?

Batavia author Samira Ahmed's book, "Love Hate & Other Filters," was recently voted Batavia's favorite adult or young adult fiction title of 2018 in the library's "Tournament of Books" bracket-style competition.

Sixteen of 2018's best fiction books, chosen by Batavia readers and librarians, competed for the top spot in the playoff-style brackets.

Each weekday in March, the Batavia librarians posted a match between two of the chosen fiction titles.

Readers were encouraged to vote every day either through Facebook or by coming into the library.

And each day, the winner of the bracket, determined by votes, moved on.

At the end of the month, one title emerged victorious.

Batavia readers may not have realized that the author of "Love Hate & Other Filters," Samira Ahmed, grew up in Batavia and spent many hours reading in front of the fireplace at the library.

But the setting of Batavia for the coming of age tale may have given the novel extra appeal in the voting.

Ahmed is not only the New York Times bestselling author of the unforgettable young adult novel, but also the highly acclaimed teen novel "Internment," and the forthcoming "Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know."

Laura James, a librarian at Batavia Public Library, suggests that you read "Love Hate & Other Filters" if you like intimate storytelling about a second-generation Muslim-American teen in the modern social climate or books set in Batavia written by a Batavian.

"Maya just wants to make movies and kiss a boy. But her life is complicated by culture clash, bigotry, and rising hate due to a terrorist attack elsewhere in the state. The teen romance is sweet, there's a nice interaction with the 'not right' boy, and the difficult issues are handled with sensitivity and care. It was interesting to see the Batavia elements. I liked how the conflict with her parents was handled," James said.

Former Batavia High School graduate Samira Ahmed's debut young adult novel, "Love, Hate & Other Filters," is set in Batavia and features a Muslim teenager fighting hate and Islamophobia. Courtesy of Soho Press
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