No Filter

Title // No Filter
Author // Orlagh Collins
Publication Date // August, 2017
Publisher // Bloomsbury
Genre // Young Adult, Contemporary
Price // AUD $14.99
Rating // ⭐︎

This is the story of THAT SUMMER … the one when everything changes.

Emerald has grown up in a privileged world – the beloved daughter of a wealthy family, friends with all the right people, social media addict. But Emerald’s family has secrets – and when Emerald finds her mum unconscious on the bathroom floor, no one can pretend any more. Now she’s being packed off to stay with her grandma in Ireland while her mum recuperates and her dad just works and works and works. 

Grandma’s big, lonely house is set back from the beach, and there’s no phone signal or wifi. It’s going to be a long summer … Until she meets Liam. 

When you’re falling in love, it’s hard to tell someone everything. Even if you’ve got nothing to hide any more. And when secrets and lies are all you’re used to, how do you deal with real love – brave and true – with no filter? 

The fresh, funny and poignant debut novel from Orlagh Collins, a bright new voice in YA fiction. Authentic, down to earth and sweepingly romantic all at once, No Filter is perfect for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell and Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

No Filter is a rollercoaster of teenage emotions and family secrets. 

When teenager, Emerald, comes home to find her mother unconscious on the bathroom floor, she’s left to call the paramedics and her Summer-plans go up in smoke. Where she was planning on attending the last day of school and a friend’s party – an Instagram-worthy event by all accounts – she finds herself shipped off to Ireland to live with her estranged Grandma while the charmed life she believes she lived slowly fades to something based in reality. Having built a life and reputation through social media, likes and popularity, Emerald has to deal with a life that no camera filter can alter.

No Filter began quite slowly, and main character Emerald was a difficult character to connect with initially. She’s lived a life in the happy bubble she’s constructed around her life where all that matters is the number of likes on her Instagram pictures and holding the attention of the boy she likes. She’s forced to face a number of startling truths beginning, but not ending, with the attempted overdose of her mother, and family secrets she never knew existed.

Her path crosses with a boy at a similar cross-roads, except he’s faced with the choice of following his dream or saving his family’s reputation by staying in the small town where he grew up and follow in his father’s footsteps. Liam’s relationship with Emerald is easy and uncomplicated – until it isn’t, and then everything they thought they knew begins crumble and they’re left to sort out the remains.

There was a lot happening in No Filter, and some of it was more engaging than others. Emerald had a nice character arc, and grew into her own, from a reasonably-annoying teen into a young woman trying to make sense of her world. Liam was a nice guy, and it was refreshing to have a nice guy without a love triangle. There were more twists than I was expecting, and that was a pleasant surprise.

While I felt the ending a bit rushed, the overall story was engaging and entertaining, and I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars. A solid contemporary read.

(Thank you to Bloomsbury for sending me a copy of this book for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own!)


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