Review: No Filter and Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado

No Filter and Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado

No Filter and Other Lies
Crystal Maldonado
Holiday House
Published February 8, 2022

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About No Filter and Other Lies

You should know, right now, that I’m a liar.

They’re usually little lies. Tiny lies. Baby lies. Not so much lies as lie adjacent.

But they’re still lies.

Twenty one-year-old Max Monroe has it all: beauty, friends, and a glittering life filled with adventure. With tons of followers on Instagram, her picture-perfect existence seems eminently enviable.

Except it’s all fake.

Max is actually 16-year-old Kat Sanchez, a quiet and sarcastic teenager living in drab Bakersfield, California. Nothing glamorous in her existence–just sprawl, bad house parties, a crap school year, and the awkwardness of dealing with her best friend Hari’s unrequited love. But while Kat’s life is far from perfect, she thrives as Max: doling out advice, sharing beautiful photos, networking with famous influencers, even making a real friend in a follower named Elena. The closer Elena and “Max” get–texting, Snapping, and even calling–the more Kat feels she has to keep up the facade.

But when one of Max’s posts goes ultra-viral and gets back to the very person she’s been stealing photos from, her entire world – real and fake — comes crashing down around her. She has to figure out a way to get herself out of the huge web of lies she’s created without hurting the people she loves.

But it might already be too late.

No Filter and Other Lies on Goodreads

My Review

I had a hard time getting into this book. The writing and the voice are both strong– which I expected, since I loved Crystal Maldonado’s debut, FAT CHANCE, CHARLIE VEGA. I just didn’t really like Kat very much, especially at the beginning.

She knows she’s a liar, but she isn’t ready to face the ways her lies hurt the people closest to her. As she wrestles with love, including her own self-love, she does a lot of growing. By the end of the story, I liked her a lot.

Her family dynamics are complicated and messy, and I found I liked that element of the book. It made Kat’s character make a lot of sense. I think it was also a big part of what made her realize the harmfulness and ugliness of her own behavior.

On the whole, I think FAT CHANCE is still my favorite book by this author, but I did enjoy reading this one. I think fans of books like THE 9:09 PROJECT by Mark Parsons or TELL ME EVERYTHING by Sarah Enni should check this one out.

No Filter and Other Lies on Bookshop

Content Notes for No Filter and Other Lies

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Kat is bisexual and Puerto Rican on her dad’s side. One of her friends is also Puerto Rican. Her best friend is Indian American.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used pretty frequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. In one scene they realize they are heading toward having sex and stop. Kissing between two girls.

Spiritual Content

Violent Content
One of Kat’s friends makes fat jokes about her until she confronts him about it. One boy punches another boy in the face at a party.

Drug Content
Kat and her friends go to a party at her best friend’s house where teens drink alcohol. Kat and her best friend both drink too much and make some choices they regret later.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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