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In NO FILTER by Orlagh Collins, teenage Emerald seems to have her whole life together, if you look at her social media accounts. However, it isn’t all perfect behind the many filters she uses.

Emerald’s father is constantly working and her mother is battling addiction. After Emerald finds her mother unconscious on the bathroom floor, her father sends her to live with her grandmother in Ireland for the summer. Emerald is certainly dreading the summer without her friends in England, but everything will change when she meets aspiring singer-songwriter Liam.

"NO FILTER was a very quick read once I got into it, and I found myself enjoying the book more and more as I went along."

Social media was a huge part of Emerald’s life, and that was definitely shown throughout NO FILTER. This book was very current when it came to pop culture references. This really helped to establish her character and the time setting of the book. I definitely loved the cute chapter titles. It’s been so long since I’ve read a new book with chapter titles, and I certainly enjoyed trying to figure out how they would tie into the chapter’s events.

I also enjoyed how Collins chose to set the book in her home country of Ireland. Most books of this type are usually set in the United States, and I thought it was very unique to have the majority of the book’s events take place in Ireland. I also enjoyed getting to learn a bit more about the Irish lifestyle, although there were several references that I didn’t understand because I’m American.

While I wasn’t incredibly fond of the characters at first, I really enjoyed seeing their growth throughout the book. This caused me to struggle through the beginning, but as the book progressed, I really grew to enjoy Emerald and Liam. However, I do wish the background characters were as well developed as the main characters. Many of them seemed very stereotypical and had a lot of cliché traits. I feel like this really took away from any parts of the plot that involved supporting characters, and those parts were definitely weaker than those involving Emerald and Liam. I thought that the dual points of view really helped when it came to understanding both main characters and their backgrounds.

I did find the constant figurative language to get old after a while. While I enjoy clever similes and metaphors, I wish that they would’ve been used more sparingly. This would have made some sections a lot more readable instead of just making me cringe a little. There were some parts of the book that I thought were very unique, but there were also others that were traditional romance plot lines. I really enjoyed the parts that were different from the normal ones in books, but I found myself wishing that the cliché sections were more unique. In my opinion, this would’ve made the book even stronger. I would recommend this book to teenagers who are looking for a cute summer love story.

NO FILTER was a very quick read once I got into it, and I found myself enjoying the book more and more as I went along. I do look forward to seeing how Collins builds on her debut. She has certainly discovered a niche market in young adult romantic novels, and I eagerly anticipate her future books.

Reviewed by on March 13, 2018

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by Orlagh Collins