REVIEW: No Filter - Orlagh Collins

No Filter - Orlagh Collins
Published by Bloomsbury on 13th July 2017.
My rating: 3/5
Book depository purchase link.

I was drawn to No Filter initially by the cover. The title 'No Filter' directly contrasts the blue-pink tones that mask the summer sky and the young couple on it scream YA romance. It conjured up ideas of Morgan Matson and Kasie West and although not quite on a par, Orlagh Collins has a decent debut here.

Emerald is in a bit of a crappy place. Her supposed BFFs at school are treating her like crap, the guy she was sort of with is cutting her out, her dad's hardly ever around and her mum finds it difficult to stay sober for more than two seconds. As much as she can't see it at first, what she really needs is a break from her life. So, when her dad sends her to Ireland for the summer to stay with her grandma, Em's far from pleased. 

She meets Liam and from the offset, the story becomes somewhat predictable and I've seen romance like this done a million times before. The saving elements were the unique Irish setting, with gorgeous descriptions of an island, and Em's fiery disposition. On the downside, I didn't quite understand what she saw in Liam because he didn't seem to bring anything to the relationship but problems.

The whole story is about learning lessons and it's clear how Em influences those around her. Rather than just a teenager who needs to learn about herself, she is also able to show her parents and Liam, exactly how they need to change too. This sense of agency is uncommon in the YA category (in my experiences) and it was refreshing to see here. 

How can I forget the central use of Instagram as a topic for discussion? It was great to see so many modern references and a complete understanding of the teenage mind through social media. Em's addiction to taking selfies and carefully wording the perfect caption is central to the story and her own development and I loved how true to life this whole aspect was.

A light, easy read without too much drama or heaviness, No Filter is what I would call a "beach read". It's okay and you'll probably love it whilst on holiday, but it's not one that I'll hold close to my heart.

Let me know how you found No Filter.

Love, Jess

Talk books with me on Twitter @JessikahHope

Thank you to Bloomsbury for the ARC.

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