I love this story's focus on social media, especially how curated and perfect profiles can look and how that can affect what we think of ourselves. It's super relatable for anyone like Kat who feels they aren't being heard. It's also such a sweet and emotional coming-out/coming-of-age book with complex family dynamics, a hilarious friend group, messy romantic relationships, and, of course, the book's heroine Kat who I adored, faults and all.
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...
Golden-haired Max Monroe has it all: beauty, friends, and tons of followers. Her picture-perfect existence seems eminently enviable.
Except it's all fake.
"Max" is actually Kat Sanchez, a quiet and sarcastic 17-year-old living in drab Bakersfield, California. Nothing glamorous about her existence—just bad house parties, a crap school year, and the awkwardness of dealing with 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 fans, even finding a real friend (or more?—Is Kat into girls!?) in a gorgeous Fat follower named Elena. But the closer Elena and "Max" get, the more Kat feels she has to keep up the façade. "Max" is the first time people have really listened to what Kat has to say—and after a lifetime of invisibility (including ice-cold indifference from her parents) can she really give that up?
But when one of Kat's posts goes viral and gets back to the girl she's been stealing photos from, her entire world—real and fake—comes crashing down around her. Can she escape the web of lies she's woven without hurting the people she loves?
This insightful, provocative novel—hilarious and raw by turns—is the second book from Crystal Maldonado, author of smash-hit New England Book Award Winner Fat Chance, Charlie Vega. Brilliantly plotted, deeply sensitive, and rich in voice, No Filter and Other Lies deftly addresses FOMO, first love, one-sided love, frayed family ties, raced exclusion on social media, queer awakenings, and learning to live with—and love—yourself.
Because the most powerful lies are the lies we tell ourselves.
A POPSUGAR Best YA! A Seventeen Best YA!
"Ultrasmart."—Publishers Weekly, starred review "Stunning."—Nerdist "Brings me to tears."—Latinxs in Kid Lit
About the Author
Crystal Maldonado is a young adult author with a lot of feelings. Her debut novel, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega, is a New England Book Award winner, a Cosmopolitan Best New Book, and a POPSUGAR Best New YA Novel. Her next novel, No Filter and Other Lies, explores teenage life in the social media age—and the lies we tell to ourselves and others. By day, Crystal works in higher ed marketing, and by night, is a writer who loves Beyoncé, shopping, spending too much time on her phone, and being extra. Her work has also been published in Latina, BuzzFeed, and the Hartford Courant. She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and dog. Find her everywhere @crystalwrote or CrystalWrote.com.
★ "Maldonado (Fat Chance, Charlie Vega) once again displays her gift for portraying complex family dynamics and layered interiority in this bighearted sophomore novel. . . . Maldonado's writing has a warm and relatable feel, full of insight regarding societal expectations, accountability, and the need to belong within one's own family and the wider world. An ultrasmart contemporary that fully understands what teens face in today's social media–obsessed landscape."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Kat is an effective antihero whose insecurities and validation-seeking are believably laid bare without excusing her behavior. . . . The characters feel lived in, and their big feelings and extreme reactions will be understandable for many readers. "—The Horn Book
"A really fun read. . . . A cute queer romance centering a fat, biracial smart-ass—one I'd follow on Instagram in a heartbeat if I could."—Autostraddle
"A thought-provoking story for the digital age."—POPSUGAR
"Another stunning YA release from author Crystal Maldonado."—Nerdist
"Crystal Maldonado strikes again with her latest novel."—People en Español
"A fun read, not to mention a lesson in the importance of telling the truth."—Good Housekeeping
"[A] love letter to brown, fat teenage girls."—Refinery29
"Kat's struggle for authenticity with her family and friends, not to mention her own sense of self, sparks important questions about what is valued and what is truly valuable."—Kirkus Reviews
"Ideal for fans of E. Lockhart or Karen M. McManus, this title urges young readers to appreciate their worth as well as understand and accept the consequences of their actions."—School Library Connection
"Readers looking for a drama featuring a bisexual character that's unrelated to coming out will appreciate this contemporary story with a strong sense of setting. . . . Fans of Leah Johnson's books and Kevin Panetta's Bloom will fall for this novel."—Booklist
"Coming of age isn't easy; especially when you are pretending to be someone else. A first purchase for high school realistic fiction collections."—School Library Journal
"Hand this one to readers who like messy characters who make mistakes and have to deal with the consequences of their actions. . . . [A] look at identity and discovering real things while being so fake."—Teen Librarian Toolbox
"Crystal Maldonado has become one of my official auto-buy authors. . . . No Filter and Other Lies perfectly articulates the pressures of social media and the need to construct the perfect version of yourself and how, little by little, that veneer of perfection cracks over time. If you're looking for a fat, brown, messy bi-sexual character. . . this is the book for you!"—Latinxs in Kidlit
"No Filter and Other Lies is a compelling and heartening read with a remarkable protagonist, authentic characters, an addictive plot and vital messages about healthy relationships. . . . Maldonado (Fat Chance, Charlie Vega) allows her characters to act like real teens: emotional, messy. They bicker with each other, stop talking and resume talking, tease and encourage. Though Kat comes into her queerness during the story's events ('So, bisexuality confirmed'), the plot doesn't shift focus to a coming-out story. Her newfound attraction to girls is portrayed as a natural path in her wider journey, not as a hardship. . . . Kat's certainty about who she is, what she likes and what she wants to be known for adds an important element: Maldonado's protagonist is a self-confident teen who simply wants a say in how people see her."—Shelf Awareness
"Crystal Maldonado's thoughtful tale tackles complicated family relationships, social media obsession, and authenticity. . . . As Kat tries to make sense of the mess she's made, teens will realize that social media doesn't define their self-worth and understand the importance of communication, honesty, integrity, and staying true to themselves."—Common Sense Media
"A really complex story [with] thought-provoking themes around social media, friendships, and family. Kat is still learning and growing. . . . Dealing with social media can be tough [and] the bias towards white and thin people is one she grapples with as a plus-sized brown girl. . . . Kat is also coming to new realizations about her sexuality that felt really genuine."—YA Books Central
"Characters are flawed and nuanced. They make mistakes and learn from them and will continue to make mistakes after that because that's what humans do. . . . Kat works hard to create the perfect online aesthetic through her Instagram account, but even though she spends hours finding the perfect shot and editing her photos, engagement is low which obviously discourages her. . . . That lack of validation and feeling of isolation leads her to create the Max account, and suddenly, now that the person speaking her words has a beautiful, thin, and white face, people care and want to listen. . . . Maldonado once again hit it out of the park with a story that tackles important topics but doesn't come off as preachy or trite."—Tea Time Lit
RJ Julia’s Just The Right Book! subscription service combines the convenience of a personal shopper with a love for reading and all things books. Bring this literary passion to the comfort and safety of your own home!