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.
A POPSUGAR Best New YA Novel!
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...
College girl 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 17-year-old Kat Sanchez, a quiet and sarcastic teen living in drab Bakersfield, California. Nothing glamorous about her existence—just sprawl, 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 making a real friend in a follower named Elena. The closer Elena and "Max" get—texting, Snapping, even calling—the more Kat feels she has to keep up the façade.
But when one of Max's posts goes 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 must figure out how to escape the huge web of lies she's created without hurting the people she loves...
But it might already be too late.
A Seventeen Best Young Adult Book A Nerdist Most Anticipated Book A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection "Ultrasmart."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review "Thought-provoking."—POPSUGAR "Stunning."—Nerdist "A first purchase."—School Library Journal "Really genuine."—YA Books Central "Bittersweet and complicated."—Kirkus Reviews "Compelling and heartening."—Shelf Awareness
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.
As Seen on Newsday, Refinery29, Autostraddle, We Need Diverse Books, LatinaMedia and BuzzFeed A Seventeen Best Young Adult Book A POPSUGAR Best New YA Novel A Nerdist Most Anticipated Book A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
★ "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'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
"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
"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
"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