Titles: Tash Hearts Tolstoy
Author: Kathryn Ormsbee
Genre: Contemporary YA
Page Count: 367
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Plot (from goodreads):
After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust into the limelight: She’s gone viral.
Her show is a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina—written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the forty thousand new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr GIFs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever.
And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with Thom Causer, a fellow award nominee, suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual.
Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?
First off - I've never read any Tolstoy, so if that's why you're putting off this book then don't bother. Yes, they do mention it at points and I had no real clue what they were talking about it, but it didn't really take away form the story for me? It was like - ah, yes, ships, good. And then his work isn't that important to the plot, though I do love that she has conversations with her poster of him. I felt that.
Tash is our main character and she definitely acts like a teenager - which isn't a bad thing considering she's suppose to be a teenager. It drove me crazy a time or two, as happens in all YA novels, but I remember being a teenager like it was yesterday (how did I turn 22 recently? That feels fake). Anyway - what I mean is that she is so focused on her that she doesn't take others feelings into account or notice things right in front of her. And that doesn't make her a bad person, I'm not saying she's selfish, she's just... trying to figure herself and everything else out at the same time.
Now. The miniseries. I don't know if this was like an 'official' quote, but I've heard a few people make the reference and I definitely felt it - their webseries made me think so much of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (which I rewatched on the fifth anniversary. If you haven't watched it's a retelling of Pride and Prejudice through vlog form and is incredible. Love it so much). I'm getting off topic again, but - if you watch any actually webseries I think it'll bring a smile to your face to see them filming it.
The main thing I loved about this book, which I have saved for last, is our main character is asexual. And they use the word in the text - she even talks about how, when she was trying to figure out what she identified as, she came across demisexual and greysexual. I just appreciated it, and loved how it was handled, so much. She's heteroromantic asexual, just to be clear, and I hope we start getting more and more books with all kinds of LGBTQIA+ characters.
Overall - this book was a good, fun young adult novel. The writing didn't stick out too much for me, her best friend Jack I want a whole book about (if you agree, let's talk in the comments, I kind of want her to bench press me?). It was cool, though, that she was a vegetarian and, I believe, a buddist. There was also talk about how her family came to be where they are - talk about her mom's family living so far away, their Czech history.
That's where this book was completely solid - the charaters. I really loved Tash, her two best friends, the cast of the webseries. And the way social media was handled seemed very realistic.
I'd definitely recommend checking this out out if you're interested in something like that - rich characters, some ace rep, webseries production, teen angst.
(if you know of any reviews by heteroromantic aces let me know so I can link them here to speak on the ace rep, or just asexual)
This challenge is being hosted by Kassie over at MissSassyKassie.