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Tash Hearts Tolstoy

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From the author of Lucky Few comes a “refreshing” (Booklist, starred review) teen novel about Internet fame, peer pressure, and remembering not to step on the little people on your way to the top! After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka suddenly finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust in the From the author of Lucky Few comes a “refreshing” (Booklist, starred review) teen novel about Internet fame, peer pressure, and remembering not to step on the little people on your way to the top! After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka suddenly finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust in the limelight: She’s gone viral. Her show is a modern adaption of Anna Karenina—written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the 40,000 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 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?


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From the author of Lucky Few comes a “refreshing” (Booklist, starred review) teen novel about Internet fame, peer pressure, and remembering not to step on the little people on your way to the top! After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka suddenly finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust in the From the author of Lucky Few comes a “refreshing” (Booklist, starred review) teen novel about Internet fame, peer pressure, and remembering not to step on the little people on your way to the top! After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka suddenly finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust in the limelight: She’s gone viral. Her show is a modern adaption of Anna Karenina—written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the 40,000 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 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?

30 review for Tash Hearts Tolstoy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emma Giordano

    I really really loved this book! It is one of those books I could not stop thinking about every time I had to put it down. Such a fabulous contemporary that I would highly recommend! Tash Hearts Tolstoy features a ton of unique elements we aren't normally exposed to in YA as well as featuring diverse characters: -Romantic asexual main character -m/m relationship -MC is a vegetarian (seriously, why do we not have more vegetarian/vegan main characters???) -MC is a Buddhist (was not expecting this but I really really loved this book! It is one of those books I could not stop thinking about every time I had to put it down. Such a fabulous contemporary that I would highly recommend! Tash Hearts Tolstoy features a ton of unique elements we aren't normally exposed to in YA as well as featuring diverse characters: -Romantic asexual main character -m/m relationship -MC is a vegetarian (seriously, why do we not have more vegetarian/vegan main characters???) -MC is a Buddhist (was not expecting this but happy to see a different religion included!) -Follows a Czech family (this was particularly interesting for me because I feel we rarely see explicit cultural values from European countries in YA) - Unexpected pregnancy in the family - Parent suffering from cancer Recently, I reviewed a book critiquing how it represented creators on Youtube, commenting how most books featuring main characters who are "YouTubers" are extremely shallow and do not fully delve into the lives of creators. Tash Hearts Tolstoy is the only book I've read so far that portrays YouTubers to a "T". As this book follows Tash and her friends creating a web series, they talk of things like filming/uploading schedules, scripting, editing, doing multiple takes, set design, continuity issues, and ESPECIALLY the time spent interacting on social media/responding to emails. They also address online criticism vs haters/trolls, the need to "unplug", and the stresses/fears of having an online following. Despite that it follows a channel that goes semi-viral, it stays realistic in the respect that they don't have millions upon millions of views and new followers overnight. They make jokes of internet fame but still stay rational with their recent bump in viewership and I was so happy it wasn't over exaggerated. I was just really really pleased with the way this book approached having an online following and as of now, I'd consider it the best YA book featuring an "internet-famous" main character. I did originally pick this book up for the fact that it includes an asexual main character, and I wasn't disappointed. I've read two other books with characters on the ace spectrum, and I feel Tash Hearts Tolstoy was the most comprehensive. We are exposed to Tash's journey of discovering there is something different about her identity, doing online research, coming out to her friends, addressing how she's come out to her friends, and what I found most valuable, her dissecting her own insecurities related to her sexuality. Although it's not necessarily a novel focused on her sexuality, her being on the ace spectrum is an integral part of the story and I was extremely satisfied with the execution. I feel it also did a good job of expressing how ace folk are not a monolith and everyone expresses their sexuality in a different way. As a note, there is some aphobia in the novel, but I feel it is definitely not condoned and included as a way to debunk some common incorrect remarks about people on the ace spectrum. I also believe this is a really strong book when it comes to accurately portraying teenagers. Each character has their own goals and aspirations, their own interests and vices. They are now involved in a project with a ton of new online attention, but they're still just teens. They eat ice cream, they have pool parties, they stay up all night watching movies and having completely pointless conversations. It brought me back to my own teenage years and I felt it was a very real portrayal of teens during summer vacation. There are just a few small things I didn't like about this book: (view spoiler)[ I had a big issue with the argument between Tash/Paul. I felt it was extremely unfair on Tash's part; She blatantly projected her own insecurities onto a friend that had recently confided in her and placed a lot of words in his mouth that he never even suggested. There are points where it's addressed that it WAS unfair, but I can still be upset at it. I honestly didn't find a lot of flaws in Tash previously, but it was a decent blow to her character to see her treat a close friend so badly. (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[ I really didn't like the decline of Thom's character? His aphobia was honestly very shocking and unlike what we had seen from his character previously (I get that's the point, but I don't feel it was executed all that well). I think the stronger parts of Tash losing feels for him were rooted in things like how he blew off their lunch date with no explanation and the fact that he was pronouncing her name incorrectly. I wish the end of her feelings for Thom were more focused on factors like that instead of a huge blow out where Thom tells her that she made up her sexuality in such. Had there been an additional scene before that showed Thom to have some not-so-progressive/accepting views, I think I would feel differently. It was just very abrupt and not as great as I thought it could have been. (hide spoiler)] All in all, I really loved this book. Definitely one of my favorite reads of the summer, maybe of the year as a whole. It was basically very fun, exciting, and addicting. Would recommend to all you contemporary-internet lovers!

  2. 4 out of 5

    emma

    I know we’re not even all of the way through the first month of 2018 but DAMN this has already been a fantastic year for me in books. I was a little nervous to start Tash Hearts Tolstoy, because none of my close friends had read it yet and I didn’t have any strong recommendations or endorsements to go off of. Also, I have yet to read Anna Karenina or anything else by Tolstoy, so I was also worried there would be too many references I wouldn’t understand. Mainly, I was REALLY hoping I would enjoy I know we’re not even all of the way through the first month of 2018 but DAMN this has already been a fantastic year for me in books. I was a little nervous to start Tash Hearts Tolstoy, because none of my close friends had read it yet and I didn’t have any strong recommendations or endorsements to go off of. Also, I have yet to read Anna Karenina or anything else by Tolstoy, so I was also worried there would be too many references I wouldn’t understand. Mainly, I was REALLY hoping I would enjoy the ace rep, because I’ve read so few books with characters that I feel I can relate to and see myself in when it comes to that aspect of my identity. Our main character, Tash Zelenka, is the creator of a YouTube series called Unhappy Families—a modern-day adaptation of Anna Karenina. She’s an aspiring filmmaker whose world abruptly shifts when her amateur web series goes viral. Suddenly, she’s grappling with the stresses and responsibilities that come along with having a fandom, and struggling to balance this new pressure with her relationships with friends and family. In addition to all of this, she’s only recently come to terms with her identity as heteroromantic asexual, and she’s not quite sure how to tell her friends—or her crush. This book is so many things, but above all I feel like the word that best describes it is bighearted. Tash is not a perfect person by any means, but she is a good person who’s trying to juggle a host of responsibilities and personal problems while under a lot of pressure. Her story delves into a lot of discussions about friendship and identity and family and art, and I want to talk about how personal and special each of these was for me. FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS A grave is just a grave, and I don’t think Gramps and Nana are sentient ghosts who know we’re paying them a visit. But the memories I have of them—Nana’s goulash and early morning games of rummy and Gramps laughing harder than we did at cartoons on television—those are still alive, and they grow much brighter when I’m at Evergreen Memorial. I love the discussions of family dynamics, of reflecting on migration and legacy and responsibility. The relationships between Tash and each of her family members were unique and had a dynamic that felt realistic and full. This book captured family in all of its emotional complexity and messiness—from the guilt of growing up and growing away from parents, to the struggles of maintaining relationships with relatives abroad, to the love for people who have passed away that never truly fades. Additional rep to note: Tash and her mother are Buddhist! And this second one isn’t really diverse rep, but that means they’re also vegetarian, which is something that’s pretty rare to see in a book. :) CREATING ART No matter what happens in the future, we share this: We told a story together, and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without each other’s help. No one else can share this part of our lives. No one else can fully understand it like the nine of us. Tash’s webseries, and all of the practices and planning and dedication that go into it felt like a really lovely portrayal of what it’s like to create art with people. Creating something with friends is harder than working alone in many ways, but it can be such a fulfilling and satisfying and emotionally bonding experience. You see all of the ugly and beautiful parts of who people are, and when it comes to an end there’s that weird nostalgia of knowing you'll never all be together in that same way again. Tash's arc also reflects a lot on the pressure to create consistently, and how frustrating and unsustainable it is for a lot of people. COLLEGE, AND THE NUANCES OF PURSUING AN ARTISTIC CAREER This is sort of an extension of the “creating art” subject, but I loved that this book also dealt with how artistic aspirations factor into making decisions about college. Tash is incredibly passionate about pursuing filmmaking, and she’s spent years planning out her future around attending the prestigious film program at Vanderbilt. Over the course of the book, though, she has to reconsider that plan, and try to think about the smartest approach to her future. I feel like so often these types of conflicts and arguments are oversimplified and reductive, because in reality it's a really complicated situation. And I don’t say this to try to be a downer, or criticize anyone who does get that opportunity. But speaking as an aspiring writer who’s majoring in Global Studies and currently working as a publishing house and agency intern, pursuing an artistic career is NOT a linear process. I know it sucks to have adults telling you to make more financially secure decisions and think about more sensible career options beyond just creating art. Still, they’re right. You can’t assume you’ll find success easily, and if you’re really dedicated to your art you HAVE to have some pragmatism and realism to go along with your confidence and determination. ASEXUALITY “I know what I want and what I don’t want. I’ve never wanted sex. Never. I’ve never understood why it has to be in every book and movie and television show ever made. I’ve never figured out why porn is such a huge thing. I’ll be find if no guy ever takes his shirt off for me. I’m not scared. I just don’t want it.” The ace rep is the main reason this book meant the world to me. While Tash’s orientations may not line up precisely with mine (I identify sort of loosely as gray aroace as well as bisexual), Ormsbee has done a superb job of capturing what it’s like to question and come to terms with your own asexuality. It’s scary and liberating process, one that’s plagued by periods of intense self-doubt. So much care and nuance went into describing Tash’s experiences, and I was able to see so many of my own feelings in her. The comparisons between coming out as gay and coming out as ace had some pretty spot-on observations, too. Because yeah, asexual people don't face as blatant prejudice and discrimination as most other queer people, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t also marginalized. Tash acknowledges that she's privileged because she's straight, while discussing some of the problems she does encounter as a heteroromantic ace. Belonging to an identity that is systematically erased and ignored (even within the queer community) has its own set of microaggressions and problems that are often difficult for others to see from the outside. I wonder if it’s too much to ask for a pass into an alternate dimension, where it’s just not an issue. Because stuck in this particular dimension, I wonder if I’m only ever going to be a disappointment. A not-quite-right human. A girl in need of fixing. Trying to come out as ace is frustrating and exhausting to the point that I often don’t even want to bother telling people because I know they won't understand. Even if they are open and considerate, it still involves the emotional, uncomfortable labor of explaining something that is immensely personal, of having that pressure on your shoulders to explain it perfectly. It's trying to speak up about something that's an innate part of who you are, and being brushed off—either because people think it's a confused phase, or because they think your orientation is some kind of abstinence advocacy. Being ace/aro also means feeling erased in your own community, and having to endure the hurtful ignorance of people who go around claiming that the A in LGBTQIAP+ stands for "Ally". (Quick recap in case you need one—allies aren't a part of the queer community!! Ace people are!!!!) I talk about being bisexual on here all the time, but one of the reasons I don't bring up asexuality as often is because I worry about these things. Bisexuals have enough problems with misconceptions, but in my experience, it's even worse for ace and aro folks because of how lower our visibility is. Basically, Tash’s story meant a lot to me, and I hope lots of other people will feel the same way while reading. This is a warm and wonderful book that felt very lovingly written, and I’m so so SO grateful for its existence. update: please go read em's lovely review as well!!! this book was so special for both of us and I'm very happy we got to share this reading experience ❤ ❤ ❤ -------------- hello, my asexual ass is here and ready to be represented br with em 💙

  3. 5 out of 5

    emma

    there were a lot of things about this book that were super dope!! asexual representation, most of all. (like seriously when do we EVER get an asexual protagonist in a YA book???) also, the protagonist's family is (semi?) buddhist, which is dope. half vegetarian. first-, second-, and third-generation immigrants. there's a M/M couple. there's a late-in-life pregnancy. cancer representation. all around this book had a really unique construction for all its characters' lives, which was pretty enrichi there were a lot of things about this book that were super dope!! asexual representation, most of all. (like seriously when do we EVER get an asexual protagonist in a YA book???) also, the protagonist's family is (semi?) buddhist, which is dope. half vegetarian. first-, second-, and third-generation immigrants. there's a M/M couple. there's a late-in-life pregnancy. cancer representation. all around this book had a really unique construction for all its characters' lives, which was pretty enriching and rad. plus there was a modern adaptation of a classic in the form of a youtube web series, so now i really want to rewatch the lizzie bennet diaries. this book didn't all the way......click for me? i was pretty bored and i didn't love the characters. but even though i felt 0 emotions i can appreciate it from an objective standpoint. like modern art. "yes, that's pretty impressive, even though nothing whatsoever is clicking for me here and i'm going to go to the impressionist wing where unartsy me feels comfortable and protected and safe." anyway. this is probably 3.25 stars. (yay for hyper-specificity!) bottom line: this is a very cool example of how amazing it is that so many YA contemporaries are now these cool, diverse, modern, nerdy things. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT WAS ALL WHITE HETERONORMATIVITY LIKE STRAIGHT UP 18 MONTHS AGO. counting my g.d. blessings i tell ya.

  4. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    this was a cute, lighthearted book. not much really happened plot-wise as it mainly focused on tashs reaction to her new found fame, which felt like your pretty typical YA drama. but the writing was fun and fresh and the characters were relatable, which made for an easy read! this was a buddy read with the lovely lola - you can find her review here! 3.5 stars this was a cute, lighthearted book. not much really happened plot-wise as it mainly focused on tashs reaction to her new found fame, which felt like your pretty typical YA drama. but the writing was fun and fresh and the characters were relatable, which made for an easy read! this was a buddy read with the lovely lola - you can find her review here! 3.5 stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    Romie

    Okay yes, but what now? How am I supposed to go on with my life with no more Tash, Paul, Jack and Unhappy Families? It's a serious question, I'm telling you. It was only my second book with an ace MC, and fuck, give me more. I'm 100% there for this content. First thing you need to know about me : I'm a real Anna Karenina trash. Like if you could see the way my first copy looks right now you'd feel horrible for it and probably would want to sue me. My copy looks like it has been read way too many t Okay yes, but what now? How am I supposed to go on with my life with no more Tash, Paul, Jack and Unhappy Families? It's a serious question, I'm telling you. It was only my second book with an ace MC, and fuck, give me more. I'm 100% there for this content. First thing you need to know about me : I'm a real Anna Karenina trash. Like if you could see the way my first copy looks right now you'd feel horrible for it and probably would want to sue me. My copy looks like it has been read way too many times, like I threw it in my bag without even caring, like I've dog-eared almost every page . . . So yes, Leo Tolstoy is an author I deeply admire, and Tash was just so me. She loved Anna Karenina as much as me and it was nice, really nice to read about. It may sounds weird to you, but both Tash and I loving this book made me feel like I had a connection with her, and I automatically loved Tash Hearts Tolstoy. I immediately knew I would end up being obsessed with it - like I am now - and that I would love every single character - except one who can go to hell I don't care. Like, want to know what the first paragraph of Chapter One is? This first paragraph was written for me. I'm telling you. I didn't need to know more to love this book. That's how it worked. Here is the first thing you should know about me: I, Tash Zelenka, am in love with Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy. That is his official name, but since he and I are so close, I get to call him Leo. Tash is probably one of the characters I identified the most with. Except for the fact she's asexual and I'm bi, I have a really hard time trying to find something we don't have in common. She's clearly suffering from the younger child syndrome : not confident enough in her capacities, think her sister is prettier and smarter than her, think she's not taken seriously, keep everything to herself. She's afraid of what's to come, and I know she didn't explicitly said it, but she is : when someone says to her face that she's not good enough to go to her #1 College it feels like a punch in her stomach and she immediately starts thinking people don't have faith in her. “I guess I mean I always feel like I’m . . . waiting. Waiting until I get older so people will finally take me seriously and I can do what I want.” And maybe it's more accurate to say she's afraid of negativity, because she's not good at dealing with it : when she receives a really bad comment on Unhappy Families, she starts thinking non-stop about it until her brain absorbs it as the truth even though it's not. Negativity doesn't do her any good. But you know what? She has every right to be afraid. She's just starting to figure out her identity, what it means to her to be romantic asexual. And it's scary af. It's a gift when you know from day one who you truly are, when you don't have figure out your sexuality. And at first she's confused, everybody but her thinks she's aromantic asexual, and it's not simple for to explain exactly how she feels. But in the end, she learned to stand up for herself and that was so beautiful. “I don’t need any guy out there to tell me what I’m feeling is real. The only reason I told you is because I was trying to be honest with you. Not because I want your opinion on whether I have legitimate emotions or not.” Some of the side characters were pretty amazing - I'm looking at you Paul, my bae, my sunshine, my precious son - and some were huge assholes. Let's be honest, I had no sympathy whatsoever for Klaudie, Tash's big sister, she was mean for the sake of being mean and wow she needed someone to hold up the mirror in front of her to see how bad she was. I'm glad this someone was Tash. Then there is Jack . . . I'm conflicted, because she was a pain in my ass, some people would call her a Ice Queen bitch, but I have a sister who is the exact same, who doesn't show her emotions, and it doesn't mean she feels nothing. But it's true that Jack wasn't afraid to say the harsh truth. But Paul is one of the main reasons I enjoyed this book so much, seriously. He's a constant presence in Tash's life, always by her side, and the way he makes her feel safe is just everything. I have to admit I imagine as a human puppy, because he's precious ^^ I also really enjoyed all the filming scenes, probably because it's Tash's element and you can see how happy and proud she is of her webseries, it's her very first love and will always be. Sometimes I had the feeling Tash was more invested in Unhappy Families than she was in her own life, and yes I know this webseries is part of her life, but it's not ALL there is. And I'm glad she realised it. If it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts - LEO TOLSTOY, Anna Karenina Do yourself a huge favour, and read this book. P.S. : if you haven't read Anna Karenina, and maybe would like to read it after this book, or just one day, I have to tell you that THT spoils the end. Now you know :) Around the Year in 52 books 2017. 38. A novel inspired by a work of classic literature.

  6. 5 out of 5

    kate

    4.5* Tash Hearts Tolstoy is the kind of book that's impossible to put down. It is so easy flowing that, before I knew it, I found myself almost finished, having to force myself to stop reading because I had to 'life' instead. There were so many aspects to this book that are unfortunately not all that common in YA and I loved them. It had a cast of characters with various religions, sexualities, upbringings and individual stories. The MC was asexual which was fantastic to read. This gave such a g 4.5* Tash Hearts Tolstoy is the kind of book that's impossible to put down. It is so easy flowing that, before I knew it, I found myself almost finished, having to force myself to stop reading because I had to 'life' instead. There were so many aspects to this book that are unfortunately not all that common in YA and I loved them. It had a cast of characters with various religions, sexualities, upbringings and individual stories. The MC was asexual which was fantastic to read. This gave such a great insight into a sexuality which is so often overlooked. I think my favourite part of this book was following Tash's journey of discovering and coming to terms with her asexuality, it was written in such a natural way and intertwined with the rest of the plot with such a brilliant balance. I also absolutely adored reading about her relationships with her family and friends (especially Paul, oh how I adored Paul!) As someone who's on YouTube a lot, it was so much fun to have that as such a prevalent storyline and all the different elements that were touched on within that. I loved that it wasn't presented in a wholly negative way and instead showed how much work can go into creating, no matter how big or small your channel may be! Overall, this was such a lovely read. It touched on so many individual topics, in a way that created a comfortable, easy read but one that was also incredibly informative and thought provoking. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would without a doubt highly recommend it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ava

    Edit, based on reread 6/14/17 - YES, 4.5 stars. TASH HEARTS TOLSTOY is an incredible, fluffy addition to YA that I know many readers that love SIMON VS or ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS will fall in love with. This book features a cast of realistic characters that you'll adore in some parts and relate to in others. Tash, our main character, is asexual, and this book adds much needed representation in YA that I loved to read about. Even though the book does not exist as an info guide to asexuality, I t Edit, based on reread 6/14/17 - YES, 4.5 stars. TASH HEARTS TOLSTOY is an incredible, fluffy addition to YA that I know many readers that love SIMON VS or ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS will fall in love with. This book features a cast of realistic characters that you'll adore in some parts and relate to in others. Tash, our main character, is asexual, and this book adds much needed representation in YA that I loved to read about. Even though the book does not exist as an info guide to asexuality, I think many readers will learn things they didn't know before, and even more importantly, asexual teens will see themselves represented. Although I am NOT asexual- I'm arospec- I loved reading about this ace teen, and it helped me and my identity feel accepted, too. The plot, with the TV series Tash makes based around Tolstoy's works, was engaging and new. I'd never read a book with a story like that, and I loved it. I loved the characters, as I mentioned before. I adored reading about a character who had a passion that was obvious. Tash LOVED Tolstoy and loved making her web series, and it was apparent. That passion made it more interesting to read about, because everyone has passions - it made Tash herself relatable and interesting. Each character felt unique and real. I also adored the family relationships in this novel. In real life, family is a huge thing, but in YA, we don't see that very often - and that wasn't the case here. The friendships were also amazing - I loved Tash and her best friend together, as well as the scenes with all of the friends and actors/crew/etc. The writing was good, simple without being boring. It fit the story perfectly, and kept me reading. Overall, I am going to be recommending this to everyone I know. I can't put in words how much I adored it, although I attempted. This is a much needed addition to YA, and literature in general, and I can tell it's going to do so much. I don't have anything negative to say about this book - I loved it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    K.

    Trigger warnings: aphobia, parent with cancer, car accident (in the past), death of a grandparent (in the past). 29/12/2019 Yeah, I stand by essentially everything I said last time. This is cute in an incredibly predictable way. Also, I 100% do NOT understand Tash's obsession with Tolstoy because I studied Anna Karenina in year 11 literature and it nearly killed me. Total sidebar, but I really appreciated that this features a character having a dream university and having people be like "Girl, tha Trigger warnings: aphobia, parent with cancer, car accident (in the past), death of a grandparent (in the past). 29/12/2019 Yeah, I stand by essentially everything I said last time. This is cute in an incredibly predictable way. Also, I 100% do NOT understand Tash's obsession with Tolstoy because I studied Anna Karenina in year 11 literature and it nearly killed me. Total sidebar, but I really appreciated that this features a character having a dream university and having people be like "Girl, that's amazing. But, like, it's a serious stretch for you. And it's a private university so it will mean a TON of debt. Are you SURE that's how you want to start your adult life??" Also, it made me a little uncomfortable that the protagonist's mother is from New Zealand and she only gets to go home for two weeks EVERY FIVE YEARS to see her family and there's no mention of her family ever having been to the US to visit. Because, like, OUCH. 23/6/2017 4.25 stars. I was SUPER excited when I heard about this book. Like...a YA contemporary with an asexual main character that's coming out of a major publishing house? WHAT IS HAPPENING I HAVE TO SCREAM FOREVER AND EVER. So obviously, I read it pretty much straight away. And it was cute. Super cute. I highlighted decent chunks of it, and I'm not a highlighter when it comes to books. The ace rep is good. The characters are fun. The story was compelling. I liked the writing. It made me want to rewatch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. The romance side of things was adorable, and I loved that it went out of its way to emphasise that asexual people CAN STILL HAVE ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS. However. It was...predictable. Like, I really really enjoyed it. But I also knew pretty much everything that was going to happen well before it happened. Especially where the romance was concerned. So...yeah. (Also, I really wish it had been mentioned way earlier how her name is pronounced. But that's a pretty minor niggle)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)

    See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! I got an ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss but read a hardcover of it, so this is all from the finalized book. WELL, Pride Month seems like a good time to finally move this review to Goodreads and let people know not to read this garbage book. tl;dr its ace rep is terrible and seeing it in so many Pride Month photos of YA books has been making me grumpy. Is it that much to ask for more good asexual rep in YA? Of course not! I figured out I was aromantic See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! I got an ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss but read a hardcover of it, so this is all from the finalized book. WELL, Pride Month seems like a good time to finally move this review to Goodreads and let people know not to read this garbage book. tl;dr its ace rep is terrible and seeing it in so many Pride Month photos of YA books has been making me grumpy. Is it that much to ask for more good asexual rep in YA? Of course not! I figured out I was aromantic asexual when I was seventeen and having books that included characters with my same identity would have meant the world to me. Tash Hearts Tolstoy, though? Thank God it wasn't around in 2011 because my easy self-acceptance process would have been made much harder by a book like this. It's bad rep that erases large swaths of ace people and doesn't actually get asexuality. The more pedestrian failures of Tash Hearts Tolstoy almost come as a relief compared to its deeper problems. The characters are weak and uninteresting, Tash's narrative voice is irritating at the best of times, and one big twist that the novel takes is so predictable it makes you dislike Tash a little more because she misses the marks so badly. Tash as a character on her own? Pretty awful. When a guy confesses his feelings for her, she proceeds to strip down to her underwear and berate him, saying that if he wants to be her boyfriend, he has to be fine with not getting any of her physically. The first time she sees criticism of her and her best friend Jack's webseries Unhappy Families, she becomes obsessed with it and its writer. Among other things, she says the following while furious: "What, does he live off tears and negativity? Does he have nothing better to do han burn people who are actually trying to--to make art?" (p. 178) Tash later decides that this critic is a she, not a he. Meanwhile, the singular they pronoun cries out at its disuse and people's insistence on immediately assigning a gender to someone rather than using a genderless pronoun. Later on, she refers to the well-written, well-thought out post as something only meant to hurt and offend. She all but says in that passage that she feels any criticism of a piece of media is "hate" and shouldn't be publicly shared online. It should only be kept offline or in private. Maybe you can guess why seeing that while I'm reading this book as a reviewer ticked me off? Even when she stopped thinking about it, I did not forget what she said. I can't count how many people have said the same thing to me when I criticize a book they like (or, most memorably, said in Portuguese that they hoped I died of a fictional disease from the Mortal Instruments books). Tash doesn't really come back to regret what she said either. Now then. THE AWFUL ACE REP. Part I: Linguistics Tash's chosen identity is "romantic asexual." That's a poor choice of term in my view; I wouldn't seriously categorize everyone who experience sexual attraction to others as "sexuals," nor would I call any or all ace people who experience romantic attraction to others as "romantic asexuals." Rather than use an umbrella term like that, specify the romantic orientation when you can. Tash is heteroromantic asexual, meaning she's romantically attracted to genders other than her own. She does in fact use the word "heteroromantic" in the novel as well as "allosexual" (aka non-asexual people), but the two terms are used exactly once. Both on page 113 when she details looking around online. Ormsbee clearly knew the term for it to be in the book, so why use an umbrella term that combines multiple wildly different identities into one big mass? THE RIGHT WORDS ARE AROUND. USE THEM. And no, there's no mention of identities beyond heteroromantic asexuality, so aro ace people like me and other alloromantic aces go unnamed and unseen. Way to hetwash even a queer identity! (Even then, het aces are still queer and I will fight for their place in the community as long as they want it. What bothers me is that it's the only kind of ace in this book.) Part II: General Rep Lesson one: asexuality is not a "lack of sexuality" as Tash characterizes it on page 153. Asexuality is a sexuality and does not exist solely as a lack of something. But because that passage was determined to end in a train wreck, here's the entire paragraph in which she says that: "Sometimes, I feel like I could tell Jay the truth and he would not act like it's weird. He knows what it's like to not fit into the World at Large's Hopes and Expectations for You. But more often than not, I'm worried that telling Jay will be the equivalent of stomping on his foot. To throw out of lack of sexuality when Jay is getting harangued every day for the expression of his own? It seems so insensitive. It's not like people are telling me I can't get married or that I'm going to hell." (p. 153-154) 1) Fuck you, Tash. 2)Seriously, fuck you, Tash. 3) Have you heard of the alloromantic ace people who want to marry someone the same gender as them? They are told they can't get married or that they're going to hell. APPARENTLY, YOU HAVEN'T BECAUSE YOU'RE TOO FAR UP YOUR OWN ASS. 4) You know what asexual people of all romantic orientations deal with? Being told our identities don't exist. That we're broken. That we just need a good fuck. The threat of corrective rape. 5) Another example: my psychiatrist my first year of college proposed that my asexuality was the result of sexual abuse in my past or my vitamin B deficiency. And guess what? I didn't have the option of finding a less shitty psychiatrist because he was the only one I could get to or afford! Plus without the medication only he could prescribe me at the time, I would have straight-up died. 6) Get your head out of your own ass and think about what ace people who aren't you have to go through, Tash. Even I knew better at seventeen. 7) INTERSECTIONALITY AND THE SPLIT-ATTRACTION MODEL. *breathes* Okay. I think I'm just about done. Look, I hit the jackpot when it came to discovering my asexuality. I found the words via Emilie Autumn, who ID'd as asexual at the time I became a fan of her music, saw "aromantic asexual," and knew that was my real identity. I'd long though I was het because I grew up on media that said girls were supposed to like boys, leading me to overdo it in my unconscious attempts to conform. I terrified my crushes! My self-discovery was largely self-contained and I didn't discover the ace discourse that invalidated us or told us we didn't belong in the queer community until long after I'd become secure in my identity. I don't come out of the closet anymore so much as throw myself out of the closet! Oh, and I came out for the first time to my family while we were on vacation. 100% do not recommend, but it's hilarious to me now even though my brother called me an amoeba and my mom was just thankful I wasn't gay. GREAT FAMILY. Tash Hearts Tolstoy doesn't make me feel seen as an asexual reader. It makes me feel insulted. I'd sooner cook and eat this book than give it to an ace teenager just starting to figure themselves out.

  10. 4 out of 5

    ✨ jami ✨

    “I guess I mean I always feel like I’m . . . waiting. Waiting until I get older so people will finally take me seriously and I can do what I want.” Tash Hearts Tolstoy follows Tash, who, as the title suggests, loves Tolstoy. When the modern adaptation of Anna Karenina her and her best friend Jack are making for youtube goes semi-viral overnight and then is nominated for an award, Tash is suddenly thrust into the fandom spotlight. This is a YA contemporary with almost everything I love in YA co “I guess I mean I always feel like I’m . . . waiting. Waiting until I get older so people will finally take me seriously and I can do what I want.” Tash Hearts Tolstoy follows Tash, who, as the title suggests, loves Tolstoy. When the modern adaptation of Anna Karenina her and her best friend Jack are making for youtube goes semi-viral overnight and then is nominated for an award, Tash is suddenly thrust into the fandom spotlight. This is a YA contemporary with almost everything I love in YA contemporaries! ➩ friends making art on the internet ➩ the internet playing a large role in the characters lives ➩ a queer main character ➩ complex family and friend drama ➩ references to classics and old-timey stuff ➩ nerds This reminded me a lot of Fangirl, Eliza and Her Monsters and Radio Silence so if you like any of them you'll probably like this. For me it wasn't as great as Radio Silence, but I liked it more than Fangirl and about equal to Eliza and Her Monsters. Although this is about Unhappy Families, the series Tash makes with Jack, it's more about Tash's shifting relationships with her friends and family. Tash is also asexual and how this affects her life and relationships, especially her budding relationship with a fellow vlogger, plays a large role in this. The family and friend aspects are much the same to any other YA contemporary I've read. Aspects were predictable and the resolutions weren't special to me. But the inclusion of asexual representation and the strong focus of that rep, as well as the internet as a central plot point and all the Leo Tolstoy references elevated this a little for me. I ended up enjoying it a lot and it isn't just the typical YA contemporary. Although it probably didn't hit me as hard as similar books like Radio Silence, this is still really enjoyable and well worth the pick up if you like books that deal with fandom culture, online fame, and fraught family/friend dynamics. Also if you're looking for more books with asexual main characters.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner

    OMG! A book about an asexual character?! GIVE IT TO ME, RIGHT NOW! Finally! I'm not alone in this world! I've only read one ace YA book so far. Don't even know if there are others out there. I'm so glad these books even exist. *after reading* One of the biggest surprised of 2017 has been Tash Hearts Tolstoy. It has so much heart I honestly can't give it anything less than 5 stars. As an aro asexual individual, I'd like to say most of the things Tash said were spot on. Ormsbee really did her resear OMG! A book about an asexual character?! GIVE IT TO ME, RIGHT NOW! Finally! I'm not alone in this world! I've only read one ace YA book so far. Don't even know if there are others out there. I'm so glad these books even exist. *after reading* One of the biggest surprised of 2017 has been Tash Hearts Tolstoy. It has so much heart I honestly can't give it anything less than 5 stars. As an aro asexual individual, I'd like to say most of the things Tash said were spot on. Ormsbee really did her research or she's a fellow ace herself. She sheds light on things like attraction; both mental and sexual, most common misconceptions of what it means to be ace and the shit we have to go through on the daily basis. Google is your friend. Asking questions is important! Don't just assume things about people! No one's experiences attraction the same.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Fadwa (Word Wonders)

    Full review originally posted on my blog: Word Wonders I got this book when it first came out and was super excited to read it but then arcs and responsibilities and OTHER books got in the way and I only got to it four months later. Oups? Anyway, better late than never, right? So I finally read it and I gotta say, I’m not exactly disappointed because I still really enjoyed it but I was underwhelmed. I don’t know what exactly I expected but this wasn’t exactly it and that is alright be Full review originally posted on my blog: Word Wonders I got this book when it first came out and was super excited to read it but then arcs and responsibilities and OTHER books got in the way and I only got to it four months later. Oups? Anyway, better late than never, right? So I finally read it and I gotta say, I’m not exactly disappointed because I still really enjoyed it but I was underwhelmed. I don’t know what exactly I expected but this wasn’t exactly it and that is alright because it’s still an important, good, quick read. The writing isn’t really the kind I like to read, it didn’t pull me in, it was there, it was simple -sometimes too simple for my taste, there wasn’t anything about it that really retained my attention which to some extent is okay because I didn’t hate it either. There were a few bits about it I really liked, some sentences that were really well written and struck a cord but not enough for me to ignore the unnecessary descriptions and the telling rather than showing. That being said there were a few things about it I straight up disliked. Not in the structure but in the word choice. First, it was the ableism. Words like crazy, insane and stupid were thrown in there way too much for my liking (and my liking is zero, or as close to zero as we can get). And second, the language that rubbed me the wrong most is of this kind: “Paul’s a guy, and… and I’m a girl. I still like guys.” Jack is very quiet. “You like Paul?” “No, that’s not what I said. I mean you don’t have to talk like I’m sone sort of… robot” So. Yeah. Aromisic language right there my friends. Like? Not experiencing romantic attraction doesn’t mean people are robots? And that was just the one that struck me the most but I felt like some parts of the book weren’t very aro-friendly. To be honest, at this point in life, I’m just very wary of picking up books with alloromantic asexual representation because of this type of things. Tash hearts Tolstoy is very character driven, it follows Tash while she tries -and fails many times- to navigate overnight fame, new feelings, and her sexuality and I gotta say that eventhough at some points there’s NOTHING happening I really really enjoyed how the story unfolded especially with Tasha messing up so many times, it was genuine and realistic because fact is, teenagers don’t have their lives together as they are so adding new changes is bound to need some figuring out before things fall back into place. She fought with people she cared about, understood that things don’t always turn out the way we want. It was, in my opinion, all around true to the teenage experience. Besides Tash, I felt like the characters needed a bit more depth, they were a bit two dimensional. I didn’t *like* Tash as a character but I appreciated her, she was authentic, messed up quite a lot, turned selfish and self-absorbed when fame hit but that made for great character development material which the author didn’t fail to use by having Tash realize her mistakes, learn from them and do better. At the end, I can say that I started liking her and the decisions she made a bit better. Now to explain why the other characters fell flat to me. Jack, one of her bestfriends, is depicted to be this rude ass person to EVERYONE with no real reason whatsover and like, that’s all she was, there was no other side to her and I don’t think that’s how people work? Especially since she’s not a mean or bad person, she just felt really caricatural to me. Paul on the other hand, is the complete opposite, such a sweet soft guy (whom I loved by the way) but here again, I needed there to be more to his character. I also felt like his relationship with Tash needed a bit more work done to be more believable. The only character I truly hated is her sister Klaudie, she was just egocistical and truly awful to everyone, especially Tash and their parents and I disliked how by the end everyithing just sort of slided back into normal without her ever apologizing for her behavior. All in all, this book has good and bad in it but it still is an important book because asexual rep is pretty rare so I’d recommend reading it especially if you’re looking for that.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emily Mead

    Reasons to read this book: 1. Asexual protagonist (and lots of important conversations about being ace) 2. SO MUCH INTERNET 3. A web series that's an adaptation of Anna Karenina, which is amazing 4. Great, great, great friendships and families 5. Very excellent in general Reasons to read this book: 1. Asexual protagonist (and lots of important conversations about being ace) 2. SO MUCH INTERNET 3. A web series that's an adaptation of Anna Karenina, which is amazing 4. Great, great, great friendships and families 5. Very excellent in general

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stacee

    4.5 stars I love love loved the premise of this book and had seen a few people gushing about it, so I was wary about it. I really liked Tash. I loved being in her head, even when she's maybe being neurotic and super type A. I really enjoyed reading her struggle to figure things out --which sounds weird, but it was realistic to see it. Jack and Paul were fantastic and their friendship was one of the highlights for me. Plot wise, there were parts that were a little slow. I didn't quite care for all 4.5 stars I love love loved the premise of this book and had seen a few people gushing about it, so I was wary about it. I really liked Tash. I loved being in her head, even when she's maybe being neurotic and super type A. I really enjoyed reading her struggle to figure things out --which sounds weird, but it was realistic to see it. Jack and Paul were fantastic and their friendship was one of the highlights for me. Plot wise, there were parts that were a little slow. I didn't quite care for all of the technical film parts, even though they were interesting it was still a bit boring. {Does that even make sense?} There are a lot of threads to this story, but it never felt like too much or overwhelming or unnecessary. For me, it was the characters who carried this book. I couldn't do anything but root for them. Overall, it was a great story with character growth and excellent representation. **Huge thanks to Simon & Schuster BFYR for providing the arc free of charge**

  15. 4 out of 5

    Helena (helinabooks)

    This book was fine. It wasn’t spectacular, but I just wanted a nice contemporary I could read to take my mind off exams and this was a great choice. I feel a bit conflicted about it because there were things I really liked, but others that left me a bit meh, so I’ll try to explain myself as best as I can. Characters: I don’t really know how I feel about the main character, Tash. Sometimes I perfectly understood how she was feeling and where she was coming from, but others I found her to be a bit i This book was fine. It wasn’t spectacular, but I just wanted a nice contemporary I could read to take my mind off exams and this was a great choice. I feel a bit conflicted about it because there were things I really liked, but others that left me a bit meh, so I’ll try to explain myself as best as I can. Characters: I don’t really know how I feel about the main character, Tash. Sometimes I perfectly understood how she was feeling and where she was coming from, but others I found her to be a bit immature and annoying. Same goes for her best friend, Jack – sometimes I thought she was a great friend to Tash, but then she’d do something rude and selfish. However, I loved Paul. He reminded me of a puppy and he was the softest and most supportive boy! As for the rest of the characters, there were some that I wanted to know more about, like other kids in the crew or Tash’s sister, who I think had interesting stories to tell, but we never really get to know them well. Plot: It was definitely unique. I don’t think I’ve ever read about a web-series, and I sure as hell ain’t an expert on them, but it all sounded realistic to me, especially because of how big of a role social media played on the story. They were constantly on Twitter, they met people through the internet, they used Tumblr, they beat themselves up for something an anonymous person told them… I think our generation can relate to all this. Diversity: The main character is asexual heteroromantic, and this topic is thoroughly discussed in the book, which I think is really important since asexuality is always ignored in our society. It was a real portrayal of it, with Tash not knowing how she felt, trying to force herself to do things she didn’t want just because she wanted to feel ‘normal’, learning about asexuality through the internet… And also with people’s reactions, who either didn’t know what it was, thought it was a phase, or didn’t understand it. I won’t give away any spoilers, but it made me so glad that it ended on a positive note for Tash! Aside from the ace rep, both Tash and her mum are Buddhists, while her dad is a Christian (if I recall correctly), and it was nice to see such different characters get along. Love triangle: There was one thing that bothered me a bit, and it’s that there was a love triangle I wasn’t aware of. While I did like how it was resolved, I’m not a big fan of love triangles in general (just a personal preference), but it was well-handled, so I won’t complain much about it. All in all, I enjoyed this and thought it was a good book, but I tend to prefer character-driven books with fleshed out characters that get me invested in the story, and this wasn’t the case (except for Paul. I loved Paul).

  16. 5 out of 5

    Aleksandra

    Splendid and engaging contemporary for all your contemporary needs! Tash Hearts Tolstoy is a story about Tash Zelenka, who's producing a web series modern retelling of Anna Karenina with her friends. Prepare for light-hearted and realistic story, full of production shenanigans, self-discoveries, focus on all kind of relationships (with parents, siblings, friends, coworkers etc) Tash is the protagonist. She's ambitious, determined and very passionate about filmmaking. She's well-crafted complex cha Splendid and engaging contemporary for all your contemporary needs! Tash Hearts Tolstoy is a story about Tash Zelenka, who's producing a web series modern retelling of Anna Karenina with her friends. Prepare for light-hearted and realistic story, full of production shenanigans, self-discoveries, focus on all kind of relationships (with parents, siblings, friends, coworkers etc) Tash is the protagonist. She's ambitious, determined and very passionate about filmmaking. She's well-crafted complex character. It was great to meet her and I think we'd be friends in real life. Also Tash is romantic asexual. The story isn't centered around Tash's asexuality, it's a prominent element of the story as much as it is in Tash's life. I liked the whole cast of secondary characters.Jack and Paul are the greatest and my faves. I loved Jack's stoicism and composure, Paul is literally fluff impersonated. Without going in too many details, both of the multi-layered characters and aren't here in the story just as props for Tash's ascend into greatness and fame. I enjoyed discussions about art and life, future and career prospects. The author has managed to talk is her characters about lots of social and family issues, seamlessly weaving it into the narration. Special kudos for focusing on Russian classics and talking about Lev Tolstoy. Recently Russia hasn't had such great rep in the media because of our current politics and I just want to say we are not our government, we have rich history and culture and we aren't in our entirety bad guys, to put it simply. Having a book like that out here is very important to me. The pacing of the story is wonderfully done, going from scene to scene, from topic to topic very smoothly. The main conflict and its resolution felt natural. You know, sometimes the author gives us the "necessary" drama just for the sake of it. In Tash Hearts Tolstoy everything feels like a logical consequences of previous events. Although, it took me about hundred pages to get really invested into the story. When I got familiar with the cast and the major plot lines, I was 100% in and I struggled to put the book down to do adulting and such. If you're thinking that Russian literature and its modern adaptation isn't your thing, worry not. Tash Hearts Tolstoy is first and foremost about Tash and her life. Thoughtful and endearing coming-of-age story. Highly recommend!

  17. 4 out of 5

    rin

    dnf @ 50% because the mc is obnoxious af and i don't like the story also ace representation feels icky but maybe it's just me ~~~~ (i fucking hate leo tolstoy tho) dnf @ 50% because the mc is obnoxious af and i don't like the story also ace representation feels icky but maybe it's just me ~~~~ (i fucking hate leo tolstoy tho)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for approving my request for a free digital copy in exchange for a review. Tash Hearts Tolstoy excels in its representation. The YA community has been hyped about this book for quite some time now. The main reason is the fact that this book features an established asexual character. There is no reading between the lines, this chapter is ace (pun intended). In fact, the word asexual is mentioned eleven times in this book. This is the kind of rep the asexual c Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for approving my request for a free digital copy in exchange for a review. Tash Hearts Tolstoy excels in its representation. The YA community has been hyped about this book for quite some time now. The main reason is the fact that this book features an established asexual character. There is no reading between the lines, this chapter is ace (pun intended). In fact, the word asexual is mentioned eleven times in this book. This is the kind of rep the asexual community deserves. The conversations surrounded Tash's sexuality are *very* true to life. They are conversations that I have found myself having almost verbatim and the feeling of seeing that rep on page is unlike any other. There are a few throwaway lines that made me a bit uncomfortable but in general I do not think they detract from the overall experience. Oh, and one thing no one mentions is there is confirmed bisexual rep. Despite enjoying the rep I strongly believe that this book suffers from pacing issues. This may be primarily because this is mainly a character driven vs plot driven novel, but I found myself feeling generally very apathetic and willing to consume this more slowly as opposed to something I wanted to read in one go. I found that the plot dragged up until the conflict and then just kinda sputtered along until then. This book is however, perfect for fans of Tolstoy as there are a number of references to his life and work, particularly Anna Karina. In addition, this book relies on a particular trope that I desperately wish would die. It just needs to die. Turning to the characters: I didn't like any of them. I love the representation but the characters themselves were, for the majority of the novel a bit bland. The novel centred a lot on Tash while the supporting and side characters seemed far removed from the periphery so much so that while they were central to the plot i don't know if I got a sense of their personalities. I constantly confused the side characters. I felt like they were just names on a page as opposed to fleshed out characters. However, this is definitely an opinion that may change as I ruminate on the novel some more, having just finished it under an hour ago. Overall, I enjoyed Tash Hearts Tolstoy and I would recommend for anyone looking for positive and more importantly, accurate asexual rep.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    This book was soooo cute. It was adorable and funny and *sigh* Tash Hearts Tolstoy follows Natasha “Tash” Zelenka and her friends who become famous overnight. Tash is obsessed with Tolstoy and decided to create and direct a webseries that retells Anna Karenina in a modern way. After a famous Youtuber gives them a shout-out they find themselves going viral with 40,000+ new followers. I loved all the supporting characters. But I’ll admit it took me a while to figure out who was who. I feel like all This book was soooo cute. It was adorable and funny and *sigh* Tash Hearts Tolstoy follows Natasha “Tash” Zelenka and her friends who become famous overnight. Tash is obsessed with Tolstoy and decided to create and direct a webseries that retells Anna Karenina in a modern way. After a famous Youtuber gives them a shout-out they find themselves going viral with 40,000+ new followers. I loved all the supporting characters. But I’ll admit it took me a while to figure out who was who. I feel like all these characters were mentioned within a few chapters and I was lost for a little too long. But when I finally got them all straight they were great, especially Jack and Paul, siblings and Tash’s best friends. Tash, Jack, and Paul’s friendship is definitely one of the best parts of the book. Paul and Jack are complete opposites, but both amazing and precious in their own ways. (Paul is literal sunshine.) Like these are the friends you wish you had. There’s also a lot of focus on familial relationships. Tash’s parents were amazing, like YA is sorely lacking from great parents. Tash’s dad is a chef so obviously he’s my favorite. The whole reason I picked this up was because the main character is asexual. ( I. Am. Here. For. It.) Tash is romantic asexual, and she struggles a lot with this when it comes to terms of what it means for her and future relationships. She’s insecure and confused about her sexuality and hurt when other people doubt that asexuality is real. (The A in LGBTQIAP stands for Asexual wtf.) While the story isn’t technically about her sexuality it is a big part of it. I loved how the author made a point to explain what being ace meant for Tash specifically because obviously it doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone. FYI, there is aphobia here, but it’s never condoned and it’s mostly stereotypes and misconceptions when it comes to asexuality. Also I’ve heard that this is one of the most accurate representations of Youtube. Like having a channel and all the work that goes into it, or keeping up with social media accounts, and what to do when that hate starts to roll in. So if that interest you definitely try this! Bottom line, this was really great. It’s very relatable and funny, all of you should check it out.

  20. 4 out of 5

    ivy♡

    * 1.5 stars * note : this is an ownvoices story ( the author identifies as demisexual ) another note : this also happens to be an ownvoices review -- i identify as asexual like our mc, but i'm biromantic while the mc is heteroromantic. just saying. tw : aphobia. rep : 🎬 heteroromantic ace, semi - buddhist ( i don't know exactly how it works ) mc 🎬 gay indian side character 🎬 bisexual / pansexual side character * T A S H H E A R T S T O L S T O Y tash zelenka and her best friend jack harlow find t * 1.5 stars * note : this is an ownvoices story ( the author identifies as demisexual ) another note : this also happens to be an ownvoices review -- i identify as asexual like our mc, but i'm biromantic while the mc is heteroromantic. just saying. tw : aphobia. rep : 🎬 heteroromantic ace, semi - buddhist ( i don't know exactly how it works ) mc 🎬 gay indian side character 🎬 bisexual / pansexual side character * T A S H H E A R T S T O L S T O Y tash zelenka and her best friend jack harlow find themselves the talk of the web series community when her amateur modern adaptation of leo tolstoy's anna karenina, entitled 'unhappy families', goes viral. tash loves the attention their show is receiving; the unhappy families - inspired gifs on tumblr, a request for an interview by a famous blog, fangirling tweets, even merchandise created by fans. but that's just the positive part -- she's got to face the hate too. not to mention the accompanying anxiousness. but then 'unhappy families' gets nominated for 'best web series' under the golden tuba awards ( which are sort of like the web series equivalent of the oscars, from what i understood ). tash is excited, not just because of the imminent possibility of winning, but also because she will get to meet thom causer, a fellow nominee and vlogger, with whom she has been teetering on the edge of something more than friendship. he doesn't know she's a heteroromantic asexual, but she's hoping that things will work out eventually, when they meet in real life for the first time. until then, she has to deal with the increasingly strained relationship with her sister, an important announcement her parents makes, her increasingly rocky friendship with jack and paul ( who is jack's brother, also tash's best friend ) and keeping up with the filming schedule, aside from other worries. * the ace rep, as far as heteroromantic asexuality is concerned, was really good -- tash wasn't just limited to her sexuality; she had her interests and worries and obsessions with other aspects of her life too. but that didn't mean that the ace part of her was covered up, either. she talks about it, and one of the things i related to was the whole idea of how coming out is particularly confusing, especially to your parents -- because what can you say, really ? 'hi mum and dad, just saying, but i don't really have a requirement for sex. heh heh.' yeah, you get the point. there was also the bit where tash mentioned how she was told that the 'a' in 'lgbtqiap+' stands for allies. and all of the bits where she was told that she didn't belong, just because of her sexuality. you know one of those passages in books which make you go 'oh my god ! that's what i go through every day ! I've seen that so many times and now someone has finally said it !' ? yeah, that's how i felt. i felt like this was going to be a 4.5 star read for me at the beginning -- there was so much promise ! and ace rep is incredibly hard to find because a lot of people believe that movies, tv shows and books aren't complete without a healthy dose of sex. and when you finally cross that barrier, you also need to think -- but is this accurate ace rep ? i added this book to my tbr after someone recommended it in the review of Let's Talk About Love and after reading the summary i felt like the mc wasn't some immature little kid ( there's nothing wrong with making your mc ' cute ' or ' quirky ' or ' fun ' -- it's just that these qualities associated with ace people are harmful to us as a whole. we're not prudes or little kids afraid of sex. we just don't need it, is all ), so i decided to give it a go. first of all, i felt like it was a bit off when the main character is referred to as ' romantic asexual ' because that is a very generalised term, in my opinion. she's heteroromantic asexual, by the way. when i read ' romantic asexual ' in the summary, i thought that hey, maybe she's just confused between homoromantic, heteroromantic, and biromantic / panromantic asexuality or something. but later into the book, i realised that no, there is no confusion. tash referred to herself as heteroromantic asexual exactly once, mind you. there was also a bit where this remark was made when tash is speaking to jay, a gay character, and contemplating coming out to him - “I’m worried that telling Jay will be the equivalent of stomping on his foot. To throw out my lack of sexuality when Jay is getting harangued every day for the expression of his own? It seems so insensitive. It’s not like people are telling me I can’t get married or that I’m going to hell. i have exactly one thing to say to tash ( there's more, but i'll be decent and stick to one ) : 1 ) asexuality is not a lack of sexuality. it is a sexuality. asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction, not the lack of sexuality. -> also, ace people are oppressed in many ways. search it up. aaand there was also another bit where she implied that aro ace people are robots skjskjsksj. see, the thing is, a lot of people still don't know what asexuality is. i came out to a friend of mine a few weeks ago, because she is a great person and genuinely supportive of queer people, but then when i came out, she very apologetically asked me : 'actually, i don't know what it means. could you explain maybe ?' there are loads of people like this around the world, and books like these help in making otherwise ignorant people understand about how asexuality works. even a small remark or a throwaway thought can perpetuate completely wrong stereotypes, and that is something i really, really, really would like to avoid experiencing. moving on, let's talk about tash. i didn't like her, okay ? she was a little too selfish for my liking. i mean, i get that a little bit of selfishness is important, she's just a teenager, blah blah blah. i get that, i do. but there are random bits in between where she irritated me or straight up pissed me off. again, i'm NOT saying that she should be a mary sue; weaknesses are important to make a character more authentic, and i agree with that idea. it's just that there are some things that she said or did that made me want to throw something at her, some things that i just couldn't agree with. the love - triangle was half - hearted, and that's kind of obvious. it was really clear who she was going to end up with. (view spoiler)[either she or jack was constantly finding fault with thom. thom is a dickhead, but what i'm trying to say here is that it's pretty obvious the author would have made him one. (hide spoiler)] also, it got slightly boring sometimes because the plot mostly revolved around a lot of drama that happens before the golden tuba awards, but i think that it was like that for me because i was expecting the golden tubas to occur a lot earlier on in the story ? maybe. would recommend if you're looking for a story featuring a heteroromantic ace mc, whose sexuality is not the first thing on her mind, and a plot that revolves around the drama in her life. * yet another note : my views are totally subjective, so just because i don't like a particular book doesn't mean that it's objectively bad. i'd suggest everyone to read something before they criticize it:) *

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    DNF @ 100 pages I really thought i was going to like this one - a book about internet fame with an asexual main character and (i think?) a f/f romance?? exactly up my alley but unfortunately i just could not vibe with the writing. The writing was 100% telling and no showing, the dialogue and characters all seemed very stilted/fake and the scenes were very odd - they were all just a handful of pages and didn't flesh out characters at all to the point where half of those 100 pages i was like why is DNF @ 100 pages I really thought i was going to like this one - a book about internet fame with an asexual main character and (i think?) a f/f romance?? exactly up my alley but unfortunately i just could not vibe with the writing. The writing was 100% telling and no showing, the dialogue and characters all seemed very stilted/fake and the scenes were very odd - they were all just a handful of pages and didn't flesh out characters at all to the point where half of those 100 pages i was like why is this scene even here?? also there were so many characters you're just thrown into without any explanation of who they are - I thought Jack was a boy until page 50ish and have no clue who half the other characters are. Also Tash is an extremely annoying and unreasonable main character. I guess I recommend it to people who like YA contemporaries but I'm just a bit pick I supposed when it comes to them so I will not be finishing this one

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    *3.75 Review to come once I have gathered all my thoughts!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lucie

    This book means the world to me. I want to cry because it's the first time I've felt close to a representation of my sexuality, because I'm demisexual and so many of Tash's experiences were similar to mine. I loved how Tash said Tolstoy was her 'dead Russian boyfriend' and how she talked to her poster sometimes. I loved how she was a vegetarian and sometimes ate snacks because there was no vegetarian options. I loved how she had a YouTube channel where she drank tea and talked about her favourit This book means the world to me. I want to cry because it's the first time I've felt close to a representation of my sexuality, because I'm demisexual and so many of Tash's experiences were similar to mine. I loved how Tash said Tolstoy was her 'dead Russian boyfriend' and how she talked to her poster sometimes. I loved how she was a vegetarian and sometimes ate snacks because there was no vegetarian options. I loved how she had a YouTube channel where she drank tea and talked about her favourite classics adaptation. I loved how she was lost about her sexuality, as I still am and want to cry about it. I loved how she created a webseries adapting Anna Karenina. I loved how she made me feel valid. I am so grateful this book exists and it might not be perfect but it has such an important place in my heart. Full review to come.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Clara (The Bookworm of Notre-Dame)

    You can read my full review on my blog. (...) Here we are. Sure, I wasn’t in the best mood to read it and yes, it is cliché and Tash can be annoying and not many things happen and you don’t really see her vlog and stuff but it is important. I know it helped many people and I hope it’ll continue to do so. It is a very simple, yet beautiful book that now has a very special place in my heart. I am so glad I read it, well I am glad my friend Lucie pushed me to read it, and it will stick with me for a You can read my full review on my blog. (...) Here we are. Sure, I wasn’t in the best mood to read it and yes, it is cliché and Tash can be annoying and not many things happen and you don’t really see her vlog and stuff but it is important. I know it helped many people and I hope it’ll continue to do so. It is a very simple, yet beautiful book that now has a very special place in my heart. I am so glad I read it, well I am glad my friend Lucie pushed me to read it, and it will stick with me for a very long time. So thank you Tash for taking the time to chat with me and making me feel loved, welcomed and normal. Tolstoy would be proud of you.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    Forewarning: This is about to get personal and deep, so hang in there. So I decided the other day at 1 in the morning that I would buy Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Katheryn Ormsbee and boy, do I not regret it. I cried happy tears twice and teared up at the acknowledgments. Now, I have read books with ace protagonists before, but Tash … Tash hit home for me. I felt so comforted and validated reading this book. Tash felt like I did. She was going through the same worries and anxiety I was. This sounds f Forewarning: This is about to get personal and deep, so hang in there. So I decided the other day at 1 in the morning that I would buy Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Katheryn Ormsbee and boy, do I not regret it. I cried happy tears twice and teared up at the acknowledgments. Now, I have read books with ace protagonists before, but Tash … Tash hit home for me. I felt so comforted and validated reading this book. Tash felt like I did. She was going through the same worries and anxiety I was. This sounds fake, I’m probably just a prude, why don’t I want sex, how can I be human is humans are sexual beings and I am not sexual in the least? These all thoughts I’ve had and still struggle with every now and them. And seeing someone else going through what I have, what I am, was like a weight lifting off me. “Because how could I like boys - want one to ask me out, tell me he liked me, loved me even - and not want to have sex with them? What if everyone on these forums was just … confused, like me?” And even though having ace friends and reading blog posts by ace people, this was comforting in a way I had yet to experience. And seeing my thoughts articulated so clearly was … relieving. I got Tash and Tash got me. And I loved having that experience. It was amazing. “I know what I want and what I don’t want. I’ve never wanted sex. Never. I’ve never understood why it has to be in every book and movie and television show ever made… I’m not scared, I just don’t want it.” I related to a character in a way I have never been able to before, on a very deep and emotional level. I needed this book way more than I thought I did. If you are ace, you deserve this book. If you aren’t ace, this describes asexuality in a real and easy way to understand. I know I should talk about the other aspects of the books, so I’ll go over that real quick. Tash is a great main character, very flawed but also very loving The relationships in this book were great. Some of the most realistic I’ve read in a while. There were a few too many characters in my opinion, but I did know who everyone was, so it wasn’t too bad. The plot was really interesting, I loved exploring Internet fame and how it effects people Also the portrayal of the Internet was really accurate, which was nice I loved the family dynamics with Tash and her family Just all around a good book, with solid plot and characters (the relationships in this book were just amazing tho!!! Amazing!!!! I love good platonic relationships) So go read this book, please!!! It needs all the support it can get.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is me. In almost every sense of the word. I'm so incredibly grateful I got to read it five months early!!! What don't I love about Tash? I think my only criticism is that the author references revealing the gender of a baby instead of sex. Otherwise, I'm pretty content. Was the love interest obvious? Sure. Was it a little cliche at times? Maybe. Do I care? To quote my dear friend Ingrid Michaelson, HELLLLL NOOOOOO As far as ace rep, this book did AN AMAZING JOB! Now if you're aro/ace it This book is me. In almost every sense of the word. I'm so incredibly grateful I got to read it five months early!!! What don't I love about Tash? I think my only criticism is that the author references revealing the gender of a baby instead of sex. Otherwise, I'm pretty content. Was the love interest obvious? Sure. Was it a little cliche at times? Maybe. Do I care? To quote my dear friend Ingrid Michaelson, HELLLLL NOOOOOO As far as ace rep, this book did AN AMAZING JOB! Now if you're aro/ace it may not be the same for you, but I saw myself in these pages. Also it was great bc it made me imagine what I would do in Tash's shoes. Her fiasco with Thom is literally something I think about on a daily basis. What would I do in her situation? Probably the exact same thing. I just pray I never get a response like Thom's. If you are not ace and you felt like Thom did, or even to some extent Jack and Paul, plz check yourself. We aces are not robots. Also if a guy ever told me he'd rather hug me than be with anyone else I'd probably just swoon and cry a little. I am a combo of Tash/Jack. Heteroromantic ace, repressed emptions, vlogger/YouTuber, Nashvillian. You couldn't write a book that caters more to who I am than this. I loved every second of it!! I felt so well represented and the whole thing drew me in. I fell in love with all of it. Wasn't a huge fan of the baby twist and I wish we didn't have the cancer plotline, but otherwise I enjoyed it a lot!!! Thom kinda made me wanna claw my eyes out, but we all knew it was her and Paul in the beginning anyways. KATHRYN KILLED IT

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE BE GOOD I NEED ME SOME ASEXUAL REP NOVELS !!! Update: 6-3-17 It's not often that you see an asexual character represented (positively) in media. Even more so, you rarely discover main characters who are asexual and honest about themselves. That's what Tash Hearts Tolstoy means to me. Simon and Schuster sent me this eARC of THT through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review but this won't in any way influence my opinions—however, the fact that I am asexual might. *wink* I lov PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE BE GOOD I NEED ME SOME ASEXUAL REP NOVELS !!! Update: 6-3-17 It's not often that you see an asexual character represented (positively) in media. Even more so, you rarely discover main characters who are asexual and honest about themselves. That's what Tash Hearts Tolstoy means to me. Simon and Schuster sent me this eARC of THT through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review but this won't in any way influence my opinions—however, the fact that I am asexual might. *wink* I loved this book. Plain and simple. This was my first novel from Kathryn Ormsbee, who I believe also identifies as ace (the #ownvoices rep makes it so much better!) While the writing wasn't spectacular, it was fun, concise, and I enjoyed listening to Natasha's (Tash) perspective. Tash is such a charming main character. She dreams of being a filmmaker, lives for social media, has internet friends, and cares immensely for her family. And she's asexual, of course (you can't possibly expect me to not mention this. . .repeatedly.) If you couldn't tell by the title, Tash adores Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy—a Russian author who wrote Tash's favorite novel of all time: Anna Karenina. In fact, she makes a modern retelling of AK into a web series. When it becomes super popular due to a shoutout from a larger Youtuber, their views soar and so Tash and her actor buddies became instant viral sensations. Filled with laughter, self-discovery, and friendship, Tash Hearts Tolstoy is a book I'd definitely recommend, whether you're looking for LGBTQIAP+ rep or for just a fun read that will instantly cheer you up. END OF SPOILER FREE SECTION Read more… Let's get to know Tash. Natasha Zelenka is your average American teen in Kentucky, from a Czech father and a Kiwi (New Zealand) mother. Tash practices Buddhism from her mother but is overall pretty much your regular kid. She doesn't always get along with her older, more seemingly perfect sister, Klaudie. The blend of mixed culture was so natural in THT, which is another thing I'd like to see more in YA. Tash's mother was patient and kind and misses her home in NZ, but loves her little clan of Zelenkas in Kentucky, too. The family dynamic was so strong in this novel, faced with struggles such as college tuition, unexpected pregnancy, reparations with parents and siblings, and many other obstacles. One of my favorite things about THT was how social media was so purely integrated into the characters' lives. In many contemporary novels, I've noticed that YA characters in modern day settings aren't as focused on the internet. Perhaps that's only adult YA authors not considering the generation gap between us and them—or some teenagers just aren't interested in living online. However, in THT the actors of Tash and Jack's web series are all connected to Youtube, Tumblr, blogs, etc. It feels so. . .realistic? I'm a blogger, and I'm friends with bloggers—social media dictates our lives, ideal or not, it's a trope I'd like to see more often in YA contemporary. I also loved loved the way THT tackled the unique experience of viral sensations. Sure, lots of people (and I mean lots) have become viral sensations since the beginning of the internet, but in THT Tash and her friends are overwhelmed by fan blogs, public appearances, and pretending to not be bothered by their first wave of hate comments. Eventually, things slow down again, proving that you may burn bright, but you do not burn forever. That being said, I really wish Tash existed so I could binge her show Unhappy Families and watch her teatime talks. That would be everything. Now, onto the asexuality. When it's first mentioned, Tash is recalling when she told her friends Jacklyn and Paul that she "didn't want sex" from a relationship. You can say that they didn't expect Tash to share this info about herself—but later in the present time of the novel, Jack apparently did her research in addition to Tash and said she understands her asexuality. Tash begins to cry with relief that Jack let her open up to her. When I told my friends I was asexual, it was much more casual and I didn't hug or cry, my friends only said, "that's cool." oops? It's altogether a very heartwarming scene. As for Thom. Thom is portrayed as the golden boy internet friend. He was there to give her advice when Tash was overwhelmed by the influx of comments and views on Unhappy Families. Tash is obsessed with flirt-texting Thom, but hesitates to bring up her asexuality. She is afraid to ruin her chances. There is SO MUCH WRONG with this mindset. But against her better judgement, Tash falls harder for Thom and knows she can meet him at the Golden Tubas Awards for vlog and web series Youtube channels. This is where it all gets real. Thom, you see, is a character that I genuinely liked. He was fun, flirty, etc. and made my girl Tash flutter inside. Even when skeptic Paul tells Tash that Thom is only a phase and continues to put down internet friends not cool, Paul. Thom was portrayed as sweet and caring. However, Tash arrives at the awards show and Thom isn't what she thought. Thom is late. Thom is rude. Thom is Thom is Thom is. MY PROBLEM IS when Tash is honest about her asexuality and Thom shoots back all the typical aphobia I see on the internet—you just haven't met the right person, this is an excuse to not be intimate, etc. While the aphobia thrown in my face sucks, what hurt me ishow Thom is so easily flipped from golden boy to ignorant trash. I've seen in YA that characters aren't always consistent and often change personalities depending on how the authors see fit. It's true that not everyone online is honest, but making Thom come off as sweet and charming and then blow Tash off and feed her ignorance is not the boy she texted. All I'm saying is, it was way too easy to set Thom up as the villain when he was viewed as the hero. P.S. the trope of best friend (Paul) pining after main character (Tash) for years is too extreme cliche for me to handle. That aside, I really enjoyed THT. In a few more words, Tash Hearts Tolstoy had some issues with characters but otherwise had wonderful asexual rep and a fun storyline about viral sensations online—and a couple lessons about family thrown in there, too. I'd love to see THT spawn a collection of more ace books. Hopefully they'll be aromantic asexual books. One can only hope. . . I'm incredible grateful to have received an eARC for Tash Hearts Tolstoy. However, since I am an ace I'm going to purchase a hardcover copy and support Kathryn Ormsbee during pride month. . .of all months.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nasty Lady MJ

    To see full review click here. I was really excited about this book since it was suppose to feature an asexual protagonist. And God knows, there’s hardly any rep of that in YA. The thing is Tash Hearts Tolstoy didn’t really work for me. And no, it wasn’t a representation issue. Though, it’s not even mentioned that the character is asexual until about a hundred or so pages in the book, but that’s besides the point. Why did I quit this book? Well, to put it bluntly I did not like the main character a To see full review click here. I was really excited about this book since it was suppose to feature an asexual protagonist. And God knows, there’s hardly any rep of that in YA. The thing is Tash Hearts Tolstoy didn’t really work for me. And no, it wasn’t a representation issue. Though, it’s not even mentioned that the character is asexual until about a hundred or so pages in the book, but that’s besides the point. Why did I quit this book? Well, to put it bluntly I did not like the main character and more or less the book was another contemporary taking of the trend of 2017 (social media break out star). Yeah, yeah, yeah, I knew going in it was going to feature this trope. But there was something just noxious to me about it, I think because it was more or less the cliche of fame going to your head…or at least that’s what the author was trying to go with, but really from what I saw the MC’s friend was really an asshole a la Lily Moscovitz from The Princess Diaries books, though to be fair though the MC, Tash, is also annoying. And not annoying in an endearing way like Mia Thermpolis. No. She was just so, so, annoying. In part, because this book has major shades of pandering in it. I mentioned pandering in my review of Queen of Geeks a few months. One thing I will give Tash Hearts Tolstoy is at least the MC’s TV web episodes weren’t immediately successful. They had to get noticed first, but still the whole going viral bit was a bit unexplained. And, well, boring. Getting that many views, you’d think there would be more fall out than there was. And maybe, if I kept reading the book I could’ve seen more of it. But again, I read a little over a hundred pages and was completely underwhelmed with the whole thing. I skimmed through the end to see if things picked up, from what I saw the book took the cliche route and really I did not have enough time to read that sort of shit. My reading time is tight enough as it is, and with Tash being so obnoxious I didn’t want to waste my time with her or her story. Which is a shame, because like I said I was interested in reading a book with an asexual main character. But instead, I got whiney Tash who just seems to go in her room, talk about how she’s going to get into freaking Vanderbilt because she works at Old Navy, and complains about how evil her sister is for looking like Scarlett Johansson and occasionally mentions something interesting about her Czech heritage-alas, there is a lack of kolaches in the part of the book I read. Being of Czech heritage myself that is so, so wrong. Man, writing this makes me wish that I could find a good gluten free recipe for kolaches. I miss kolaches. Especially the poppy seed ones. Poppy seed kolaches are the best. I’m not kidding you about the character’s activities. Given the synopsis of the book, I thought that the characters sexuality would play more of a role in the book than it did. And maybe it did further on in the book, but it really was only merely thrown out there. And in a way I think that might’ve been how it should be, but given how it was presented even though it was so sudden…you could tell it was going to be a plot that was further developed. Sigh. So yeah, me and this book just did not connect. I wouldn’t say it was exactly a horrible book, but Tash and I just did not get a long and I didn’t see us ever getting along. Add the fact that the plot was going the cliche route, I really wasn’t interested in staying around and seeing how things played out.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jeann (Happy Indulgence)

    3.5 stars An adorable and fluffy read about unexpected online fame after starting a web series. There are so many ideas here that I found relatable as a blogger: - how more followers affects your craft - dealing with online trolls - meeting online friends in real life - sharing the love for what you do with others - meeting your blogging inspirations - vloggers online vs in real life Tash is also ace and is convinced that would ruin any future relationship prospects. I loved this exploration into her i 3.5 stars An adorable and fluffy read about unexpected online fame after starting a web series. There are so many ideas here that I found relatable as a blogger: - how more followers affects your craft - dealing with online trolls - meeting online friends in real life - sharing the love for what you do with others - meeting your blogging inspirations - vloggers online vs in real life Tash is also ace and is convinced that would ruin any future relationship prospects. I loved this exploration into her identity and what it meant with her interaction with friends and other guys, as she learns, everyone's experiences with being ace are different. All the side characters were also adorable, especially Paul and Jack who are Tash's best friends. I loved Jack's cool indifference to most things, even though she could be annoyingly emotionless at times, she tempered the fire in Tash. And it definitely didn't mean she was less passionate about the web series. At a certain point, Tash meets a famous vlogger who kept on getting her name wrong, despite having watched her vlogs (where she pronounces her name). I've had this before and it really grinded on my nerves! There are 7 actors who are a part of the web series, and each and every one of them had their own quirks. From the one who is a jerk but is great at acting, to the very professional and the ones with an unexpected talent, I thought it was really fun exploring this. Check out Happy Indulgence Books for more reviews!

  30. 5 out of 5

    may ☆彡

    4.75 stars. I really enjoyed this read!! I was so close to loving it with all my heart as well, but... well, I’ll get to that in a moment. I adored the plot of this book. It was different, and smart, and very funny. The main character, Tash, was hilarious and kind, but also selfish. She seemed like a real human being, flaws and all. And the Tolstoy aspect of the book was so witty and fun, I liked how Tash talked to him whenever she was feeling confused. It was comical but cute at the same time. E 4.75 stars. I really enjoyed this read!! I was so close to loving it with all my heart as well, but... well, I’ll get to that in a moment. I adored the plot of this book. It was different, and smart, and very funny. The main character, Tash, was hilarious and kind, but also selfish. She seemed like a real human being, flaws and all. And the Tolstoy aspect of the book was so witty and fun, I liked how Tash talked to him whenever she was feeling confused. It was comical but cute at the same time. Exactly like this book. But it was not perfect. Barely any of them are anymore :( The middle just dragged. I got so bored of the time between their filming and the Tuba Awards. I felt like the author was just trying to fill up space, and it was annoying. Also, the ending. I feel like this might not be a popular opinion, but it didn’t seem quite finished to me. *SPOILERS* I loved that Tash & Paul got together in the end, because Thom was a freaking asshole. Wt actual f was wrong with this guy?!! I wanted to punch him in the freaking nuts, and I am the opposite of what you would call a violent person. Ignorant, selfish, stuck-up people who think they know everything and exactly what’s best for you just make me so mad. Paul was so sweet and understanding and I was so happy with his acceptance of Tash for who she was. But the ending seemed forced, like the story could’ve gone on longer but was cut short before it was truly done. A freaking amazing book, if you ask me. Other than a few little complaints, I loved Tash Hearts Tolstoy. I would recommend this for sure to anyone!!!

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