Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on June 6, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Romance
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After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust into the limelight: She’s gone viral.
Her show is a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina—written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the forty thousand new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr GIFs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever.
And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with Thom Causer, a fellow award nominee, suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual.
Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?
Tash Hearts Tolstoy was an enjoyable, but predictable and at times cliché, read. I really enjoyed the web series aspect of it and overall it was just so adorable! The main character is romantic asexual as well and this book deals a lot with Tash still struggling with her sexuality.
For the most part, I really like Tash! She loves to read and is especially obsessed with Leo Tolstoy, who is also her literary love. Tash is best friends with her neighbors, Jaclyn “Jack” and Paul, and she and Jack have made a webseries that’s a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina. Although I liked Tash, she annoyed me at times and could be stubborn and unwilling to let go of small things every now and then. But not everyone is perfect, and so I don’t really mind that Tash made bad decisions and said really dumb things sometimes.
Like I said, Tash is romantic asexual. She’s always had a hard time coming to terms with it and wonders why others feel things that she doesn’t. When Tash reveals her sexuality at one point, one of the characters tells her that people on the internet made that up and it’s not true. This is a really important part of the story and I’m also really glad I finally had the chance to read a book with an asexual main character because you don’t often see that representation in YA.
The friendship aspect was so cute! I really loved how close Tash was with Jack and Paul. Their friendship seemed real and not at all forced (like some of the other relationships were). Even when something came between them, they were always able to work it out and in the end, it just made them even closer than before. .
Like I said, some of the relationships did feel force (the romantic ones). I did not at all like Tash’s relationship with Thom. Right from the start, I did not like him or trust him. I also did not think it was smart of Tash to be flirting with someone she had never met through texts, but who knows, I guess that does happen in real life, I just honestly don’t understand how? There were some other romantic relationships that weren’t as forced and bad, just predictable. After about 100 pages I realized what direction the book was heading in and I will be honest, it kind of annoyed me, but not as much towards the end.
The writing and plot were pretty simple. Tash and her friend have created an Anna Karenina based webseries that all of a sudden goes viral and is also up for a golden Tuba nomination. The Golden Tubas are prestigious awards for webseries makers, I think. The writing was not anything special. It kind of reminded me of Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here with all of Tash’s snarky comments mixed in, which I enjoyed.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, despite it being a bit predictable and cliché and the main character sometimes annoying me. The story was cute and simple and the romances were not as cute, I will admit. I loved the friendships and also the representation. I recommend this book to anybody looking for a fun, cutesy contemporary or looking for a book with asexual representation as well.