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? (via Goodreads)

I received an eARC from Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, Simon and Schuster, in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve been excited about Tash Hearts Tolstoy since I first heard about it. A romantic asexual protagonist written by someone who is ace? Sign me up. I’m the exact audience for that nove

Contrary to my general hatred of videos, I really love youtube translations of old books. Some particular favorites are The Lizzie Bennett Diaries and Carmilla (which I desperately need to catch up on), but I know there are a lot of other shows that I haven’t watched.

I’m gonna be real with you guys, Tash’s experience really resonated with me. I found out what asexuality was when I was a year into the same relationship I’m planning a wedding for now. I had to do the research that Tash did, though luckily all of my college friends are pretty queer as well, so I didn’t have the same troubles that Tash did. I did love that Tash called her friends out on their really bad comments, and that the book dealt with some of the most common issues that my fellow aces and I run into on a regular basis – misunderstandings, being told that it doesn’t make any sense or that we’re too young to know we don’t want sex.

I also loved that Tash’s friends called her out on being very focused on herself and getting angry when she didn’t know things in their lives.

I do have a confession, though. I have never been able to finish Anna Karenina. Tash would have been horribly disappointed, though I will admit that the last time I tried I was 15. I may have to give it another try in the future, because I loved Tash as a character, and I’ll give things a second try for people I love.

This was definitely a five star read for me. You can pick up a copy of this fantastic book on Amazon, Indiebound or your other favorite bookseller. I highly recommend it, especially for those of us desperate for good ace representation. I think you’ll enjoy this book.

Five stars

Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of it.

6 thoughts on “Review:: Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee”

  1. Yay goody, I am so glad this was a good read! I love the premise — it’s always fun when books engage with the internet in a way that doesn’t feel forced or fake, and it’s GREAT to have more books with #ownvoices ace rep. Have you seen that Edgar Allan Poe webseries? I saw a gif from it the other day that included Lizzie and Lydia from Lizzie Bennett Diaries, so now I am really feeling that it would be remiss of me not to check it out.

    1. I hope you love it as much as I did, Weezie. It just meant so much to read all of the rep on the page and have it sound so much like my own story. Come talk to me when you read it, please!!

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