Bee Reviews TASH HEARTS TOLSTOY by Kathryn Ormsbee

Posted May 29, 2017 by Bee in Reviews / 2 Comments

Bee Reviews TASH HEARTS TOLSTOY by Kathryn Ormsbee

Tash Hearts Tolstoy

by Kathryn Ormsbee
Published on June 6th 2017
by Simon & Schuster
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss

Also by this author:

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?

I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

3.5 Stars

Tash Hearts Tolstoy was a perfectly lovely, diverse read with epic friendships and awesome parents (!) that I probably should have loved a lot but instead… I’m kind of swaying on that thin border between love and like and hoping I don’t fall to my death on someone’s torch or pitchfork. Because yes, this book had lots of awesome things that I loved but it also had things I had issues with and that make me wail in agony because I wanted to adore this book. But I just kind of loved it. Which makes me sad.

I really want to start out with saying that I really enjoyed the writing and it was super easy for me to get into. I have had the author’s other book Lucky Few on my TBR for a while now but have never gotten to it, which I should probably fix asap. Especially now that I’ve read this book because her writing is really my style and I’ve heard good things about it so what am I waiting for really? For my TBR to shrink down to a reasonable and managable size? Because that’s never going to happen ever. Nobody should expect their TBR to do that because it’s a hopeless cause. This review is the perfect example because I’m giving you another book to put on yours. You’re welcome.

Another win in this book is the diversity because there’s a lot of it! Tash is asexual, which is AMAZING, because I need more ace rep in YA. Being of the ace spectrum myself. But there’s also a teeny tiny gay romance in the background which I honestly would like to read about more?? Maybe we can have this book from their perspective? YES PLEASE. Also I’m 99% sure Tash is biracial too. And her dad is a chef. This doesn’t really relate to diversity except for the diverse foods that are eaten in this book, which, let’s be honest, is very important diversity as well. Food is important, people. It’s nice to see people in books actually eat.

We also have a very accurate rep of the effort it costs to  maintain a blog/youtube channel and handle the social media, especially the trolls. Because it’s a LOT of work and there’s a lot of mean people out there in the interwebz. I’m lucky enough to not be famous and popular (*cries*) so I really haven’t experienced that side of things myself but I know others who have and I see it a lot. It was nice to see that it wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine for Tash and Jack.

Speaking off, I loved the friendships in this book a lot. I am a big fan of positive friendships in YA and think books need that more. Like a lot more. Jack and Paul are siblings and Tash’s best friends and they were the best. I loved Jack, who is not very good at the emotional stuff but that kind of made her adorable in my eyes? I know, weird. Paul is the most precious of everyone and I just wanted to cuddle him. Also awesome parents. YAY. Yes please! I loved Tash’s parents. Her father is a chef. I mean… Obviously I love him.

BUT HERE IS WHERE THE TROUBLE STARTS. Because while I did love Jack and Paul and their sibling bond is the best thing ever… I didn’t really love Tash herself? Like… I liked her and stuff, but she was so frustrating sometimes and I didn’t really think she changed all that much? Also I spent like 80% of this book pronouncing her name wrong in my head. It wasn’t until she explained how to do it to another character that I found out myself. WHAT IS THIS. MY LIFE IS A LIE. View Spoiler »

Also the cast of the web-series was not THAT big but I did get confused sometimes keeping them all apart? But I didn’t have trouble with the two guys that end up being an item because of course I wouldn’t get confused by those two. I still vote for this book to be rewritten from their perspective and also released like next month or something. That’d be lovely.

Aaaand unfortunately I wasn’t into the romance the whole time. It was kiiind of a love-triangle that I didn’t like and found frustrating until the third person was out and it was just the main ship and they got their act together. So I liked the romance at the end. But up until then it was just… nope for me. And sometimes things got a bit too dramatic and I don’t like unnecessary drama, people. You know this.

And lastly, I didn’t really see the point of Klaudie?? Like… yay for sisters and siblings and all but what was the point of her? WHY did she suddenly act all stupid? Just to add more drama to the story because if that’s the case… Again, unnecessary drama + me = no. So yeah. I didn’t really see the point of her being there. Sorry?

Overall I did really enjoy this book a lot. I even mildly and cautiously loved it. But I had issues with it that stopped me from really loving like I wanted to. I still thing you should read this if you’re a fan of YA Contemporary AND especially if you’re a youtuber/vlogger and very active on social media and the likes. Because this might just be super relatable to you. And also yay ace rep because we need more of this! So go read this book at your earliest convenience.


About Kathryn Ormsbee

Hello! I am a ginger girl who writes stories. My debut novel, THE WATER AND THE WILD, is a Middle Grade fantasy out now from Chronicle Books, with a sequel to follow in Fall 2016. My YA debut, LUCKY FEW, will be published by Simon & Schuster in Summer 2016. THE HOUSE IN POPLAR WOOD, a standalone MG fantasy, comes out in 2017.
I was born and raised in the Bluegrass State. Then I went off and lived in places across the pond, like England and Spain, where I pretended I was a French ingénue. Just kidding! That only happened once. I also lived in some hotter nooks of the USA, like Austin, TX. Now I’m back in the land of Proper Autumn.
In my wild, early years, I taught English as a Foreign Language, interned with a film society, and did a lot of irresponsible road tripping. My crowning achievement is that the back of my head was in an iPhone commercial, and people actually paid me money for it.
Nowadays, I teach piano lessons, play in a band you’ve never heard of, and run races that I never win. I likes clothes from the 60s, music from the 70s, and movies from the 80s. I am from the 90s.
Are you still reading? Then you are a phenomenal human being and deserve a great big virtual HUG. Thanks for visiting, and enjoy your stay!
xoxo Kathryn

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