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Tash Hearts Tolstoy
Cover of Tash Hearts Tolstoy
Tash Hearts Tolstoy
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From the author of Lucky Few comes a quirky 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?
From the author of Lucky Few comes a quirky 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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About the Author-
  • Kathryn Ormsbee grew up with a secret garden in her backyard and a spaceship in her basement. She is the author of The Water and the Wild and the YA novels Lucky Few and Tash Hearts Tolstoy. She's lived in lots of fascinating cities, from Austin to Birmingham to London to Seville, but she currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 24, 2017
    Ormsbee’s (Lucky Few) powerful coming-of-age exploration introduces Natasha “Tash” Zelenka, a talented young woman who is passionate about Leo Tolstoy and who seems to have it all. Tash is a gifted filmmaker and dramatic arts student with her own vlog, and she and her best friend Jacklyn have a YouTube series titled Unhappy Families, based on Anna Karenina. Tash and Jack are consigned to relative obscurity until a prominent online celebrity praises Unhappy Families, but with the accolades and attention comes the pressure to live up to the image. Additionally, Tash is struggling with her older sister’s growing distance, a surprise announcement from her parents, her understanding of her own identity as a romantic asexual, and her long-distance flirtation with fellow vlogger Thom. As a result, Ormsbee’s story comes close to feeling overstuffed with issues, but her attention to the depth of Tash’s thoughts and feelings, as well as a spot-on narrative voice, make this a compassionate and frank look into challenges that can seem to fly at teenagers from all directions. Ages 14–up. Agent: Beth Phelan, Bent Agency.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from May 1, 2017
    A 17-year-old amateur vlogger must come to terms with sudden internet fame and her own sexuality in this original, compulsively funny novel.Tash Zelenka has a major thing for Tolstoy--so much so that she and her best friend, Jacklyn "Jack" Harlow, have adapted his sprawling masterpiece Anna Karenina into a modern Web series with a modest following. When their series goes viral overnight as the result of a shoutout from a famous internet personality, Tash, Jack, and their colorful cast must contend with the overwhelming excitement and pratfalls of internet fame while maintaining a rigorous filming schedule and navigating their increasingly complicated personal lives. Tash identifies as romantic asexual but finds it difficult to articulate her feelings to her lifelong best friends, Jack and her older brother, Paul, who may have a thing for Tash. Complications ensue, but through it all, these wisecracking, oft-prickly teens remain supportive of one another in genuine and heartfelt friendship. Ormsbee's predominantly white cast of characters represents a depth and diversity of sexualities not often featured in teen fiction, including not only a gay and a bisexual character, but a nuanced, trailblazing depiction of a protagonist who identifies as romantic asexual. Whip-smart, funny, flawed, and compassionate, these are characters readers will want to know and cheer for. A clever, thoroughly enjoyable addition to the growing body of diverse teen literature. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    June 1, 2017

    Gr 9 Up-Seventeen-year-old Kentucky filmmaker and Tolstoy superfan Tash Zelenka's summer takes an unexpected turn when her web series, Unhappy Families (a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina) goes viral. The newfound fame causes tension between Tash and her best friend Jack, who also works on the series. Tash is easily caught up in the increased social media attention, her fans' expectations, and the criticisms. She is also grappling with her complicated relationship with her sister, Klaudie, who drops out of acting in the series to more fully enjoy her last summer before college. Plus, Tash must deal with her flirtation with vlogger Thom, her confusing feelings for Paul (Jack's brother and Tash's other best friend), and her worries about the end of the series and her impending college applications. Tash is also beginning to come out to people as romantic asexual and needs to figure out how to share her identity with Thom, whom she will be meeting soon at the Golden Tuba independent web awards. Tash and her group of artsy theater friends are vibrant, creative, and thoughtful. They may not always totally understand one another, but their admirable and complicated friendships have so much heart. The much-needed asexual representation plays a significant role in the story, with readers privy to Tash's thoughts on identity and conversations with friends about what the term means. VERDICT Funny, well written, and compulsively readable, this will especially appeal to readers with an interest in web series. A strong choice for YA shelves.-Amanda MacGregor, formerly at Great River Regional Library, Saint Cloud, MN

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Tash Hearts Tolstoy
Tash Hearts Tolstoy
Kathryn Ormsbee
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