Hello, friends!! I am here today with my first of what I hope/plan to be many book reviews of pride month!! My first read of the month was a really good one, let’s hope I keep this momentum going.
Summary from Goodreads:
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?
This review is spoiler free.
“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.”
Content warning: underaged drinking, mentions of sex, cancer
Okay, I honestly don’t know how or where to start when it comes to this book. I loved it so so much and the entire time I was reading it I kept coming up with things to talk about but now that I am done and trying to formulate feelings nothing is coming (which is very typical but very unfortunate). I wanted to do this review as a list of things I liked and didn’t like, but there wasn’t anything I disliked?? Which is so rare? So I guess we’re hoping aboard the positivity train and making a list of things we like.
I feel like I don’t often think about whether I like the writing of a book or not while I am reading it, but I found myself thinking about how much I was enjoying it fairly often while reading. I will be the first to admit that it is probably not for everyone, but it was written the way I tend to write blog posts and things with Capitalization for Emphasis and other little things like that and I was a big fan. The author really showed Tash’s personality through the writing and I thought it was wonderful.
The ace rep!!!
This book made me feel seen in a way that no book other than Cameron Post ever has. Tash explains and talks about asexuality in such an amazing and relatable manner! I would love to talk about this more but I just feel like I don’t have the words right now. Just know I loved it.
The family dynamics
I feel like it is a well known fact by now that I love a well written family dynamic. If it isn’t, hi, I’m Arin and I love a well written family dynamic and this book had the definition of that. They were all so real and they acted like a real family and wow I loved it. So many things were brought up within the dynamic like religion (this family is half Catholic and half Buddhist!), immigration (the father is a second generation immigrant and the mother is a first generation immigrant) and how that can affect you, and so many other things.
The friend dynamics
I am going to start off this little tangent by saying that one of my favorite part about this friend group is how they were not afraid to call each other out. If one of them did a shitty thing, they talked about it. No one ignored the thing and tried to move on. There was a part where Tash did something wrong and she knew that over apologizing would help her but hurt her friend so she stopped and made sure she didn’t, and I love that so so much. I feel like it is rare to see such a well developed and flushed out friend group, but Tash, Jack, and Paul were really that. It was so wholesome and somewhat of a breath of fresh air, it gets an A+ in my book.
All of the great discussions
This book brought up so many things from internet hate and cyber bulling to choosing what college to go to and feeling inadequate when it comes to academic things and wow it was amazing. I really enjoyed how the book handled internet hate and how Tash was not automatically able to ignore every negative thing sent to her because I have always felt like that is a somewhat unrealistic expectation to give people.
“Why change everything forever, when everything was just fine?”
“That is my friend, who is fully human and so alive, and he deserves an epic poem or at least a mural.”
“My mother is also a daughter. She is human, and she feels deeply, and some deep wounds don’t ever heal.”
- Can we just talk about that last quote for a sec?? It gave me chills reading it and when I typed it out.
This book was amazing. If you have room or your June TBR, I would highly recommend reading it because it is amazing and it has some great discussions about being asexual and that is perfect for pride month!! I feel like it is weird that I could literally come up with no negatives where this book is concerned but still only gave it four stars, but it just didn’t feel like a five star read to me? Star ratings are very subjective and I am honestly not a fan but that is a rant for another day. Until then just know that I loved this book and think everyone should read it (especially if you like film and web series or just like contemporaries that talk about important things).