Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
READ THIS BOOK! That would be all I have to say, but I am pretty much bursting at the seams with how much I love this book! Jen Wilde has created a story that can, will, and does speak to so many people and it has provided so much happiness, support, and understanding for me as well. Here we follow two different perspectives. One is of Charlie who is a Chinese-Australian budding YouTube and movie star who has been invited to appear at an American convention called SupaCon. The other perspective is that of Taylor who is one of Charlie’s best friends and she’s a super fangirl who is autistic and also has anxiety. The entirety of the book takes place at the convention and hi-jinks, love, and fun ensues!
I loved the representation and diversity in this book. One of our main characters, Charlie, is Chinese-American and embraces her culture. There is also autism and anxiety rep (Taylor), bisexuality rep (Charlie), and lesbian rep (Alyssa – Charlie’s love interest).
The description of anxiety in this book is spot on. I have never read a better representation of what anxiety feels like on a day-to-day basis as I have in this book. It’s as if Jen Wilde has tapped into my brain and put into words what I have never been able to explain to other people. I really wish people in my life who don’t have anxiety would read this book and finally understand what it’s like. I felt like I could really relate to Taylor and the things that she’s gone through trying to understand and relieve her anxiety.
The romance in this book was top-notch. It was so sweet and angsty and fluffy and absolutely wonderful! It was so much fun watching the romances blossom and lines get crossed and misunderstandings unfold. Sometimes I read so much fantasy that I forget how much fun contemporary romances can be.
Just as a little warning, I wanted to let people know that there are some bimisic comments from the antagonist (Charlie’s ex-boyfriend Reese) so beware of that if that is something that makes you uncomfortable.
Over all, I absolutely loved this book. I am so impressed by the contemporaries I have been reading this year. None of them have disappointed me thus far and Queens of Geek is no exception. This truly is a love letter to fandom members and I can’t wait to reread it in the future!
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Tash Hearts Tolstoy is one of the best YA contemporary new releases I’ve read this year. It was funny and sweet and fun and heart-wrenching and absolutely delectable. I loved every moment while I was reading this book and practically breezed right through it.
We follow Tash Zelenka as she and her best friend, Jack, are creating a breakthrough YouTube series called Unhappy Families based on the novel Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. In a flash their show is mentioned by a famous YouTuber, they get 45,000 subscribers, and are nominated for a Golden Tuba (a fictional YouTube award). Fame really does happen overnight for Unhappy Families and Tash has to figure out how to deal with all of the attention on top of figuring out her sexuality and fielding flirty texts and emails from a YouTuber friend.
I was really impressed by the asexual representation in the book and the way her feelings were described by Tash. I don’t solidly identify as asexual, but I am questioning and trying to figure myself out as well. But everything that Tash explained she was feeling, or not feeling, I could relate to in a way that confirmed emotions that I have personally been trying to understand.
The writing was beautiful and witty and exquisitely paced. It never felt rushed or drawn out, and I loved how realistic everything was, despite the fact of their overnight success. In the age of the internet, fame is fickle and can flicker bright or dim at the drop of a hat. And the way YouTube, Tumblr, and other forms of social media presented in this novel were described feels true to life. As a YouTuber, I could tell that Ormsbee really understood how it all works. (Or she is very good at imagining and guessing how it works!)
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Tash Hearts Tolstoy. I want to scream from the mountain tops how absolutely amazing this book is and why everyone should read it. Such a beautiful coming of age novel, and I can’t wait to reread this in the future.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This was such a sweet novella and I’m glad that I finally broke down and decided to buy it! I absolutely loved how fluffy and sweet it was. It’s definitely refreshing considering how much high fantasy I’ve been consuming lately. I loved the characters and the incorporation of religion and just how light it was. However, I would have really enjoyed seeing it as a full-fleshed novel. I felt like it had so much room to grow and expand on the story and characters, but I don’t mind the novella length either. It’ll be a nice little nugget of goodness to come back to later whenever I’m feeling down.