Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee

Back in the early 2010s, a group of vloggers made a Modern day production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in the form of a series of vlogs on YouTube. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries was high quality and engaging and got name dropped by higher level YouTube personalities and became a well deserved hit.

I adored that series and also the adaptation of Emma that followed. I also adored the Tolstoy novel, Anna Karenina, and had been left disappointed with every adaptation I’d seen of one of the best novels of all time.

Tash Hearts Tolstoy, wherein a group of teens are making a modernized YouTube adaptation of Anna Karenina, hit all my buttons to get my attention and it delivered beautifully.

The story isn’t about the making of the series but the effect of sudden viral status and pressure to perform in the midst of the creators’ lives changing as they graduate and go out into the world.

I loved this book and I urge anyone to read it but especially fans of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries or Anna Karenina.

My only complaint is that Unhappy Families is not an actual Youtube series I can watch and the book didn’t include a script for the whole series. Every scene of their adaptation made me long for it to be a real thing. If Ormsbee ever wrote Unhappy Families as a book, I’d buy multiple copies and pressure everyone to read it.

4/5 stars

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