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Kathryn Ormsbee Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Lucky Few (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Tash Hearts Tolstoy (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Great Unknowable End (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Kathryn Ormsbee is an America young adult author. She grew up with a spaceship in her basement and a secret garden in the yard. She has lived in many different cities around the world, from Seville to Birmingham to Austin and London, England, but she currently resides in Lexington, Kentucky.

She is the author of The Water and the Wild as well as two novels in the young adult genre, Lucky Few and Tash Hearts Tolstoy.

Lucky Few was published in 2016 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers. This unusual novel is set in Austin, Texas, and features home schooled Stevie Hart. She is part of the Central Austin Homeschool Cooperative along with her best friend Sanger. They’re not ever going to get to go to a school dance because the cooperative doesn’t believe in having prom or dancing for homeschooled kids. Homeschooling can be pretty boring, but Stevie and Sanger also know how to have a good time on their own even without a normal social public school experience– they have each other.

It’s a novel that brings to mind the popular novel Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and follows a similar interesting, quirky vein about a group of young people trying to find themselves while facing some pretty adult like topics and real life situations.

Stevie Hart has a pretty regular life until she meets Max. Max is obsessed with death and has a bit of anxiety as a result of surviving a freak accident that was nearly fatal. Mostly due to his obsession with death. He’s also missing some of his fingers too. He gets the help of Stevie and Sanger, who is her best friend and also actually Stevie’s only friend until she meets Max, who is an interesting addition to her sometimes lonely world when it comes to this task.

Stevie and Sanger join Max in the strange goal of completing his checklist which is all about twenty-three ways for Max to fake his death without actually dying. But Max may not be the one who is actually in trouble. So they go about faking his death in different ways, which include impalement. Stevie might actually be falling for Max as they go about the two-month mission. However, she also has type 1 diabetes and it really affects her life– maybe too much sometimes.

Checking off the list seems fun at first; after all, they’re just really starting to enjoy completing the list and not taking it too seriously. Stevie’s diabetes continues to ruin the fun and sabotage her new romance with Max. Not only that, her best friend Sanger is now suddenly moving out of state with no notice at all. Just like that’s not enough, more tragedy is around the corner as a visit from real death comes about for them and hits a little too close to home.

Tash Hearts Tolstoy is the second young adult novel written by Kathryn Ormsbee. It was published in 2017 by Simon & Schuster. This teen novel is in a totally different lane than Lucky Few with a bit more peppy and modern vibe. Lucky Few is more of a sad and introspective novel, whereas Lucky Few is a bottle of soda pop all shook up, with Internet viral fame and Russian literature references abound. This interesting teen novel features Natasha Zelenka, known as Tash.

Tash Zelenka runs her own relatively unknown obscure web series and one day gets a shout out from a famous person on the Internet. That person is a vlogger, someone who films, edits, and posts video diaries about their lives (video blogging). Suddenly after this, Tash’s series Unhappy Families is right there, front and center. She has officially gone viral on the Internet.

So what is this show that is suddenly catching the eye of every viewer on the web? It’s actually strange since her web series is actually a modern interpretation of an older Russian novel. It’s based on Anna Karenina. Tash is simply obsessed with Tolstoy the other, or as she refers to him, Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. She is really into everything that Tolstoy has ever written and the fact that her inspiration that she derived from his writing is translating into a big hit is really a bit much.

At first, Tash really likes the attention. She gets the benefit of about forty thousand new subscribers and everything that comes with it– more followers, more revenue. She even likes all the social media attention and the tweets she gets as well as the pretty funny and not to mention flashy Tumblr gifs. It’s kind of fun to be famous on the Internet, but is being popular on the web all that it’s cracked up to be?

Then Unhappy Families gets some more attention when it is nominated for a web award. The Golden Tuba award is a pretty big deal, and her flirtation with an award nominee who is also up for the Golden Tuba is going pretty well online. But then the online flirting suddenly has the very real and interesting potential to be realized out there in the real world instead of just being hypothetical in cyber land, which is something totally different. Also, Tash kind of thinks that she’s romantic asexual, so how is she going to tell her crush that? How will they take it?

There’s not only that, but the pressures of fame. Tash wants to enjoy it and all the perks of being famous, but what will happen as she gets more famous? Will she really be able to keep anything that she liked about her old life? Will her friends stay with her and ride it out and what happens if her vlogging series continues to gain viewership?

This coming of age story features a female main character that spends most of her time reading and creating her series while discussing editing and continuity with friends. While she’s confident enough to make a series, she also suffers from normal teenage thoughts, like thinking her sister is prettier than her or that others don’t take her seriously.

Overall, Tash is a realistic character that’s just a normal girl with a huge love for Anna Karenina and Leo Tolstoy and just happens to be asexual and slightly known on the Internet in this strong and appealing novel by Kathryn Ormsbee.

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