Review: Virtually Yours – Sarvenaz Tash

Review: Virtually Yours – Sarvenaz TashVirtually Yours by Sarvenaz Tash
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published: June 4, 2019
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five-stars

Modern love plus online anonymity is a recipe for romantic disaster in this lighthearted new romance from the author of The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love.

How bad can one little virtual lie be?

NYU freshman Mariam Vakilian hasn’t dated anyone in five months, not since her high school sweetheart Caleb broke up with her. So, when she decides to take advantage of an expiring coupon and try out a new virtual reality dating service, it’s sort of a big deal.

It’s an even bigger deal when it chooses as one of her three matches none other than Caleb himself. That has to be a sign, right?

Except that her other match, Jeremy, just happens to be her new best friend IRL.

Mariam’s heart is telling her one thing, but the app is telling her another. So, which should she trust? Is all fair in modern love?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Way back in 2015 I came across a book called Three Day Summer and I was instantly hooked on how Sarvenaz Tash tells a story and the characters she creates. I knew immediately after finishing it I was going to eagerly anticipate all her releases and I wasn’t wrong. I have been waiting for something new since 2016 when A Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love (an all-time favorite) and when I heard about Virtually Yours I was beyond thrilled. It had been so long and the anticipation was killing me. I am happy to say that it lived up to every expectation I had and was 100% worth the wait.

Virtually Yours is about Mariam, a freshman at NYU who had her heart demolished when her boyfriend of 3 years broke up with her. Not wanting to be stuck in her room she decides to try a virtual reality dating site. Mariam is given 3 matches to pick from and to her surprise one is her ex-boyfriend, Caleb. Deciding to throw caution to the wind, she selects him in starts dating him in secret and things start to go well. Then enter Jeremy, a guy at work she immediately hits it off with. The two of them are on the fast track to being best friends. There is just one catch, he was also one of her 3 matches. Now Mariam must decide between what her head thinks she wants and what her heart actually needs.

At first glance, this book sounds like a love triangle. It is not. It is really the story of Mariam and her figuring out what she wants out of life and out of love which is what being 18 should be about. She is a freshman in college and she doesn’t have all the answers. She doesn’t have any of the answers so she does things that she thinks are right but might not be right for her. That’s what I loved about this story. By re-dating Caleb she found out she was a different person than she thought she was and found out what she truly wanted and what would make her happy.

I can’t explain enough how much I love this author and the stories she tells. Tash seems to have a great grasp on the teenage/YA emotion and I can’t get enough of her stories. I’ve been a fan since 2015 and Virtually loves just cemented that love. If this one isn’t one your TBR it should be.

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New to You (3): Kelsey Reviews The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash {+ a giveaway}

Welcome to New to You!

This idea came along last year when I was supporting Lauren Miller’s newest book All Things New and I asked Kelsey to read and review Parallel, a book I have read more than once. I didn’t really get it going until December when I offered people the chance to sign up to read and review a book that has been a favorite of mine that they have never read. I got a great response and I’m happy to tell you (minus January) you will see a New to You post twice a month.

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Next up for New to You is Kelsey. She was the one that started this whole thing when she read and reviewed Parallel so it was only fitting she came back. When she selected her books I thought The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash would work for her. Check out her review below and find out! (Make sure you check out the giveaway at the end!)

New to You (3): Kelsey Reviews The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash {+ a giveaway}The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published: June 14th 2016
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
four-stars

Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. Archie and Veronica. Althena and Noth.…Graham and Roxy?

Graham met his best friend, Roxy, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago and she asked him which Hogwarts house he’d be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since.

But now they’re sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever—moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books.

When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be…even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones.

Andi and I have always had very similar tastes in books, and I always turn to her for some recs when I need them. So, when she started this feature I was so excited, because I knew there were books on there she has been telling/yelling at me to read (I actually have an ‘Andi Told Me To Read This’ shelf on Goodreads). Out of the few I chose, her final choice for me was The Geeks Guide To Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash, and as always, it was a great choice indeed!

The setting and overall theme for this book is one that I have not come across too often yet in my reading: hardcore fandoms and New York Comic Con, and I loved it! I think as a reader I can totally appreciate the characters enthusiasm for their favorite author Robert Zinc and his series The Althena Chronicles as I do with book series and characters that I love (ahem, finding a book signing last minute in NYC and making my mother run 2 miles with me to meet Morgan Matson. Worth it.). Comic Con has always been something my husband and I have wanted to attend, and now I REALLY NEED TO GO.  Hearing the descriptions of the convention center, the cosplay they saw, the exhibits, and just the overall energy has just heightened that want and definitely boosted it up on my “things to do” list. I think I even picked up on some good advice – i.e. have a plan! Have a schedule! People are crazy!

I want to be friends with these characters in real life. Graham just seems like the real deal to me – thoughtful, nerdy, creative. He wants to tell his best friend, Roxy, that he has feelings for her, and he wants to do it in a fashion worthy of a book or a movie. He plans an elaborate couple of days at NYCC centered around everything she loves, and while they are there he would find the perfect time to tell her his feelings. He gives it his all, but well, life throws one curveball after another at him (as it so often does).

I know Andi said something similar in her blog, but this book is just SO REAL and so authentic. Real situations with real outcomes that honestly aren’t always ideal. Things didn’t go as planned, ideas didn’t work, and timing didn’t always work. BUT its how life kept moving and going on as it would for anyone of us, and sometimes things just work out they way that they should in the end. Between this setting and this fun group of friends (and new friends) this book was an easy thumbs up from me! Can I have a sequel about Casey or Felicia now?? *grabby hands*

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 16, 2018. It is US ONLY!

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Thanks Kelsey for signing up for New to You! I’m so happy you loved it. And I’m thrilled I have a special shelf on your Goodreads!

Here’s my review of The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love.

Have any of you read anything by Sarvenaz Tash?

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Blog Tour: The ABCs with Graham and Roxana from The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love (Sarvenaz Tash) + a giveaway

geekguide1

Today we have a special edition of The ABCs brought to you by Sarvenza Tash for her characters Graham and Roxana in her new book The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love. Make sure you read all the way to the end to enter the giveaway.

graham

Graham:

Accessory: Moleskine Star Wars notebook
Graham is a writer and a bit of a paper nerd, so I think he would appreciate the quality and feel of the Moleskine notebooks. Plus the fact that this one has the famous opening title text from the original movie is a tribute to his dad—a huge Star Wars fan and the OG (Original Geek).

Book: Ready Player One
The ultimate nerdy action/adventure story. Both Graham and I adore this page-turning traipse through tons of gaming and pop culture references (especially with our predilection for ’80s pop culture).

Clothing: Yellow Leather Jacket
Graham wears something like this when cosplaying as Charlie Noth, one of the lead characters in his favorite comic series, The Chronicles of Althena.

rox

Roxana:

Accessory: Sherlock Infinity Scarf
Look at this thing! It’s designed to look like the wallpaper from Sherlock. What a fabulously subtle way to declare your allegiance to those in the know. (Both Roxy and I are big BBC fans…)

Book: Illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Graham and Roxana bonded first of all over their love of the Harry Potter series. As an artist, and an HP fan, I think Roxy would very much admire Jim Kay’s depiction of Hogwarts (I know I certainly do).

Clothing: Pac-Man Dress
I love this whimsical dress and I can absolutely see Roxy rocking it.

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Blog Tour: The ABCs with Graham and Roxana from The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love (Sarvenaz Tash) + a giveawayThe Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published: June 14th 2016
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads

John Hughes meets Comic Con in this hilarious, unabashedly romantic, coming-of-age novel about a teenager who is trying to get his best friend to fall in love with him from the author of Three Day Summer.

Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy...
Archie and Veronica...
Althena and Noth......
Graham and Roxy?

Graham met his best friend, Roxana, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago, and she asked him which Hogwarts house he’d be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since.

But now they’re sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever—moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books.

When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be...even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones.

About Sarvenaz Tash

Sarvenaz Tash was born in Tehran, Iran and grew up on Long Island, NY. She received her BFA in Film and Television from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. This means she got to spend most of college running around and making movies (it was a lot of fun). She has dabbled in all sorts of writing including screenwriting, copywriting, and professional tweeting. Sarvenaz currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

 

Blog Tour Info:

Mon. 6/6        Beauty and the Bookshelf
Tues. 6/7       Prose and Kahn
Wed. 6/8        Read. Breathe. Relax
Thurs. 6/9     The Hiding Spot
Fri. 6/10         The Reading Nook
Mon. 6/13      Adventures of a Book Junkie
Tues. 6/14     Green Bean Teen Queen
Wed. 6/15      Word Spelunking
Thurs. 6/16    Andi’s ABCs
Fri. 6/17          What a Nerd Girl Says


Info: A signed copy of The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love and a signed copy of Three Day Summer to one U.S. winner.  (Will come from the author!) Ends Wednesday June 22, 2016 at 11:59PM EST. US ONLY!

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Review: The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love – Sarvenaz Tash

Review: The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love – Sarvenaz TashThe Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published: June 14th 2016
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
five-stars

John Hughes meets Comic Con in this hilarious, unabashedly romantic, coming-of-age novel about a teenager who is trying to get his best friend to fall in love with him from the author of Three Day Summer.

Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy...Archie and Veronica...Althena and Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy...

Archie and Veronica...

Althena and Noth...

...Graham and Roxy?

Graham met his best friend, Roxana, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago, and she asked him which Hogwarts house he'd be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since.

But now they're sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever--moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books.

When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year's New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He's got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be...even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I am smitten! Smitten with these characters; smitten with this author; smitten with this book.  I can’t really describe it. After reading Tash’s debut, Three Day Summer, I knew I would read anything she wrote. It was such a great story about human interaction at a time that seems so long ago. I loved the characters and the story telling and they heart behind it all. So when I heard about The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love it was a given I would read it. What I didn’t expect was how taken I would be by it. It was so fun and real and epic and wondrous.

The thing that I loved the most about The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love, besides the characters (more on that below), is that it isn’t a coming of age book. It isn’t a book about comic nerds. It isn’t even a true love story/romance. The Geek’s Guide is a book that is real. Things in life don’t always go as planned. You don’t always win the big game, or get into the school of your dreams. You don’t always get the girl or get something you are hoping for. Life just doesn’t work that way. You have to adapt and move on and come up with a new plan or idea. Tash captured that to perfection with Graham’s story. Nothing went the poor kid’s way. Everything that could go wrong for him did, but he just kept on going. Whether he was mad or sad or hurt or happy, he just kept on going like we all have to do.

Actually Graham was the one character that made the book for me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Roxy and co., but Graham was like a red headed Seth Cohen (and let’s face it Seth Cohen made geeky hot). He had this inner dialogue that just killed me. He was quirky and funny and charming. I liked him immediately and he truly made me giggle throughout the book. And his knowledge of pop-culture…OH MY GOD! So epic. Graham was the perfect kind of character to control this kind of story and I kind of love him (and the rest of them).

Basically this book was just what I needed to reminded me about the ups and downs of life and love and friendship. Sarvenez crafted a book that is so perfect (sorry Felicia) that I need everyone to read it and be smitten with me. To be honest I knew I would love it after Three Day Summer, but I didn’t know I would end up being as over the moon about it as I was. If Tash’s books are not on your radar you need to fix that immediately. She is one author that is doing great, great things. Now go and read her books!cohen

*On 6/16, I’m a stop on the Geek’s Guide blog tour. Make sure you stop by for a special ABCs that day. There will be a giveaway happening for both of Sarvenaz’s books.

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Review: Three Day Summer – Sarvenaz Tash

Review: Three Day Summer – Sarvenaz TashThree Day Summer by Sarvenaz Tash
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published: May 19th 2015
Buy on Amazon
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four-half-stars

Boy meets girl...at the most amazing concert the world has ever seen.
Michael is unsure about most things. Go to college? Enlist in the military? Break up with his girlfriend? All big question marks. He is living for the moment and all he wants is a few days at the biggest concert of the summer.

Cora lives in the town hosting the music festival. She's volunteering in the medical tent. She's like that, always the good girl. But there is something in the air at this concert and suddenly Cora finds herself wanting to push her own boundaries.

When Michael and Cora meet, sparks fly, hearts race, and all the things songs are written about come true. And all the while, three days of the most epic summer await them..

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review

When I first heard about Three Day Summer I won’t lie, the cover is what intrigued me. I mean would you look at that thing? It screams 60s with those colors. And then I did some investigation and saw it took place at Woodstock. I knew I needed to read it after that. I have always been fascinated by Woodstock and what it would have been like to be there. And the good news after all that…the book lived up to the cover and my expectations.

Three Day Summer is about Michael and Cora, two very different people that find themselves both at the historic Woodstock festival. Michael is there trying to figure out what he wants out of life while Cora is there to further what she wants out of life. When the two of them have a chance encounter their days at Woodstock bring them on an expected adventure and to something they both really can’t fight, romance.

action

Much like the movie Titanic Tash did something that is difficult to do with the story. She took a real life event and based a fictional love story around it. It was a risk working with such a well-known place but it worked. Michael and Cora’s stories fit right in with the Woodstock vibe and with hippie culture in general. Was there a thing or two that may have been a little farfetched? Sure. But for the most part the plot moved as naturally as it could for something that happened over just three days.

backdrop

Three Day Summer has probably one of the most well-known settings (at least I hope it still is) in music history, Woodstock. The three days of Woodstock are memorable for so many reasons. Whether it was the music, the weather, the lack of food, or the sex and drugs, Woodstock tells a story. Tash incorporated her two main characters, Michael and Cora, into this setting flawlessly. Reading the pages I felt like I was in Woodstock. She nailed what I imagined it to be like from the sound of the music to the chill atmosphere to the party vibe. It was so vividly described I couldn’t help but wish I was born when Woodstock happened and would have been cool enough to go.

characters

I really liked the difference in Michael and Cora’s personalities. First you have Cora, headstrong female that doesn’t dream about being a nurse or housewife. She wants to be a doctor and won’t let stereotypes or her nasty father stop her.  She has dreams and goal and want let sexism stand in her way. And then you have Michael, typical hippie. Drugs, apathy, laid back thoughts in life. War is in the forefront of his mind yet he doesn’t know if he is made out for the service or for school. He has no idea who he wants to be so he stays stagnant with the wrong people. When Cora and Michael meet you know it is going to be epic and Tash does not disappoint.

final

I loved this book. There was one tiny part that I found farfetched and why it isn’t a perfect 5 rating wise, but everything else was so spot on. After reading it I immersed myself in 60s music and live recordings from Woodstock. I wanted to break out my wide leg jeans and pretend they were bell bottoms. I wanted to sit outside at a concert and get lost in music. Three Day Summer hit all the right notes for me and in the end I was just so happy to have found it. If you love romance and the history of Woodstock then you can’t miss reading this fabulous book.

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