Virtually Yours
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?

Virtually Yours Details

TitleVirtually Yours
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 4th, 2019
PublisherSimon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139781534436664
Rating
GenreRomance, Contemporary, Young Adult, New Adult

Virtually Yours Review

  • julia ♥
    January 1, 1970
    read my full review on my blog: here"How bad can one little virtual lie be?"It's no secret that 2019 has an amazing line-up when it comes to to-be-released books, but a good chunk of those include some diverse contemporary romances with amazing covers. Virtually Yours, then, is no exception. When I got an ARC for this, I couldn't wait to get started reading this!What is this book about?Virtually Yours follows college freshman Mariam, who just broke up with her (now) ex-boyfriend Caleb. Both goin read my full review on my blog: here"How bad can one little virtual lie be?"It's no secret that 2019 has an amazing line-up when it comes to to-be-released books, but a good chunk of those include some diverse contemporary romances with amazing covers. Virtually Yours, then, is no exception. When I got an ARC for this, I couldn't wait to get started reading this!What is this book about?Virtually Yours follows college freshman Mariam, who just broke up with her (now) ex-boyfriend Caleb. Both going off to separate colleges, Caleb doesn't want to risk doing the long-distance thing. Determined that Caleb is making a mistake however, Mariam is ready to get him back. She creates a profile on a virtual reality dating site called HEAVR, where she is assigned three top matches. One of them is, of course, her ex-boyfriend Caleb, but her best match is her cute new colleague at work called Jeremy. What do you do when your heart says one thing, but the universe tells you another?What did I think about Virtually Yours?I was infinitely excited for this one. I've recently been testing the waters when it comes to Contemporary young adult romances (I love YA fantasy and New Adult romances, but I've always thought I had outgrown YA contemporaries a little), so when I heard this one was set in college I jumped at the chance to read this. This was a cute quick read, hence the somewhat short review. I liked the main character, Mariam and I really enjoyed Jeremy as a character too. I loved how Mariam really seems to come into herself at the end of the book, and really starts to invent herself (including her needs when it comes to her own life). Her personal journey in this book is really fun and relatable and one of the things that makes YA contemporaries such a great genre.I also loved how the author incorporated her own background into the novel. Mariam is from an Iranian family (like the author!), and I really liked how she incorporated the culture into this book. I loved reading about their family get-togethers and traditions!Plot-wise, however, I had some minor issues. I didn't like the cat-fishing plot. I'm aware this a necessity where it concerns Mariam's character development, but I didn't really like how it was executed. Mariam didn't show any concerns until almost half-way through the book, and had to be reprimanded by one of her friends. I also thought a lot of the drama felt a little contrived since I found Caleb a little two-dimensional as a romantic interest. I didn't fully understand why Mariam was so hung-up on him when the guy had next to no developed personality. All in all, I enjoyed this book and thought it was a quick and fun read. I had a few issues with the plot which did take away from the rating a little, but overall this was a nice YA contemporary!
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  • Olivia & Lori (The Candid Cover)
    January 1, 1970
    This is another YA contemporary set in college that is releasing in 2019. I think the concept sounds like it has the potential for lots of interesting drama. I am not sure that I have read a book that features online dating . Looking forward to finding out more about this one!
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  • Mary H
    January 1, 1970
    THIS SOUNDS AMAZING, AND THE COVER IS GORGEOUS.
  • Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
    January 1, 1970
    Based on the description, I wasn't really sure how Virtually Yours would work for me, but I sat down and read this cover to cover almost all in one evening (I stopped with fifty pages left because I have to work UGH).Mariam's narrative voice is fantastic, and that's what drew me into the story and kept my attention. She's punny and silly and loving but also makes bad choices in a way that's really understandable and kinda relatable. Despite all the lying she does within the pages, she has an hon Based on the description, I wasn't really sure how Virtually Yours would work for me, but I sat down and read this cover to cover almost all in one evening (I stopped with fifty pages left because I have to work UGH).Mariam's narrative voice is fantastic, and that's what drew me into the story and kept my attention. She's punny and silly and loving but also makes bad choices in a way that's really understandable and kinda relatable. Despite all the lying she does within the pages, she has an honest feel to her, and you get why she's doing what she's doing even as you're shouting GIRL NO. It's hard to pull that off, I think, so I'm thrilled it worked for me here. When someone does something that's clearly Bad Idea Central, it's really hard to make that relatable and understandable, rather than making the audience dismiss them as TSTL, so serious props to that. Also, she's Iranian, which is awesome (it's so cool that in a week I've read four books with Iranian MCs when I don't think I'd ever read one before).Mariam's a freshman in college (so happy to be getting college books in YA now—nothing really was said about it but they're just magically appearing and holla so happy), but she hasn't been living her first few months of college life to the fullest. She's been depressed and lonely, mourning the loss of a three year relationship because her boyfriend Caleb dumped her citing distance (he's in California and she's at NYU). One day, on a whim, she decides to use a discount coupon for HEAVR, a dating app with a virtual reality component.When she does this, Mariam is totally not over her ex, but it's such a real impulse. She wants to feel hope again, to believe she can move on and find love, so she signs up. Unfortunately, Caleb shows up as one of her top three matches, so she dates him using an avatar and fake name. This is #badideabears, but it's hard to deny that people would totally give into that curiosity. Mariam's struggling partially because she doesn't understand really why they broke up, so seeing that they still have amazing chemistry means something to her.Caleb doesn't interest me tbh, but I think that relationship's handled in a really believable way, absurd circumstances aside, and it's a really good look at the emotions accompanying a break up and the way that relationships change. Also the way that we change and no longer fit relationships. What I particularly enjoyed was the way that her relationships with others developed. In an odd way, even though she was clinging to the past, finding interest in her life again still helped her connect with her present. She wants to talk about how freaking ridiculous and random her life has been, so she makes friends with people around her: her coworker, her roommate. She also bonds more closely with her siblings.The only thing I feel a bit iffy about on this one is the actual VR stuff. It flirts with being a sci fi and having an actual plot built around that aspect but doesn't go far enough, so it's just a mildly menacing company but then the book just ends in classic rom com style, and you're like "okay but what about HEAVR?!?!" This is one of those books where I'd love to see how the book started out and changed from first draft to publication, because I'm so curious about whether the VR was added for a hook or if it was more about that and removed in later drafts. Anyway, ultimately, I felt like the book started to say something about virtual dating/online dating but then really didn't, and it comes down a bit anti-online-dating, but I don't really think it meant to.If you're looking for a rom com or a great character arc story, definitely check this one out. If you're more intrigued by the science fiction-y aspects, pass or adjust expectations because it's really not about that.
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  • Kara
    January 1, 1970
    OH GOD I WANT THIS NOW. Talk about a situation you've been in!
  • Kelsey Rodkey
    January 1, 1970
    Virtually Yours by Sarvenaz Tash was more than I was expecting. From the summary, I expected a cute rom-com with recognizable tropes, but what I got was a deep exploration of coming of age. I loved the characters; they all felt real and whole and likable. I appreciated that there's no real antagonist because Mariam, the protagonist, is the one holding herself back, which meant there was no mean girl or mean love interest. The setting was one I wish to see in more YA: college. It didn't focus muc Virtually Yours by Sarvenaz Tash was more than I was expecting. From the summary, I expected a cute rom-com with recognizable tropes, but what I got was a deep exploration of coming of age. I loved the characters; they all felt real and whole and likable. I appreciated that there's no real antagonist because Mariam, the protagonist, is the one holding herself back, which meant there was no mean girl or mean love interest. The setting was one I wish to see in more YA: college. It didn't focus much on the classes, but instead on the free time Mariam had; it was still enjoyable because that's the majority of college time anyway, and where young adults turn into the people they'll most likely be for years to come. I almost always enjoy a good morally gray character whose thrust into awkward situations by her own making, so I loved that Mariam made the decision to go out with her ex to prove a point, even if it meant lying to him and things potentially crashing and burning. For the most part, Virtually Yours had the ending I expected, but it felt earned and right.I give Virtually Yours by Sarvenaz Tash, out June 4, 2019, 5 out of 5 stars.
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  • Brittney
    January 1, 1970
    *Thank you so much Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers for providing me with an eARC of this to review.DNF- at 52 percentI will be reviewing this because I did read over half of this book and I did skip around some after the halfway point to see if I wanted to try to finish.Virtually Yours follows Mariam, a NYU freshman, during her first year of college. Mariam feels pressured to find a new relationship that will be more successful than her previous one that ended in unexpected heartbreak *Thank you so much Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers for providing me with an eARC of this to review.DNF- at 52 percentI will be reviewing this because I did read over half of this book and I did skip around some after the halfway point to see if I wanted to try to finish.Virtually Yours follows Mariam, a NYU freshman, during her first year of college. Mariam feels pressured to find a new relationship that will be more successful than her previous one that ended in unexpected heartbreak. Mariam is still pining over her ex-boyfriend Caleb, who is now living halfway across the country. When Mariam decides to seek help in having a more successful relationship, she decides to try a virtual dating company. Mariam must go directly to the company to make her potential matches. Unexpectedly Mariam finds herself able to rekindle her relationship with Caleb as they are matched together, but trouble ensues as she must remain anonymous to maintain this new connection.I’ll admit that I enjoyed the first 20ish percent of the novel. The writing was not great but it was entertaining enough to continue on. The plot for this novel is so unreasonable and extreme to the point that it just makes it all in good humor. I knew the plot was unreasonable going in, but I thought it all would be better made and cute. I am not sure what the author’s purpose is towards this plot but if the author made this to poke fun at this form of story and situation it is a bit genius. As I read on, I am not sure if that is the case or not. The questionnaire for the matching was so off topic at times and read as satirical to me so I kind of enjoyed it. It is so unbelievable for this character to matched with her ex-boyfriend as well as her new co-worker. I still did not mind this inclusion at first because it was humorous in the beginning. Over time I did not feel that way anymore, and like I have previously mentioned I am not sure what the author’s real purpose is towards these inclusions and plot. If it is satirical then I can greatly appreciate the beginning at least. If not, yikes. I also appreciate the diversity of the characters. While this is not explored too much from what I have read, skin color is mentioned as well as some inclusion of culture. I wish this was a bit more fleshed out and more prevalent. Overall, this story is very juvenile and the characters do not act like they are 18+. This story reads more like juvenile YA. I cannot recommend this, despite how cute it all sounds.
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  • Susie Chavez
    January 1, 1970
    If you had the chance to start your relationship over again, would you? In a fun, futuristic world very like our own, Mariam does just that. Be ready for twists and turns befitting a Hallmark movie - you won't regret it.
  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book based on two main things. One that is realistic in nature of college students. Two that it is culturally diverse a reflection of our society. We love who we gravitate too regardless of where they come from or how they look. Virtually Yours is a wonderfully fun book that older young adults will enjoy just as much as 16 to 18 year olds.Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for the E-arc copy of this novel.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    VIRTUALLY YOURS was a fun, fast, and sweet read. It didn’t give me fireworks or butterflies, but it was still a solid YA romance. Mariam Vakilian is a freshman at at NYU who has a coupon for a virtual-reality dating service called HEAVR. Her high school boyfriend of three years broke up with her, and she is ready to try out something new to get her mind off him. After going through the initial questionnaire supported by HEAVR’s happily ever after guarantee, Mariam sees her results: her #1 match VIRTUALLY YOURS was a fun, fast, and sweet read. It didn’t give me fireworks or butterflies, but it was still a solid YA romance. Mariam Vakilian is a freshman at at NYU who has a coupon for a virtual-reality dating service called HEAVR. Her high school boyfriend of three years broke up with her, and she is ready to try out something new to get her mind off him. After going through the initial questionnaire supported by HEAVR’s happily ever after guarantee, Mariam sees her results: her #1 match is her coworker Jeremy, and her #3 match is her ex-boyfriend, Caleb. So, Mariam does what any heartbroken teenager might consider - she chooses Caleb and concocts an avatar with a fake name that looks nothing like her, and asks Caleb on a virtual date. The catfishing plot bothered me much more than I thought it would. A few movies and books lately have done spins on the same thing, the recent movie SIERRA BURGESS IS A LOSER coming to mind. There’s something that’s just so wrong about these tropes, from the lying and deception to the level of obsession and conviction that it takes to keep the ruse up. It especially bothers me when the person being lied to comes to totally accept the lies and deception with very few questions asked. It’s so unrealistic! (For a better version of how this story can go, see any spin on Cyrano de Bergerac.) It took way too long for Mariam to see the error in what she did, and even in the end, her excuses of “I was heartbroken! I thought it was fate!” still win the day. Her friends and family are also pretty complicit in this, which is a little gross. The chemistry between Mariam and Jeremy was really sweet and fun, but it was too few and far between to really ignite a love for the two characters together. Honestly, I think this book could have been longer and drawn out the interactions between them more, making it more of a pining-on-both-sides story. The ending is really rushed and doesn’t give you more than a ten-second glimpse into the happy ending as promised. One aspect of this book that I loved was Tash’s integration of Iranian culture and family dynamics. Mariam and her family are Iranian Muslims, and it’s clear that her culture is a big part of her personal life; Tash brings in Iranian foods, sibling and parental relationships, and familial norms. It was a great way to make Mariam a more rounded character and to tell the story of a nonwhite female protagonist. Caleb is black and Jeremy is Mexican; Mariam’s college roommate Hedy is lesbian. And you don’t feel like any of these characters or their diverse traits are just thrown in as a token. Yay for diversity in YA and romance! Overall, this was a solid and cute story with an interesting premise; I could have gone for a little less catfishing and a little more fun and flirty romance. Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kendall
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks so much to Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for providing me with the ARC of this! I honestly don't have much to say about this book. Not in a bad way, but I just generally found it...fine. The story follows college freshman, Mariam who has decided to embrace the world of virtual reality dating that has cropped up recently. After going through the entire matching process, it turns out that one of her options is Caleb, the ex boyfriend who broke her heart 5 months earlier. So, as any logi Thanks so much to Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for providing me with the ARC of this! I honestly don't have much to say about this book. Not in a bad way, but I just generally found it...fine. The story follows college freshman, Mariam who has decided to embrace the world of virtual reality dating that has cropped up recently. After going through the entire matching process, it turns out that one of her options is Caleb, the ex boyfriend who broke her heart 5 months earlier. So, as any logical person would, she decides to VR date her ex boyfriend under a fake name and then shenanigans ensue.I'm gonna start off by saying that I'm not huge on catfishing plots, especially catfishing that gets rewarded, so that whole thing kinda rubbed me the wrong way. It definitely wasn't the most problematic plot I've ever seen, but....eh.The representation in this book? Fantastic. Almost every character was a POC and had a fully developed identity and home life. We get immigrant stories and biracial rep as well. The only major characters who aren't POC are queer, so that's pretty rad. This is one of the best examples of non-forced rep I've seen in a while. All of the identities seemed really natural and were explained without feeling diversity-bingo ish.But, all in all, the plot was pretty bland and generic, and I wasn't super into any of the romances. It was a fine book, but not something I'd be banging anyone's door down about. Trigger and Content Warnings: The whole book revolves around catfishing and deception, so... also there's a very brief and non graphic sex scene.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I fell head-over-heels in love for this college-set YA. Virtually Yours is my favorite kind of contemporary story: it's hilarious, heartwarming, and beautifully real; from the first page to the last, I felt every emotion alongside Mariam, and I completely related to her dilemmas, whether she was trying to move on from her first love or enjoying the nervous excitement that comes from discovering someone new. Her voice is utterly endearing.Each relationship in the book felt true to me, from the te I fell head-over-heels in love for this college-set YA. Virtually Yours is my favorite kind of contemporary story: it's hilarious, heartwarming, and beautifully real; from the first page to the last, I felt every emotion alongside Mariam, and I completely related to her dilemmas, whether she was trying to move on from her first love or enjoying the nervous excitement that comes from discovering someone new. Her voice is utterly endearing.Each relationship in the book felt true to me, from the technology-assisted love triangle that brings a fresh and original perspective to online dating and second chances, to the freshman roommates getting to know each other (it WILL make you nostalgic for dorm room movie nights), to the snarky but loving siblings, to the estranged high school bestie. I felt as though I were friends with the characters. I loved spending time with them, and I missed them when the book was over. Guess my only option is to read it again. And again.
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  • caitlin
    January 1, 1970
    Review copy courtesy of Edelweiss.This is an original teen romance, as it’s hard to find a comparable book. Maybe Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. Mariam decides to try out virtual reality dating, and when she’s paired with her ex boyfriend who dumped her at the end of high school, she decides to try out dating him without him knowing it’s her. She also finds herself having a strong connection with her coworker. The story took a little time to really amp up as Mariam really seems to be wasting away her Review copy courtesy of Edelweiss.This is an original teen romance, as it’s hard to find a comparable book. Maybe Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. Mariam decides to try out virtual reality dating, and when she’s paired with her ex boyfriend who dumped her at the end of high school, she decides to try out dating him without him knowing it’s her. She also finds herself having a strong connection with her coworker. The story took a little time to really amp up as Mariam really seems to be wasting away her college time in NYU, but once the action kicks in, the story was fun to read.
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  • Cassie
    January 1, 1970
    I liked that this book didn't go to the obvious placed I was anticipating it to go, but somehow it never really thrilled me. The plot was interesting, but the execution left something to be desired. It was an okay read.
  • KristynRene The Hype Queen of Books
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review.At this point in time, I’m just not feeling it. The premise caught me by my gamergirl threads, but as soon as we progressed from the HEAVR experience to her college life I just grew bored. May try again closer to release date
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  • Krystianna
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.I was super excited to have been approved for this title on Netgalley. I read and loved Sarvenaz Tash's The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love back in 2016, and absolutely loved it. It was super geeky and nerdy and was all about Comic Con, which is one convention I've always dreamed of going to (besides BEA of course, which I still haven't gone to!). I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.I was super excited to have been approved for this title on Netgalley. I read and loved Sarvenaz Tash's The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love back in 2016, and absolutely loved it. It was super geeky and nerdy and was all about Comic Con, which is one convention I've always dreamed of going to (besides BEA of course, which I still haven't gone to!). So, I knew that anything else that Tash wrote, I'd need to get my hands on. I actually really enjoyed Virtually Yours. I found the whole synopsis really interesting. Like, just imagine living in a world where there is virtual reality dating. With the way that things are going now, with Bumble and Tinder, I feel like it won't be long until VR dating is actually a reality for us. It really doesn't seem that far off! I think that's what intrigued me so much about the concept of a main character who joins a VR website, HEAVR, in order to find herself a new match after still grieving over her ex-bf Caleb. Of course, she ends up matching with her boyfriend, even though he is her number two match. But I mean, I can't judge her for choosing to try it out with him again under a pseudonym... it was her first relationship, and honestly, I might've done the same had I been given the chance! Some people might think this is catfishing which makes it completely wrong, and I will agree that it is catfishing, but it's just so hard to analyze because I get where she is coming from! Getting over your first breakup is always the hardest, though that might just be my opinion.So, needless to say, the concept of this book was great. I also really liked Mariam. She was a pretty multidimensional character, and I loved the diversity in this book, since her parents were immigrants, and same with her soon-to-be friend Jeremy's family. To be honest, Caleb was the only character who got on my nerves sometimes. He threw Mariam away pretty quickly with the first breakup, and then his feelings just seemed all over the place, especially after finding out that Mariam was using a fake name. At least Mariam's were straight forward the whole time! In the end, I loved this book and really flew through it. If you're looking for a different take on a contemporary for this summer, then definitely check out Virtually Yours!
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  • Kinsey
    January 1, 1970
    I'm glad more books are being written about the first year of college which can be confusing and stressful for many as you learn to balance the new with the old. This book is about online dating set in the near future where you can go on virtual reality dates through the online dating app. It is about learning to let go of old feelings and relationships from high school as you venture out into the new world of possibilities in college. Unfortunately, the deception part of this book where she tri I'm glad more books are being written about the first year of college which can be confusing and stressful for many as you learn to balance the new with the old. This book is about online dating set in the near future where you can go on virtual reality dates through the online dating app. It is about learning to let go of old feelings and relationships from high school as you venture out into the new world of possibilities in college. Unfortunately, the deception part of this book where she tries virtually dating her ex on the app without him knowing was off putting to me. I get what the author was trying to do but I felt like too much focus was placed there instead of the new possibilities and relationships (both friends and romantic). Not my kind of book but I can see a lot of the teens I talk to at the library really enjoying it.
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