One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: May 2014
Synopsis: Alek Khederian should have guessed something was wrong when his parents took him to a restaurant. Everyone knows that Armenians never eat out. Between bouts of interrogating the waitress and criticizing the menu, Alek’s parents announce that he’ll be attending summer school in order to bring up his grades. Alek is sure this experience will be the perfect hellish end to his hellish freshman year of high school. He never could’ve predicted that he’d meet someone like Ethan. Ethan is everything Alek wishes he were: confident, free-spirited, and irreverent. He can’t believe a guy this cool wants to be his friend. And before long, it seems like Ethan wants to be more than friends. Alek has never thought about having a boyfriend—he’s barely ever had a girlfriend—but maybe it’s time to think again.
Comments: Cute. That may have seemed sarcastic, but it wasn’t. This was a cute book. It is a romance book and it features a gay couple. This would be something I would recommend on a relaxing day to cozy up with. It’s one of those books that makes me gently smile in enjoyment. Both Alek and Ethan were both likable characters. The cultural clash, hesitance because of culture, and wanting to respect your uber conservative (in the sense of maintaining culture) that Alek experiences is one I can relate to well. I am not familiar with Armenian culture so I cannot say and speak to how true the nature of the expectations were, but I wouldn’t doubt that there are families out there who believes, behave, and act like Alek’s parents and the other Armenian parents in the book. It may not be common place but they exist.
This read like a little romantic comedy to me. Though I don’t think it was supposed to be a funny comedy, in a LMAO way, but it had its small moments of awkwardness, which made the book funny.
Though the romance did not stand out – the boys relate and connect through to each other via music, a well used theme – the addition of the Armenian culture clash gave the book a beacon of a chance to glow on its own.
I would recommend this book as I did enjoy it.