One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva


“‘This is what a kiss is supposed to feel like’?”
“It was like ice cream.”
“I worked at DQ. Trust me, it’s not like ice cream.”
“No, I mean, it’s like all my life I’ve been eating frozen yogurt. And kissing boys is ice cream.”

Title: One Man Guy
Author: Michael Barakiva
Why you should read this book: Because it’s a nice book about family, friendship and love.

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

Alek wondered if non-Armenian families spent their time at restaurants planning backup meals when the institutions they were patronizing inevitably disappointed them.

Everything about this book was cute and adorable. Nothing was too much, there was no real drama and things unfolded in a quiet and sweet way. I love when the realization of some part of yourself you didn’t know about isn’t traumatic. Because it happens: there are people freaking out, people having it hard and there are also people totally fine with everything. I love seeing the different point on views.

Alek is Armenian and it seems like Armenian families are very patriotic and really care about teaching the traditions to their children. I think it’s great how tradition and history are taught to the younger members of the families so that they can know where they come from. I am 100% Ecuadorian living in Italy for almost 20 years and unfortunately a lot was lost in the moving. The language that I barely speak anymore but understand and I don’t really know much about where my family comes from. A few years ago my uncle decided to research the family tree from my mom’s side and I found out a lot of things, so many relatives I don’t know. I know our tradition and I love when my mother cooks Ecuadorian food but I still feel a bit disconnected from my roots and I want to start digging a little bit. I want to know exactly who I am and what is my history.

The swagger said, I’m my own man, and if you don’t like it, I couldn’t care less.

Alek has to go to summer school and there he meets Ethan, a guy he only knows by reputation. Ethan is openly gay and he really doesn’t care what others think. He has a past, not really dramatic, only for him because he was young and it was his first time experiencing those feelings. They start talking and after a really nice journey to the city, and a little fight, something nice starts between them.

“Sometimes I go an entire five minutes without thinking about my own gayness.”

One thing I really loved was how Alek didn’t freak out when he realized he was gay. It was like, “oh well, thought I was straight, guess I was wrong, nice”, then every part of him was on board. He wasn’t ashamed of the feelings, of wanting to touch and kiss Ethan, of showing everyone they were together. Alek is a great boy and when he found what he wanted he did everything to obtain it and keep it. I love Alek and I love Ethan.

“Ethan, you might think of yourself as some kind of miracle worker, but you haven’t met my Armenian ’Fro. This will be my hair until I die.”

Ethan is sweet and a little bit crazy. A wild soul. He goes to the city every time he can and lives it. He walks the streets, owning them, breathing all the different scents the city has to offer. He loves so much New York and you can see it when he shows it to Alek in one of their many escapades. The high line, oh the memories. I want to go back to New York as soon as possible. I was there March last year and I loved the high line. I also loved getting lost trying to figure out where it was. It was cold and snow covered almost everything and it gave the whole experience a magical atmosphere. I loved everything in New York and I knew about the “suggested admission donation”: we were on a budget and we paid 1 dollar to get to the MET because we needed the money to finish our vacation! It was my sister and my birthday present after all! It was lovely and I can’t wait to go back, maybe when the weather doesn’t want to freeze us to death.

Alek’s parents are hilarious but also a little bit extreme! I liked the twist about a certain situation, I really didn’t see that coming, and his mom’s secret was so funny!! This book is so cute and happy and I read about a sequel and I don’t know if I want it because a sequel can mean trouble coming. I don’t want drama, I want them happy forever!

“These Americans think dinnertime is five p.m.”

I’ve always wondered about that. Five is snack time for me!

Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s a lovely love story about young love.
Rate: 4/5


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