Review: One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva

One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, LGBT

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.
  Thank you, Michael Barakiva. One Man Guy was a beautiful story that I was so happy to read. An issue so close to my heart was handled perfectly. Too often, I seek out QLTBG books and don't find what I'm looking for. The genre is over-run with erotic stories. The QLTBG books that I want are ones that I can identify with. Ones that reach out to youth who are realizing that they like someone of the same sex. Ones that let it be known that it's okay to be gay. Ones that let youth know that it's okay to experiment and wonder. Ones that allow the former youth to reminiscence and say, "damn, I wish that would have been around whenever I was younger." And that's what One Man Guy is. It's a story that I would put into the hands of every teenager if I could.

  This isn't a book that is just about being gay, though. It's about finding yourself and loving yourself. Gay, straight, or in between, that's something that we all need to be reminded of. Whenever I finished this book, I truly felt like something had clicked inside of me. One Man Guy has definitely affected me in the best way possible.

  The exposure to another culture in One Man Guy also deserves mention. Barakiva handled it perfectly. I felt like I learned a lot about Armenians, and I enjoyed it immensely. I had heard of the Armenian genocide before, but I never realized how harsh it truly was until I read One Man Guy. The theme of acceptance ties into this element effortlessly, too.

  I cannot tell you the ways in which I think this book is a beautiful story. There are too many. Every mention of New York City had me grinning from ear to ear as I remembered my own times spent exploring that concrete jungle. The self discovery and acceptance that happens with Alek reminds me of my own.

  I said it earlier in this review, and I meant it. If I could, I'd put this book in the hands of every teenager (and adult) if I could. This is a book that needs to be read. For me, it was a quick read. Set aside a few hours, and experience One Man Guy. You won't regret it.

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Michael Barakiva and NetGalley.

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