Published by Square Fish on 05/27/2014
Genres: Young Adult, Romance
Source: Barnes & Noble
Amazon ∣ B&N
Summer school, a cute boy, and overbearing Armenian parents—what’s a guy to do?
Alek Khederian was looking forward to a relaxing summer. But when his parents announce that he’ll be attending summer school in order to bring up his grades, Alek is sure this experience will be just as hellish as his freshman year of high school. But he never could’ve predicted that he’d meet someone like Ethan.
Ethan is everything Alek wishes he were: confident, free-spirited, and irreverent. When Ethan gets Alek to cut school and go to a Rufus Wainwright concert in New York City’s Central Park, Alek embarks on his first adventure outside the confines of his suburban New Jersey existence. 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.
Michael Barakiva's One Man Guy is a romantic, moving, laugh-out-loud-funny story about what happens when one person cracks open your world and helps you see everything—and, most of all, yourself—like you never have before.
This book is one that I actually happened to pick up while strolling through Barnes & Noble with Melissa. The cute, bright cover grabbed my attention and the synopsis sold me. It’s been sitting on my shelf for six months. I decided it was finally time to crack it open when I realized that I just really wanted something sweet. You can usually depend on YA for that, right? I figured I probably couldn’t go wrong with a male/male young adult romance. And I was right.
One Man Guy is definitely sweet. Especially the main character Alek. He’s just such a good kid, with a heart of pure gold. He is the kind of person who will always do what’s right, regardless if it’s difficult or not. I really liked him.
Ethan was his total opposite in so many ways. Where Alek is this preppy, smart, buttoned-up Armenian kid who can be described as “geek chic”, Ethan is a laid-back, carefree, smart-mouthed, unapologetic cool kid. They really get to know each other in summer school, where Ethan is there just to keep from failing and Alek is there to stay on track for Honors classes. See? Opposites.
But Ethan is exactly what Alek needs and he helps him come into his own, discover himself, and learn to be unafraid of doing so. But I loved that Alek was able to teach Ethan a lot as well.
All of the supporting characters in this book were really great too. From Alek’s best friend, Becky, who was absolutely hilarious and charming, to his crazy and quirky family. I also learned a lot about Armenian culture and history which I really enjoyed.
But I think what I loved most about this book is that it tackled several really heavy and deep subjects without ever feeling like it was doing so. I thought it had many great messages that a lot of people in this world could stand to learn but it never felt heavy. I never felt like I was being taught a lesson, just that I had learned one in the process of reading a good book. The pacing was great and it made it an easy, enjoyable read.
Adults really make things complicated sometimes, don’t they? I think maybe that’s what’s so great about YA. Kids are still innocent in a lot of ways and even the big stuff is more simplified. That’s how I felt about everything in this book. That all of the adults could stand to learn something from the kids.