Title: One Man Guy
Author: Michael Barakiva
Genre: Young Adult
Description: 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.
One Man Guy is the first LGBTQ YA novel that I have read and I enjoyed it. It was a very light read and very fast paced. I liked Alek’s character and how he stood up for what he believed in. He had a huge love for his culture and the author was able to make real historical events personal for him and his family. Alek’s family was killed amongst millions of others in the Armenian Genocide. Facts about the Armenian Genocide might not be common because it is not often told about in schools, as Alek points out to Ethan. I love that this is included in the novel because it allows readers, like me, to want to research and learn more about the tragic event.
Apart from bringing light to historical events, this book deals with coming out as a young teen. I liked the way we, the readers, are able to watch as Alek and Ethan developed their relationship, though it did seem to go a little too fast. This book also deals with friendship and family, as well as cultural differences.
Overall, I thought this was a good and light read. I give it 4 stars.
“I guess I feel like we spend so much time trying to keep the promises we make, or the rules we set up, but it’s also important to look at those promises and rules and make sure they’re actually doing what we want them to do, and not the other way around.”
Alek, p. 217