One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva
One Man Guy
by Michael Barakiva
Published by Farrar Straus Giroux
on May 27th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA, Young Adult


Funny and heartfelt, One Man Guy brings to mind the raucous family humor and gentle romance of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, as told with David Sedaris–style wit

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 was a refreshing and unique contemporary read. Alek is an Armenian teenager living in a New Jersey suburb and when his parents tell him that he’s going to summer school, he never imagined that he would meet Ethan (who is basically the cutest guy ever).

Honestly, I’m not sure how to accurately describe One Man Guy. It was unique and unlike anything I’ve read before. Alek himself was a very unique character. His Armenian heritage is often highlighted in the book which I found refreshing. Alek is also a character that I can relate to. He knows what’s right and what’s wrong and he sticks to it. If someone makes an insulting comment about someone else, he wouldn’t speak to that person anymore. His morals and ideologies make him a character we don’t often see in YA novels, which I loved.

The supporting characters are also just as unique. Becky, Alek’s best friend, was a spunky rollerblader who wasn’t afraid of who she is or what she stood for. Ethan was your typical “bad boy” from afar, but deep down he was actually really sweet. He also happens to be the love interest. What I loved about the romance of this book was that it was your typical boy-meets-boy story. The romance was very cute and definitely interesting to read. It was fun reading all of Alek’s and Ethan’s adventures in New York City.

Overall, One Man Guy is a cute and interesting LGBT contemporary. I absolutely adored the setting which shifted between Alek’s school and New York City. The Armenian elements made this contemporary unique and refreshing. If you like contemporary romance with unique characters, I highly recommend One Man Guy. 

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5 thoughts on “One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva”

  1. This book sounds fun! I really enjoyed LGBT books and this one sounds like a refreshing read, because of the Armenian heritage. I wonder how that’s done there, because isn’t LGBT a bit of a taboo around that area?! I’m curious to read it! Thanks for the lovely review 🙂
    Sandra @ Sandra’s World of Books recently posted…The Black Lake – Hella S. HaasseMy Profile

  2. I think LGBT is a bit of a taboo in Armenian heritage which is why I really loved this book. I hope you check it out soon, it’s so good! Thanks so much for reading 😀

  3. Aww, I can’t wait to read this one!! I love cute contemporaries (and New York) and this book just sounds PERFECT.

    (btw, don’t forget to link up:
    – since you’re doing the LGBT Challenge… who knows you might win something 😉
    Cayce recently posted…[Top Ten Tuesday] Top Ten Books About FriendshipMy Profile

  4. YAY! I’m actually very excited for you to read this one because WE MUST DISCUSS THE CUTENESS! Thanks for reminding me to add my link, I would’ve forgotten otherwise! 😀

  5. This is such an interesting thread because my mom and I were just talking about this today. LGBT is still quite taboo in the Armenian church (see their website for their bizarre and archaic defense of the church’s antiquated stand on these issues). But I’ve found the community and culture itself to be quite progressive. I wonder if this is because the two large Armenian communities in the States are based in urban areas (Boston and LA)? Regardless, I’ve never had a problem with it. I even dated an Armenian guy for a few weeks.

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