Friday, May 9, 2014

One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva

One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva
Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
Publication Date:  May 27, 2014
Date Read:  May 8, 2014

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

3 Stars

This was an OK book.  When I saw this book on Net Galley, I checked the reviews on Goodreads and saw that everyone seemed to LOVE this book.  I was so excited to get the chance to sit down with it myself because I wanted to love it too.  I love a good coming of age story as much as anyone else.   I did not love it.  To be perfectly honest, this is probably going to be one of those books that I have read that I will not even be able to remember much of in a few months.  

Alek is a 14 year old Armenian boy.  I loved the fact that Alek's Armenian culture played a huge role in this book.  I would actually say that this aspect is the strongest point of the book.  Alek's parents decide that he will have to attend summer school because they want him to be on the honor track in high school.  During summer school, Alek crosses paths with Ethan.

Alek is best friends with Becky, whose character I found to be the most interesting in this book.  Becky is a free spirit who is not afraid to go for what she wants, and she thinks she might want Alek.  During an awkward encounter, Becky learns that those feelings are not mutual.

It turns out that Alek has never thought about whether he might be gay but he is attracted to Ethan after spending some time with him.   The pair spend a lot of time together over the course of the summer and become a couple. 

Alek's very traditional parents are very supportive of the fact that their son is gay.  While I think that this is wonderful, I do not feel that it fits in with their personality as written.  These are parents who have not allowed their son to pick out his own clothes in the past.  I just do not see this type of parent being as supportive as they were in this story.  

This was a book that left me wanting a bit more.  Alek was able to come to terms with his sexuality with no issues.  I think that in most cases, there would have been a lot more difficulty in coming out.  Everything in the book wrapped up quite easily in the end.  In my opinion, it was a little too easy and not authentic. 

This book had some strong points and some not so strong points.  I ended up finding it a somewhat enjoyable quick read. 

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