Alek Khederian should have guessed something was wrong when his parents took him to a restaurant. Everyone knows that Armenians never eat out. Why bother, when their home cooking is far superior to anything "these Americans" could come up with? 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 freshmen 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. 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.
©2014 Michael Barakiva (P)2014 Macmillan Audio
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Didn't know what to expect when I bought this book but turned out to be a great coming-of-age story. Really funny and nice performance!
"A Heartwarming Coming-of-Age Novel"
One Man Guy is a dazzling coming-of-age tale about embracing your roots while discovering who you really are. Fourteen-year-old Alek Kherderian comes from a traditional Armenian family. He quietly goes through life following the rules until his suburban world is suddenly turned upside down by a surprise friendship with his classmate Ethan, who opens his eyes to a world Alek can't help but know he was always meant to be a part of. With the help of a few New York City adventures, a sprinkling of Rufus Wainwright lyrics, and some mouth-watering Armenian dishes, Alek soon discovers himself, love, and acceptance in the most unexpected places.
Michael Chernus expertly narrates the young teenage protagonist - his voice balancing shy hesitation with bold confidence at all the right moments. One Man Guy is a book so heartwarming and adorable you'll want to nuzzle it long after you're through.
"Very YA, cute and sweet"
This was a very cute and sweet story. However it was a little too YA for me; the MC is 14 and 16. I learned a lot about Armenian culture, as it plays a large role in the story, and that was great. The romance felt a little easy and forced and I just didn't really feel for either boy. There is no real drama, just some culture clashing. The narrator did a great job and overall I enjoyed it.
"Just pure fun."
It goes down pretty easy. I have just finished reading a couple of other coming out stories involving some real heart break situations. This story comes up to the cliff and it looks as the characters are going to have to jump off but the author surprises you with the humanitarian response. It truly a nice ride and the two boys are just too cute.
So if you enjoy coming out highschool stories but want to laugh a little and maybe learn to believe they all don't end up with someone cutting their wrist then this is the story for you.
"Short but sweet"
Would depend on the friend, I guess, but mostly yes. It's a nice story of a first love, combined with the complexities of living in an immigrant family (and specifically an Armenian one). Both are nicely handled.
The way the folks josh around reminded me a bit of Will Grayson Will Grayson, but that differs in a lot of other ways.
Several good moments -- best friend refusing to be sidelined by new romance, kissing goodbye to a hated bookbag...
Parents proving better than a kid's paranoid expectations.
Narrator's voice was a good fit for the main character, but I assume he's a bit inexperienced, both by the unnaturalness of his use of upward-inflected sentences and by the unsubtlety of edits in places. But none of that came between me and the story.
I loved this story very much!
I definitely recommend it.
Very interesting and entertaining.
I will definitely buy a copy of the book.
"A true gem amongst mere stones"
I loved this book and the narration is excellent. The story allows us to simply join the lives of two boys as they fall in love. The story line isn't too over the top and the gay kids are not forced by the author to face the worst that the world has to offer. Instead, it is a sweet story of love, family connections and facing our prejudices, not fleeing from them. This kind of story is a rare find---I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
"one man guy"
really liked the story. all the loose ends just tied up too nicely and easily.
mom stealing the fresh dill made me belly laugh!
"Good story, left me wanting for more"
This book gave me a lot of feelings that I wish I could have felt when I was in high school. The emotions in this story are very real, and you can feel the conflict between the characters, both internal and external. I would definitely recommend this book. Well worth a listen.
"Touching and Engaging"
One Man Guy is an incredibly sweet and touching coming-of-age and coming-out story.
It was beautifully written and well-crafted but the absolute highlight was exploration of the Armenian-American culture clash Alek constantly struggles with.
The lush descriptions of the favoured Eastern European delicacies had me drooling and the prose had an incredible sense of place be it suburban New Jersey, eclectic downtown Manhattan or the seeming infinite journey between the two.
Alek coming to terms with his coming out was honest and heartfelt so I think it will appeal to anyone without a particular interest in LGBT literature.
I highly recommended for all readers! I just wish it was longer!
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