"Boys in Our Books"…

…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!

REVIEW: “One Man Guy” by Michael Barakiva


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.



Do you love YA? Do you enjoy a richly written book with strong, memorable MCs? Do you crave Armenian food? Yes, yes and yes? Then you need to read One Man Guy as soon as humanly possible.

One Man Guy is a captivating and funny tale from the start. MC Alek has been dealt the cruelest of blows: his parents are making him go to summer school. But it’s not because he’s a bad student; quite the opposite. They want him to get his grades up so he can get back on the honors track curriculum at his New Jersey high school.

Uhh…thanks mom and dad.

So now instead of having fun and maybe going to that tennis camp he’d planned, Alek will be working his tale off with a bunch of misfits and outcasts while his parents and brainy older brother enjoy a family vacation and maybe some R &R. Who knew, though, that attending said summer school would give Alek more than just improved grades…like maybe a chance to discover who he is, to change his mind about first impressions, and to understand the power, the worth of friendships and family.

Older than Alek, MC Ethan is bold and confident, and he’s not afraid to intervene when he sees something bad going down. He becomes Alek’s unlikely savior, takes Alek under his wing as a new friend and shows Alek “the city” (as in New York) and all that it has to offer. But just as their relationship blossoms, Alek and Ethan are put to the test. Can they survive the demands/opinions of friends, family and each other?

I so enjoyed the carefully drawn secondary characters in One Man Guy, from Alek’s BFF Becky, to Alek’s brother, to his mom and dad. And what a treat to learn about Armenian food and culture (seriously, somebody bring me some stuffed grape leaves, STAT).

I’m a self-proclaimed smut lover, no apologies. You know what I absolutely ADORE though? When a book is so well written and so interesting that I keep turning the pages—greedily, even—when I know I’m not going to get any of the sexy stuff. That’s this book in a nutshell: a (funny, engaging, tender, poignant) greedy good time.

It’s been a while since I’ve had such a smooth and easy YA reading experience. I highly, highly recommend One Man Guy, not just for those who love YA, but for all who appreciate a good coming of age story with a happy ending and a super low angst factor.




Title: One Man Guy
Author: Michael Barakiva
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Pages: 272
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Purchase Links: Amazon



2 comments on “REVIEW: “One Man Guy” by Michael Barakiva

  1. Dear Jenni – Thanks for this incredibly kind and warm review. I’m so glad that you enjoyed the book, and I hope you try one of the recipes! They’re dee-lish!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenni
      July 27, 2014

      Thank YOU for the words, Michael! Please tell me you’re writing more?!? One of these days I’ll try a recipe; the descriptions were mouth watering. :)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on July 25, 2014 by in Contemporary, Reviewer: Jenni, YA / NA and tagged , , .

Follow Us On Twitter

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.



%d bloggers like this: