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One Man Guy

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  9,357 Ratings  ·  921 Reviews
A heartfelt, laugh-out-loud-funny story of romance, family, and self-discovery.

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
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published May 27th 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Ras the Exhorter Ethan's dad (big time NYU professor) was having lunch with Peter Balakian, an Armenian writer, on that day and Ethan was going to bring Alek to meet…moreEthan's dad (big time NYU professor) was having lunch with Peter Balakian, an Armenian writer, on that day and Ethan was going to bring Alek to meet him. They mention Balakian early in the book, when Nik shows off one of his books to impress Nanar's parents.(less)
Miranda White
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Michael Barakiva
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
As the author of this book, I really had to give it five stars, now didn't I? If you are from the suburbs of New Jersey, or love New York City, the music of Rufus Wainwright, falling in love, summer, tennis, or even a single Armenian, I think you will enjoy my book. If you don't fall into any of those categories, I think you will enjoy it any way because it's my first book and like all first times, it's very special.
Lola  Reviewer
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Reading this LGBT book surely didn’t feel like an obligation or homework meaning that I relatively did so with interest, but, by the end, I did realize how there were things that I enjoyed and many others that I disliked. Here they are:

What I Liked

1. The LGBT theme, since it is not secret that I think gay romance to be beautiful. It was good to see how it didn't actually bring ''drama'' to the story.

2. Cultural diversity in books! It was interesting to learn about Armenian people, because I sha
Kat Kennedy
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
The only thing you need to know about this book is that it is adorbs. Totally, utterly, sweetly adorable. It will give you all the cute feelings and make you want to hug both protagonists. Anyone who doesn’t agree?

You're wrong!

Anybody who doesn’t finish this book wanting to hug everyone involved has no soul. NO SOUL, I SAY!

Do I still have to review the rest of it? I do? Okay. Fine. The writing was fairly good. There were a few times where the characters were stuck having conversations that clearly became lec
Adam Silvera
Nov 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Stayed up until 4 A.M. reading this. So good.
Actual rating is 4.5 stars, rounded up for the joy this book gave me.

One Man Guy, with an apt acronym of OMG, is amazing; it really, truly is. From the first page to the last, we're thrust into this world of Alek, an LGBT teen finding himself, and it's all just so well written and developed I couldn't help but fall in love. This, my friends, is the LGBT book I've been waiting for but had yet to find.

Of course, in a book like One Man Guy, character and relationship development are key, and here
Carlos De Eguiluz
May 09, 2017 rated it liked it

¿Poniéndome al corriente con mi literatura LGBT? Yup.

Antes de comenzar a contarles porque este libro es importante, me gustaría comentarles un poco sobre lo que ocurre en esta historia.
Entonces, Aleksander Khederian es armenio, y ser armenio es algo muy importante ¿okay?, no es algo que simplemente decides, como que te levantas una mañana y dices "Hey, quiero ser armenio". No, así no funciona. Tienes que nacer armenio para poder ser armenio.
Tú. Sí, tú. Tú que lees esto, tú no puedes ser arme
Absolutely amazing!

This is a beautiful young adult story, and I mean YOUNG adult!
Alek, the MC, is 14! so... if you are not into it, DON'T read it, you will end up not liking it and giving it a few stars less than it deserv, BUT you will also be missing out on an amazing read!
Having said that, Alek is intelligent and very mature for his age that I totally did not feel like I was reading a 14 year old thoughts.

This is Alek's story, and I love the way the author cleverly let us to really know him
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

I haven’t been privy to such a horrible bunch of Armenian-Americans since . . .

Commercial Photography

Commercial Photography

Sorry. I can’t. I crack myself up sometimes!


I had super high hopes for One Man Guy. I love that YA books about coming out/being homosexual are becoming more prevalent. These stories and characters are LONG overdue. After reading the synopsis, I thought for sure I would love this little book much lik
Kaje Harper
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comfort-reread, m-m, light, ya
This was a fast cute YA read. (I imagine that despite not having a name ending in "-ian" the author is Armenian himself - the little digs at Armenian culture sound like inside jokes. The kind of thing that's funny when coming from someone to whom they also apply.)

This book is about Alek, a 14-year-old boy in an Armenian-American family. He's the second generation born in the US, but Armenian culture and history is still very pervasive in his home life. His mother in particular is determined to k
Thyago | MrsMargotBlog
Awww... This is so teenager, but so beautiful.
I'll admit I'm a lame person. I love a story that has a happy ending, which makes me smile from ear to ear. I liked this book, the story of Alek and Ethan, reminded me of my teenage years and how we wish to live a beautiful relationship, innocent, pure and passionate inside the school gates, I never had this opportunity, but I loved having a vision of how it would have been through One Man Guy.
Experiment BL626
I picked this book up because the book description promised humor and romance, and I love humor and romance. Not to mention the book cover was cheery yellow. Sure enough, the book was accurate as advertised.

I had worried how the theme of homophobia would be presented because I didn't want Alek and Ethan to get hurt. I didn't want to read something sad especially when the book promised humor. I still recall the disappointment of How to Repair a Mechanical Heart. Thankfully, the theme of acceptan
read in other lands by sarah rees brennan read in other lands by sarah rees brennan
DNF @ 4%

the cover is beautiful but i kinda hate everybody so bye bye book (don't get discouraged by this, y'all it's probably a very good book I'm just not in the mood for it)
Gail Carriger
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, ya
A sweet coming of age story about a young man from an Armenian family. This book is full of contracts between our hero and his friends and his overly strict family. However, there is clearly lots of love. One of my favorite things is how much of the story revolves around food. Also, it is a love ode to New York City (which as a Left Coaster I'm kinda, well, over). At times the story did feel a little twee or pat. Some books are like five point essays, too perfect in form to feel inspirational. I ...more
Dec 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: librarybook
This was a perfectly pleasant 3-star YA mm story that pairs a teen from a culturally immersed Armenian family with a slightly older teen who seems to have minimal parental presence. There were messages about love and acceptance and doing the right thing. There were misunderstandings and conflicted loyalties. For the story backdrop, the angst level was relatively low. The Armenian food described sounded delicious.

I had one small fit of rage when reading caused by something that Ethan did and the
Vitor Martins
Esse livro me surpreendeu de um jeito muito positivo.
Tinha tudo pra ser mais uma historinha de amor entre o menino certinho e o bad boy da escola, mas o autor criou um plano de fundo cultural muito interessante!
Sem contar que o livro me ensinou um monte de coisas sobre a cultura armênia (SÓ EU NÃO SABIA QUE A KIM KARDASHIAN É ARMÊNIA?).
Bom demais ler mais um livro com personagens gays e uma história otimista. Adorei :D
Michael Araujo
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: contemporary, lgbt
Here’s the deal with this book. I wanted to love it, I really did! But I just couldn’t. And if you don’t want to be spoiled, turn around for I shall spoil, but if you don’t care then do continue on.

The story follows this freshman, going into sophmore year, by the name of Alek and Alek has never really thought about his sexuality until he meets skater boy Ethan. Alek also comes from a very traditional Armenian family who think that Americans are messy and if it's not Armenian then it isn't the ri
Dov Zeller
Sep 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Some spoilers in this review, so if you haven't read the book you may not want to read it. :)

A mostly sweet suburban coming of age and love story with great cooking and several visits to Manhattan, including a free weekday morning Rufus Wainwright concert in Central Park.

Alek and Ethan, who wind up in summer school together, find that despite their many differences, they have a lot in common (as long as Alek has a total urban makeover.)

Ethan is a short-boarder who hangs out with other skaters,
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
An Electronic Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. Quotes have been pulled from an ARC and may be subject to change.

The first scene is something memorable. I have never met anyone so specific to order things off the menu like this and I was appalled that some people would order like this. That’s crazy! But judging from the familial relationships, I knew it was setting up for something in the end.

I was completely invested in the story between the two boys.
Oh how I enjoyed this book. And so swoonworthy! Loved the fact that Alek was Armenian because I could totally relate (in a Polish way), in regards to having parents and family that rely on upholding traditions from the Old World.
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
3.5 stars
Try as I might, I can only think of several YA books with LGBTQ main characters that really took my breath away. In fact, I can probably count them on my fingers. (Not that I need my fingers to count, people! I suck at math, but not that much!) While this saddens me for so many reasons, it’s comforting to see more and more being written every day. And besides, the novels we do have are all pretty spectacular. Just think: Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz; Brooklyn, Burning by Steve B
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
***Audiobook*** A cute YA story. I learned a lot about the Armenian culture. Very good narration, enjoyed this audiobook!
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life

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
Joy (joyous reads)
“Because anyone who thinks there is something wrong with being gay is like those people you read about in History who believed in segregation. But I bet you Ethan cares, because it sounds to me like he has a crush on you, too.” – Chapter 9, page 107

Imagine for a moment that you’re a fourteen-year-old boy. Your parents just told you that you will be doing summer school, not because you failed, but because your grades could be better. Your parents, who has the combined obsessive tenacity of Rain M
Ashley Williams
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
I absolutely loved One Man Guy! It was swoony and sweet, but there was an underlying complexity of family issues and culture bias that just moves you.

The Author Writes:
If you are from the suburbs of New Jersey, or love New York City, the music of Rufus Wainwright, falling in love, summer, tennis, or even a single Armenian, I think you will enjoy my book.

I find that I don't fall into most of that category, I have never met an Armenian (but now I want to), don't really like tennis (unless swooni
☆ Todd
Feb 09, 2017 rated it liked it

Ehhh. I've read tons and tons of YA and, while this story did hold my interest, for the most part, it only ended up being about a 3-star read for me.

There was just so much 'Armenian this' and 'Armenian that' going on in the book that it came across, to me, as pretty heavy handed, becoming more of a focus to the story than the actual relation and feelings between Alek and Ethan, who I actually did like a lot.

The opening restaurant scene for the story, with Alek's family tormenting that poor waitr
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I got this book from Russell for Christmas.

This is a story of a 14 year old Armenian American boy who comes out (as you can probably tell from the title.) The book is really sweet and handles coming out deftly. In a post-coming out world, where it's not the big deal it used to be, I thought the author handled this very well. It felt natural and honest.

Armenian heritage, prejudice and culture play a strong role. I feel some of the information about Armenia and Armenian culture was a little force
Amber (bookstacksamber)
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia, read-in-2016
Alek's parents were so over the top that I couldn't help but laugh. I think they were my favorite part. I really enjoyed reading about their family dynamic, and learning more about what made them act the way they do. I'm glad we got to see more from Nik, Alek's older brother, because I was intrigued by him at the beginning and didn't know much about him for awhile. This was definitely a character driven book, which I really liked.
Adorbs. Great mother/daughter buddy read.

My Rating: 3 stars
My Daughter's Rating: 3.5 stars
"And did you feel like, 'This is it!?' Did music swell and fireworks explode and did you think to yourself,'This is what a kiss is supposed to feel like?'"

"It was like ice cream."

"I worked at DQ. Trust me, it's not like ice cream."

"No, I mean it's like all my life I've been eating frozen yogurt. And kissing boys is ice cream."

This was a cute little love story. It was humorous, had a diverse cast (Armenian!!!), and was a great, snappy read. I had a few issues with it (there were a few things ab
Ulysses Dietz
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So, the last two YA/LGBT books I’ve read have been wonderful. Michael Barakiva is not, apparently, Armenian, but he seems to be able to channel not only Armenian-American culture, but suburban New Jersey culture like a pro.

Aleksander Khederian is fourteen. He is a good boy, but beginning to rebel against the strict upbringing imposed upon him by his American-born Armenian parents. And I can see why, because they seem like really hard-ass parents. Although great cooks.

Then, one day, Alek lets hi
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Book review #5 1 2 Mar 09, 2018 11:37PM  
The Backlot Gay B...: One Man Guy, by Michael Barakiva 1 9 Nov 11, 2015 02:57PM  
YA LGBT Books: * October 2014 BotM - One Man Guy *spoilers* 7 110 Nov 03, 2014 02:10PM  
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Michael Barakiva is an Armenian/Israeli theater director and writer who lives in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan with his husband, Rafael. He was born in Haifa, Israel and grew up in the suburbs of Central New Jersey, which were much scarier. He attended Vassar College, where he double majored in Drama and English, after which he attended the Juilliard School's Drama Division as an An ...more
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“You know, when I came home after our day in the city, I just crashed, thinking about Remi and how much I missed him. And then the next day was worse, And when you walked up to me at that ice cream machine, I just felt myself crumble inside. Around Remi, I felt like I was always trying to act like I was good enough. But around you, I don't want to pretend or hide. That's why I didn't say anything in the cafeteria that day, I knew that in five seconds, I'd be crying on your shoulder."

"That's what it's there for, Ethan."

Alek leaned in, took Ethan's face in his hands, and kissed him.”
“And did you feel like, 'This is it!?' Did music swell and fireworks explode and did you think to yourself,'This is what a kiss is supposed to feel like?'"

"It was like ice cream."

"I worked at DQ. Trust me, it's not like ice cream."

"No, I mean it's like all my life I've been eating frozen yogurt. And kissing boys is ice cream.”
More quotes…