Hold My Hand
Alek Khederian thinks about his life B.E. and A.E.: Before Ethan and After Ethan. Before Ethan, Alek was just an average Armenian-American kid with a mess of curly dark hair, grades not nearly good enough for his parents, and no idea of who he was or what he wanted. After he got together with Ethan, Alek was a new man. Stylish. Confident. (And even if he wasn’t quite marching in LGBTQ parades), Gay and Out and Proud.With their six-month anniversary coming up, Alek and Ethan want to do something special to celebrate. Like, really special. Like, the most special thing two people in love can do with one another. But Alek’s not sure he’s ready for that. And then he learns something about Ethan that may not just change their relationship, but end it.Alek can't bear the thought of finding out who he'd be P.E.: Post-Ethan. But he also can't forgive or forget what Ethan did. Luckily, his best friend Becky and madcap Armenian family are there to help him figure out whether it’s time to just let Ethan go, or reach out and hold his hand.Hold My Hand is a funny, smart, relatable take on the joy and challenges of teenage love, the boundaries of forgiveness, and what it really means to be honest.

Hold My Hand Details

TitleHold My Hand
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 21st, 2019
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux
Rating
GenreLGBT, Young Adult, Romance, Fiction

Hold My Hand Review

  • Is
    January 1, 1970
    Yeah........This was not good. Like why? Who asked for this?Listen, I absolutely loved One Man Guy. Five stars and all.WHY, oh why, would you follow it up with this? By now, we all know that Alek and Ethan are the characters of this story, but who asked for this?I might do a full, in-depth, review but it'll get super spoiler-y but what kind of BS sequel is this? I read the acknowledgement page where the inspiration came from someone telling Barakiva I want Alek and Ethan to break up and get back Yeah........This was not good. Like why? Who asked for this?Listen, I absolutely loved One Man Guy. Five stars and all.WHY, oh why, would you follow it up with this? By now, we all know that Alek and Ethan are the characters of this story, but who asked for this?I might do a full, in-depth, review but it'll get super spoiler-y but what kind of BS sequel is this? I read the acknowledgement page where the inspiration came from someone telling Barakiva I want Alek and Ethan to break up and get back together and all you could think of what oh, yeah, the ONLY way for them to break up (and be entertaining, I gues??????) is to have cheating be the cause??(view spoiler)[That's sloppy writing if you ask me. I can pinpoint to so many amazing stories that could make breaking up and getting together be angsty and entertaining without falling on sloppy and bad writing plot devices. GUYS. Freaking Ethan cheats on Alek with his ex. It's not something like oh kissing, maybe maybe after some groveling, you can forgive them, but he goes and has sex with Remi. ON ALEK'S BIRTHDAY WHAT KIND OF MESSED UP PERSON DOES THAT. oh, and the funnies (not) BS who could come up with is that he loved him so much he was afraid of messing up and he thought oh self-fulfilling so guess I have to do it. I really hate this, especially in YA, bc teens are so impressionable. But we have Becky going oh you have to talk to him, basically (even if she says she doesn't) saying cheating is okay sometimes, and then tries to spin this totally manipulative conversation with Ethan trying to get Alek to give him a second chance by saying he owes him a second try (like what???????) by saying it's romantic. OH AND THEY GET BACK TOGETHER IN THE END. what kind of Good Luck Charlie episode is this? (hide spoiler)]Bro, this book messed up One Man Guy for me, and my entire day. I was so hyped when I got the E-ARC of this but now I just want to burn it.
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  • Michael Barakiva
    January 1, 1970
    I want to thank everyone who wrote, tweeted, pinged, PMed or reached out to me in any other way to tell me about what One Man Guy meant to them. Although Hold My Hand is a stand-alone sequel, and it is meant to be enjoyed entirely on its own, it was the response of the readers of OMG that inspired me to write another book.I have spent most of my life directing plays, and as much as I love that (and I do love it), getting to interact with the readers of OMG directly has helped me understand what I want to thank everyone who wrote, tweeted, pinged, PMed or reached out to me in any other way to tell me about what One Man Guy meant to them. Although Hold My Hand is a stand-alone sequel, and it is meant to be enjoyed entirely on its own, it was the response of the readers of OMG that inspired me to write another book.I have spent most of my life directing plays, and as much as I love that (and I do love it), getting to interact with the readers of OMG directly has helped me understand what kind of art I'd like to be making in my life, and the impact I hope it has.HMH is a very personal book for me, as was OMG. It dives into the the heart of so many of the things that are important to me as someone who is queer, someone who is Armenian, and most of all, someone who loves food and making it and eating it.And for the readers of OMG who are nervous about HMH, I hope you'll trust me enough to take the leap.
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  • Mike Urbina
    January 1, 1970
    One man guy is very likely going to be the best thing I'll read this year. I WILL read absolutely everything written by Michael Barakiva, EXCEPT for anything centered on the main characters from One man guy. That book is a fragile, perfect little world. It needs nothing else.
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  • haley
    January 1, 1970
    I went through an emotional rollercoaster in the span of a few minutes after finding out about this. Listen, I just read and enjoyed One Man Guy. And I love Alek as a character so for a moment I was so hyped to see a sequel. But then I found out the plot centers (spoiler!!!) around Ethan cheating on Alek. Bro what the actual fuck?! That literally makes no sense with Ethan’s character???? What happened to being a “one man guy”, which is, ya know, the literal title of the first book?!?! Like Ethan I went through an emotional rollercoaster in the span of a few minutes after finding out about this. Listen, I just read and enjoyed One Man Guy. And I love Alek as a character so for a moment I was so hyped to see a sequel. But then I found out the plot centers (spoiler!!!) around Ethan cheating on Alek. Bro what the actual fuck?! That literally makes no sense with Ethan’s character???? What happened to being a “one man guy”, which is, ya know, the literal title of the first book?!?! Like Ethan himself was cheated on, he knew how painful it was and it was important to him to stay loyal and monogamous to his partner!!!! So what the actual genuine fuck is this bullshit? Okay so the idea of them breaking up and them coming back together, is uncomfortable but I can handle it. But infidelity, I CANNOT abide. Fuck that noise. Hard pass. Sorry, man.
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  • Angela Nuñez
    January 1, 1970
    Solo espero que no sea sobre Ethan y Alek, porque si lo es, llorare.
  • Inkish Kingdoms
    January 1, 1970
    In an agonizing prelude of the inevitable, Michael Barakiva takes us into the love adventures of two teenagers. Heart wrenching but optimistic, a story that overcomes the impossibility of forgiveness even in the most extreme cases.This sequel conserves the essence of the first book, and I am talking about the Armenian traditions and Michele's uniqueness of speech. Alek is different from book one as he changed and now has a stronger voice than before because he knows who he is and what he wants. In an agonizing prelude of the inevitable, Michael Barakiva takes us into the love adventures of two teenagers. Heart wrenching but optimistic, a story that overcomes the impossibility of forgiveness even in the most extreme cases.This sequel conserves the essence of the first book, and I am talking about the Armenian traditions and Michele's uniqueness of speech. Alek is different from book one as he changed and now has a stronger voice than before because he knows who he is and what he wants. We get to see him in more different scenarios and embracing and knowing his family better than before. This story is not based on the same scenarios of bullying and self-acceptance, but this is moving towards a more personal and sociological aspect of gender, religion, and politics BUT never EVER forgetting the quirks of the Kedesteian family. This story keeps its core of family uniqueness and supports above all. Not only Alek is different but also his family since they all evolve in those 6 months that we didn't get to see, and it is something I admire from the author and appreciate from this book: it is faithful to its roots but its promise to give us more didn´t disappoint. This is a light read but memorable, sweet but heart-wrenching. Michael Barakiva is a great author and this book is simply delightful!
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  • Ryan
    January 1, 1970
    “Hold My Hand” by Michael Barakiva•The sequel to the gay YA book “One Man Guy” continues the story of Alek and Ethan as they approach their six month anniversary. Between Thanksgiving and Armenian Christmas, the couple’s relationship becomes strained when some truths are revealed as they decide to take their relationship to the next level. Alek deals with his best friend starting a new relationship. An unknown individual wrote a gay slur in a friend’s notebook in Armenian Saturday school. And ev “Hold My Hand” by Michael Barakiva•The sequel to the gay YA book “One Man Guy” continues the story of Alek and Ethan as they approach their six month anniversary. Between Thanksgiving and Armenian Christmas, the couple’s relationship becomes strained when some truths are revealed as they decide to take their relationship to the next level. Alek deals with his best friend starting a new relationship. An unknown individual wrote a gay slur in a friend’s notebook in Armenian Saturday school. And even worse, Ethan’s gorgeous Aussie ex, Remi, is back in town and invited himself to Alek’s birthday dinner. Friendships and relationships are tested over the holidays in this warm, sweet, fun novel.•There are many ways to rate a book. A young adult novel gets the highest marks when it makes me cry because I’m overwhelmed with emotion. This novel make me tear up and swell with emotion, and not in the part I expected. It’s a wonderfully sweet novel that stays true to the characters and story in “One Man Guy.” Like it’s predecessor this book is full of Armenian cultural references including some cooking tips (who knew that we’d get a lesson in peeling pearl onions in a YA novel?) This book explores some important themes like religion, culture, acceptance, and forgiveness. I would have liked to have seen more of a character arc or change from Alek, I thought he was a little unreasonable in the book. I really enjoyed it and devoured it in one sitting, flying to Hawaii. This was a great start to a vacation. I recommend this book for anyone who likes gay YA romance fiction. It will not disappoint you. This book is available in May so pre-order it or put it on your calendar. • eBook • Fiction - YA, LGBTQ • Provided by NetGalley. • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️▪️
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from EdelweissLove, love, love Alek and his Armenian family (the Thanksgiving scene was brilliant and made me laugh!), and need more books about boys having romances with other boys, but this book is DEFINITELY more YA. When I look at any book that involves a romance, I want to make sure that 6th graders who pick it up don't learn anything that might be covered in 8th grade health class. This had young people in a more advanced state of undress than is usual for middle grade stories, plus E ARC from EdelweissLove, love, love Alek and his Armenian family (the Thanksgiving scene was brilliant and made me laugh!), and need more books about boys having romances with other boys, but this book is DEFINITELY more YA. When I look at any book that involves a romance, I want to make sure that 6th graders who pick it up don't learn anything that might be covered in 8th grade health class. This had young people in a more advanced state of undress than is usual for middle grade stories, plus some very specifically instructional moments. Good moments and discusses about consent and readiness.All well done, important, and worthwhile, but a bit too much for the readers in my school. Even though I have students ASK me for Judy Blume's Forever, I think we would all be uncomfortable if I actually handed the book to them. This is a similar title. High school collections and public library Young Adult sections definitely need to have copies of this, but I will have to pass. Interestingly, my library is the only one in our whole district who has a copy of One Man Guy, so at least I feel good about that. It circulates well, but it's usually girls who check the book out.
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  • Racheal
    January 1, 1970
    I loved One Man Guy SO MUCH, but the cheating plot for this is an absolute no-go for me.
  • Giovanna Brondo
    January 1, 1970
    I'm incredibly excited for this! Why until 2017??? :( and why does one of the cheat??? Oh god I'm excited
  • Jenni Frencham
    January 1, 1970
    Alek and Ethan have been dating for six months. Ethan is ready for their relationship to be more physical, whereas Alek just isn't there yet. Alek and Ethan go on a special date for their six-month-iversary, and Alek has just decided to say yes to sex, when he finds out Ethan cheated on him. On Alek's birthday. With Ethan's ex boyfriend. I very much appreciated the subplot of Alek trying to change his church from within to make it welcoming instead of begrudgingly accepting of the queer communit Alek and Ethan have been dating for six months. Ethan is ready for their relationship to be more physical, whereas Alek just isn't there yet. Alek and Ethan go on a special date for their six-month-iversary, and Alek has just decided to say yes to sex, when he finds out Ethan cheated on him. On Alek's birthday. With Ethan's ex boyfriend. I very much appreciated the subplot of Alek trying to change his church from within to make it welcoming instead of begrudgingly accepting of the queer community, and of course I loved the hilariousness that is his family, but this whole book was about the cheating thing and, honestly, I felt cheated. What Ethan did was definitely horrible, and it is absolutely okay for Alek to be bothered by it, but it seemed like everyone around him was coaxing him to forgive and forget. Would I purchase this book for my library? Definitely - there is an audience for this kind of "drama book" among teen patrons. But it's not one I'll keep on my personal shelf.I received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley for review purposes.
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  • Liza
    January 1, 1970
    This book is so much more than just a high school romance. Alek and Ethan have already made it past their awkward stage and gotten together, but that was just the first obstacle in their uphill battle of a relationship. I love the realness of their portrayal and that nothing is sugar coated. Alek's struggle with his Armenian heritage and religion is so universal. And Ethan's struggle to truly care is such a reality for so many people. It did take a little bit to get into, to remember what happen This book is so much more than just a high school romance. Alek and Ethan have already made it past their awkward stage and gotten together, but that was just the first obstacle in their uphill battle of a relationship. I love the realness of their portrayal and that nothing is sugar coated. Alek's struggle with his Armenian heritage and religion is so universal. And Ethan's struggle to truly care is such a reality for so many people. It did take a little bit to get into, to remember what happened in One Man Guy, but once the ball got rolling, it did not stop.
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  • Teresa
    January 1, 1970
    ***3.5 Stars***When I read this book I was unaware that there was a novel before this that introduces you to Ethan and Alek. That being said I was totally comfortable diving into this book without any backstory, I feel like Barakiva did a good enough job that I didn't miss much from "One Man Guy" (but I would also like to say that I would love to read that book just because I love Alek and Ethan so much). This book starts with what seems to be a picture perfect relationship between two boys that ***3.5 Stars***When I read this book I was unaware that there was a novel before this that introduces you to Ethan and Alek. That being said I was totally comfortable diving into this book without any backstory, I feel like Barakiva did a good enough job that I didn't miss much from "One Man Guy" (but I would also like to say that I would love to read that book just because I love Alek and Ethan so much). This book starts with what seems to be a picture perfect relationship between two boys that couldn't be more different (thus making them perfect for each other). Not all is as it seems in paradise when; Ethan lets an ex come between him and Alek and pretty soon their relationship is over due to Alek not being able to trust Ethan. But what if Ethan were to win back Alek's trust? Would they be able to find their happily ever after again? I loved this book because I feel like cheating is something that happens to most people...and it is really finding that love to forgive a person and try to start again (hell, cheating also has affected Beyonce and Jay-Z). Barakiva has written a realistic view of a relationship (IMO) and I loved every minute of it. Thanks to MacMillan for the ARC!
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  • Leah
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.I think the Armenian element was the strongest aspect of this book. I found it to be a specific and evocative portrayal of a culture that I don't know very much about, although as a person growing up (and also being an adult!) female in the modern Orthodox Jewish world it felt very familiar to me: a religion and culture that is beloved and loving and also seems to come in conflict with values that are important to you.The romance, however, felt less successful. Pe Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.I think the Armenian element was the strongest aspect of this book. I found it to be a specific and evocative portrayal of a culture that I don't know very much about, although as a person growing up (and also being an adult!) female in the modern Orthodox Jewish world it felt very familiar to me: a religion and culture that is beloved and loving and also seems to come in conflict with values that are important to you.The romance, however, felt less successful. Perhaps as a product of this being a sequel (although one which doesn't seem to be at all advertised as such, and for which the material of the first book was worked in extremely clumsily) I didn't feel invested in Alek and Ethan's relationship at all. So, while I understood it intellectually, I didn't really feel the impact of the cheating or their relationship drama, and it made it seem especially dramatic when Alek ran away through New York and basically spent three days sleeping he found out that Ethan had cheated. I was also notably weirded out by the age gap both between Arno and Alek (13/15), and between Ethan and Remi (15 and 18+, including a sexual relationship AND ONE that did not seem to have been explicitly consented to) and was disappointed that this element wasn't commented on at all, especially for the latter relationship. I know that Ethan's father was meant to be distracted and a bit obtuse, but come on! The university student you let into your home starts dating (I'm presuming he didn't know about the sex) your 15 year old son and you're cool with it? And Alek's parents - who are overprotective to the point of being pathological - are entirely charmed and not at all grossed out by this?In general, I found the writing to be fairly awkward, and the pacing to be off. I also felt that the author had not created a complete world so much as a frozen background against which individual scenes might play. Becky, for example, is only a character so long as she's offering relationship advice to Alek. Once that roll is fulfilled, she's dropped from the story.I think that this book could be valuable to teens struggling with reconciling aspects of their faith, whatever that might be, but as a piece of literature, I was underwhelmed.
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  • Cathrina
    January 1, 1970
    Friendship. Honesty. Forgiveness. Acceptance. Embracing sexuality. Loving yourself.
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