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Hold My Hand
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Hold My Hand
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Michael Barakiva's 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.Alek Khederian thinks...
Michael Barakiva's 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.Alek Khederian thinks...
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Description-

  • Michael Barakiva's 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.

    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 Armenain family are there to help him figure out whether it's time to just let Ethan go, or reach out and hold his hand.

About the Author-

  • Michael Barakiva, author of One Man Guy and Hold My Hand, is a theater director and writer of Armenian/Israeli descent who lives in Manhattan with his husband, Rafael. He is a graduate of Vassar College and the Juilliard School, an avid cook and board-game player, and a soccer player with the New York Ramblers.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2019
    Love abounds, heartache happens, and friendship endures in this hilarious and timely coming-of-age novel. Alek Khederian, an Armenian-American New Jersey sophomore, is happily besotted with his handsome skater boyfriend, Ethan. Not only is he out of the closet, but his family accepts him and welcomes Ethan, a white senior. Alek, while in love, is not ready for sex, which Ethan seems to accept. During their six-month anniversary celebration, however, Ethan unwittingly reveals news that threatens to rip their relationship apart. Barakiva (One Man Guy, 2014) creates an engaging central couple whom readers will root for and smartly surrounds them with a flawless cast of three-dimensional supporting characters who round out the protagonists while standing out in their own rights. Alek's parents are grade-obsessed, old-fashioned, and controlling to the point of hilarity, but their love and unconditional support of their son suffuses every interaction they have with him. The Khederians are ardent Christians, and Alek attends St. Stephen's Armenian Orthodox Church on both Saturdays and Sundays. The scenes between Alek and Reverend Father Stepanian are some of the tale's most gripping. Their ongoing debate regarding the church's stance on homosexuality is handled sensitively and intelligently, providing Alek with character growth while also acknowledging the priest's difficult position. The novel is enriched with vividly textured Armenian cultural details. An honest and compelling teen romance. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    July 12, 2019

    Gr 8 Up-Barakiva follows up One Man Guy with a highly satisfying sequel that continues to develop the authenticity and complexity of both Alek and Ethan. Alek isn't yet ready to engage in sexual expression beyond kissing and cuddling, and Ethan doesn't pressure him. However, it turns out that Ethan does cheat on Alek with an old flame. Worse, Alek discovers his own apparent lack of forgiveness. Alek's story also delves realistically-and with some humor-into the stand he takes when his Orthodox pastor proves to be homophobic. In keeping with Alek's teen boy worldview, the young people here are presented in balanced and realistic ways while most of the adults, and especially Alek's parents, are suitably rendered as caricatures. Barakiva, indeed, has his finger on the pulse of how adolescents understand the most significant people in their lives and just barely manage to put up with the adults. This story shows the ways people can disappoint one another, break one another's hearts, and get past such crises. VERDICT A delightful and important addition to collections serving teens, whether or not the first book is held.-Francisca Goldsmith, Library Ronin, Worcester, MA

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus Reviews

    "Love abounds, heartache happens, and friendship endures in this hilarious and timely coming-of-age novel. Barakiva (One Man Guy, 2014) creates an engaging central couple whom readers will root for and smartly surrounds them with a flawless cast of three-dimensional supporting characters who round out the protagonists while standing out in their own rights . . . The novel is enriched with vividly textured Armenian cultural details. An honest and compelling teen romance."

  • School Library Journal

    "Barakiva follows up One Man Guy with a highly satisfying sequel that continues to develop the authenticity and complexity of both Alek and Ethan. Alek's story also delves realistically--and with some humor--into the stand he takes when his Orthodox pastor proves to be homophobic. This story shows the ways people can disappoint one another, break one another's hearts, and get past such crises.VERDICT A delightful and important addition to collections serving teens, whether or not the first book is held."

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    Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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