This is Michael Barakiva's first novel. And it was sweet with a mix of the Armenian way and figuring out who you really are.
This is the story of Alex with very strict parents. When I was reading this I kept thinking he was older, but it wasn't until near the end that I find that he's only 14 years old. Sure, Alex has had a girlfriend or two in the past, but high school is hard and he's lost his old friends. He can't even spend his free time playing tennis anymore. His grades just aren't good enough. Well, in his parent's eyes. So, he's enlisted into summer school where he meets clever and street smart 17 year old Ethan who rides a skate board and hangs out with the DropOuts (D.O.s).
Actually, Alex is a little afraid of him. Alex knows he's not as cool, but he watches him from a distance for sometime, and then he finds himself defending Ethan to his math teacher. Obviously, Ethan hasn't had anyone to defend him.
Before you know it a bromance might be in the works. Some sly trips into New York City and Alex learns all about Ethan's love of music which includes a lot of Rufus Wainwright. Its cool. Or is it?
Alex starts to lie to his parents. He ditches school for Ethan.
You see Ethan's had an older boyfriend, but he's beginning to figure out that maybe that wasn't the wisest choice he'd ever made, and he doesn't want to make that mistake again. And then there is Alex who is figuring out that he wasn't all that fond of girls to begin with.
I really thought the characters were engaging. It is a story more than attraction. I thought the story was well thought out. And there was so much I didn't know about the Armenian genocide too. And of course, the wonderful Armenian food!
I'm looking forward to more novels from theater director Michael Barkiva.