“Hold My Hand” by Michael Barakiva— Love, Forgiveness and Honesty

Barakiva, Michael. “Hold My Hand”,  Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019.

Love, Forgiveness and Honesty

Amos Lassen

“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 boyfriend Ethan who has changed his life tremendously and even divided it into B.E. and A.E.: Before Ethan and After Ethan. Before Ethan, Alek was just a regular,  average Armenian-American kid with curly dark hair, grades  that were not good enough for his parents. He had no idea of who he was or what he wanted.  But after he and Ethan got together, Alek was a new man with a sense of style and self-confidence.

Our story opens with Alek and Ethan wanting to do something special to celebrate their six-month anniversary. However,  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 totally.

On one hand, he cannot imagine what life will be like post-Ethan but he also can’t forgive or forget what Ethan did. He is lucky that his best friend Becky and  her 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. Now I know you are curious as to what Ethan did but I am not going to tell you. I will say that his is a novel that is filled with love and heartache.

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