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Hold My Hand

Narrated by: Michael Barakiva
Series: Alek Khederian, Book 2
Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Alek Khederian thinks about his life BE and AE: 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 PE: 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.

©2019 Michael Barakiva (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not Amazing, but Not Bad

'Hold My Hand' is definitely a nice sequel to Barakiva's 'One Man Guy' (2014), and this audiobook is read by the author himself. The story itself isn't amazing, but it contains some important messages about acceptance, inclusivity, and forgiveness in the wake of infidelity.

Barakiva's voice doesn't quite work for the characters -- it's a bit too rugged and aged for his teenaged mains (e.g. phrases like "for sure" and "obvi" do not sound right coming out of his mouth). The characters in 'Hold My Hand' also mention more current topics (e.g. the "Me Too" movement), but this sequel takes place approximately six months after the first novel, which readers were led to believe took place in 2014, though I could be incorrect.

Also: there are several points throughout the audiobook when the author repeats the same sentences twice in a row. What's strange is that it is clearly two different recordings of the author reading the same sentence that were then poorly spliced together (?). This is the first time I've encountered this while listening to an Audible title -- it was perplexing and a little off-putting, especially because it happened at least three times, maybe more.

Despite the aforementioned issues, I will say that I did, for the most part, enjoy this listen, though I probably wouldn't revisit it in the future like I had with the first title in the series. Would I be opposed to a third entry? No. I do like Barakiva's cast, especially the Khederian family. This entry, however, just seemed a little unpolished.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this 2nd Story

I loved how these characters have grown from the first story and developed even more at the end. I hope to see more of Alek and Ethan along with these other characters in other stories.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very funny and thought provoking

Really enjoyed the story line and characters, the performance was lackluster but the wit, humor, and characters more than made up for it. I highly recommend this book and would love to see more in the series.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Super fun romance I am so glad I bought

I really enjoyed getting to listen to more of Alek’s world. As a sequel it’s still a story that stands on its own while being a continuation of the great dialogue between really different personalities of the cool quirky characters.

The author’s voice added maturity to Alek which was great. I liked the voices of the parents best in the first book because they were less assimilated and interesting to hear.

I hope to see and will immediately buy a third book in this trilogy. Michael Barakiva is an author I hope keeps writing more for me to read and listen to. A great romance about trust, fun and integrity.