Hold my Hand by Michael Barakiva Book Review and Book Tour + Int Giveaway

It is my first time to join Xpresso book tours and today is my blog tour schedule. I am really thankful to be part of Hold my Hand by Michael Barakiva book tour. Since I read David Levithan’s book, I instantly fell in love reading YA books with LGBT theme. This book is not what I thought it is. While reading the first few pages of the book, I instantly loved it!!

To be honest, I don’t have any idea that this is a sequel to his book, One Man Guy. Although, it does not matter because the story is easy to catch up. It is not just about love. It is culture. It is everything! Anyway, here are the book details



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.

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.

Published by: Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Publication date: May 21st 2019

Genres: Romance, Young Adult

Goodreads // Amazon // B&N // iBooks // Kobo // Google Play



Michael Barakiva, author of One Man Guy, 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.

Author links:

Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Website


The writing style of this book is easy to understand plus it has a lovely cover. There are lot of points that was discussed in this book. It was a sensitive matter regarding sexuality and the society’s views about it. This is not easy to tackle especially when everyone is fighting and debating against it. But the author did well in projecting his thoughts which amazed me. He did it so naturally and respectfully.


Let me share with you that I live in a conservative country where sexuality especially members of the LGBT community are considered sinful. The church, government and other sectors are still close minded about this idea. I still don’t know why they are hesitant with these matters. Maybe because like what the author said, it is not easy to just change the “trends” and beliefs of other people. I really hope that everyone will accept that the world is not just composed of male and female. Instead, we are all composed of unique and loving individuals.


On the other hand, I love the characters especially Alek. He is a smart boy. I admire his good heart and forgiving nature. I liked how he is proud of his sexuality and was not afraid to voice out his thoughts. He also cares for everyone and it does not matter what everyone thinks as long as he is happy. His has cool, accepting parents and brother. Of course, has a loving boyfriend too. He is really lucky indeed.

Overall, I really liked the book. This book speaks out to every one of us. This book is a message, a voice. The world needs to read this book.20190524_122117_0000

I’ve learned a lot about this book. I’ve learned that we should be always open for changes and new possibilities. We should not be afraid to take risks in both life and love. We should also not be ashamed of who we are and what we are.

In line with that, this book also teaches the value of honesty in all aspects of life. Being honest in a relationship gives harmony.


Lastly, this book showed the value of forgiveness and second chances. It is okay to give another chance as long as you learned, the person learned and he/she earned that chance.

Again, thank you for this opportunity. To more book reviews and book tours.

Rate: 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Want to win this book? Join our giveaway! Open international ends May 30th!

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Stay a Little Longer by Dawn Lanuza Book Review and Blog Tour

Today is my tour stop for Stay a Little Longer by Dawn Lanuza which will be released on May 28, 2019 and it is my first time to join a blog tour organized by The Royal Polar Bear Reads and The Nocturnal Fey. I am excited not just to read another Dawn Lanuza’s work but also to be part of the promoting team. Her Break Up Anniversary was my first read and that story really broke my heart and I liked her since then.

Before anything else, I would like to share with you the details of the book.

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They were perfect strangers—all perks, no strings. Until they weren’t.

Elan wasn’t supposed to meet Caty. She lived halfway around the world, and he barely left Manila. Yet here he was, giving her a ride to the airport. Convinced that they would never have to see each other again after that day, Elan and Caty started to bond over truths, dares, stolen kisses, and games in hotel rooms and bars.

With brief encounters that turned them from acquaintances to friends — tipping to the point of lovers, always — will Elan and Caty keep settling for a day, or will someone finally dare to stay long enough to discover: Is this love?

Paperback, 256 pages

Expected publication: May 28th 2019 by Andrews McMeel Publishing

Goodreads // Amazon // Buy Links



Dawn Lanuza writes contemporary romance, young adult fiction and prose poetry. She has two first loves – music and writing – and is lucky enough to surround herself with them. She currently lives with her family and a very loved cream toy poodle.

She sometimes blogs at dawnlanuza.com


I must admit at first I thought this was just a typical love story where boy meets girl. They will have struggles and will have a happy ending. Yes, some of my predictions were true. But no, it was not only like that.

This book showed that love is indeed the most powerful thing in the universe. Every line and scene was filled with heavy emotions. I cannot stop reading it. This book is easy to love.


Though, I have not been in a serious relationship before especially in a long distance relationship, it made me feel that I am. I’ve learned a lot of relationship lessons from this book. That being home with someone has that so much feels. They always say that communication and trust is the key to a successful relationship. It is true the characters showed it. But what I admire from the characters are their maturity towards life and love.


Caty is a strong girl who dreams big. She loves being free and independent. However from what I observed, her weakness is when she feels love. On the other hand, Elan, is the good boy. The reserved mysterious boy that everybody likes. Both characters are broken but somehow they know how to fix themselves and be the best person they can be. On my mind, I always ask myself, why do boys like Elan are always attracted to girls like Caty? Just a thought. Anyway, I liked the main characters and the other characters as well. Can I mention that I really liked Lucian? We all need a gay friend like Lucian.

This is book is simply written and a light read. It teaches us that knowing and loving your self should always be our top priority. It also teaches us that long distance relationship works. There’s no such thing as different time zones for people who truly love each other. Life and love should always be in balance. And of course, if people are meant to be together they will always find their way back.


This book is perfect for someone who is struggling with love, relationships, and love. I recommend this to everyone especially to my fellow Filipinos. Let’s support Filipino authors!

Again, thank you for this opportunity.

Rate: 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Want to read more? Here is the blog tour schedule.

May 22

Erika @ The Nocturnal Fey

Rafael @ The Royal Polar Bear Reads

Jen @ Jen D Bibliophile

May 23

Angela @ Hiding Behind Books

Jenny @ Levicorpvs Blog

Alice @ Married to Books Reviews and Blog

May 24

Shaa @ Moonlight Pages

Cathrina @ Puggyreader Writes

Jennilyn @ Rurouni Jenni Reads

May 25

Ynnah @ The Youngvamp’s Haven

Bryan @ Bryan Hoards Books

Rachel @ In Between Book Pages

May 26

Naadhira @ legenbooksdary

Gerald @ Gerald the Bookworm

Danielle @ dmcireadsblog

May 27

Kat @ Reading After Ten

Princess @ Princess and Pages

Provocatrix @ Provocatrix

May 28

Kath @ The Last Reader

Jessica @ Endless Chapters

Rebecca @ Bookingway Reads