This is a pretty straightforward read: boy meets boy, boy kisses boy, etc. I was worried that things seemed to be going a bit too fast on Alek's side. He just barely realized he's gay and already getting pretty serious about Ethan in less than a week. I would think that would take some time to process and build up to, but I can also understand getting caught up in the moment.
The best friend Becky cracked me up. She was the right balance of supportive and put upon. We should all have Beckys in our lives. Ethan's friends are pretty great too, once you get past the first impression "bad boy" vibes they give off. ;)
The thing that I really enjoyed about the book though was Alek's family. I'll be upfront and say I don't know any Armenians, but I know the author is. This could have felt like a stereotypical portrayal, but Barakia gives these characters depth as the story continues. The difficult parents are quite as difficult, the perfect older brother has his own issues to deal with, and the family has to come to terms with some of their own prejudices. I didn't know anything about the Armenian genocide by the Turks in WWI, so it was interesting - and sad - to read about that and how it still has influence a century later. I really liked the touch of the recipe at the end for the stuffed grape leaves, and I wish there had been more recipes included.
There were very few unexpected turns that the story makes, but I found the characters engaging enough that this didn't bother me. This is a comfort read if I ever saw one, perfect for when you're feeling down or just finished a difficult book.