Darius the Great Is Not Okay Hardcover – 1 August 2018
Frequently bought together
William C. Morris Debut Award
Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature
Lambda Literary Award Finalist
YALSA Best Fiction For Young Adults Top 10
Publishers Weekly Flying Start
TIME's 10 Best Young Adult and Children's Books of the Year
Boston Globe Best Books of the Year
Wall Street Journal Best Books of the Year
BuzzFeed Best YA Books of the Year
Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year
Kirkus Best Books of the Year
New York Public Library's Best Books of the Year
Book Expo Young Adult Buzz Panel Selection
Indies Introduce Selection
Indie Next Top Ten Pick
“Layered with complexities of identity, body image and mental illness that are so rarely articulated in the voice of a teenage boy of color. Khorram writes tenderly and humorously about his protagonist’s journey of self-acceptance, making it hard not to want to reach through the pages, squeeze his hand and reassure Darius that he is, in fact, going to be O.K.”
—The New York Times
“Reminiscent of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (better known in movie form as Love, Simon) and Angie Thomas’ phenomenal The Hate U Give, the novel chronicles a politically aware teendom where microaggressions are as much an everyday obstacle as untamed acne and humdrum mall jobs… Darius the Great Is Not Okay will have you craving a freshly steeped tea, an episode of Star Trek, and a glass of faludeh—all courtesy of one delightful package.”
“This is the hilarious and heartbreaking story of Darius: a clinically-depressed, half-Persian lonely American teenage Trekkie who heads to Iran for the first time to meet his mom’s family.”
“This is an incredible story of friendship, family, and identity that you absolutely won't regret reading.”
“Is your heart still full from reading Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda? Well, do we have the perfect book for you. Adib Khorram's Darius the Great Is Not Okay is a tender look into the life of Darius Kellner, a nerdy half-Persian teenager who's having difficulty finding his place in the world.”
“Darius the Great Is Not Okay brings Iran alive, with sounds and smells and imagery, and you'll tearfully be rooting for Darius as he struggles with this mental health, identity, and his place in the world.”
★ “First-time author Khorram’s coming-of-age novel brings to life the sight, sounds, smells, and tastes of [Iran] . . . as it shows how a boy who feels like an outcast at home finds himself and true friendship overseas.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ “Khorram's debut novel is filled with insight into the lives of teens, weaving together the reality of living with mental illness while also dealing with identity and immigration politics. This tear-jerker will leave readers wanting to follow the next chapter in Darius’s life.”
—Kirkus, starred review
★ “Darius is a well-crafted, awkward but endearing character, and his cross-cultural story will inspire reflection about identity and belonging. A strong choice for YA shelves. Give this to fans of Adam Silvera and John Corey Whaley.”
—School Library Journal, starred review
“A refreshing bildungsroman and an admirable debut novel that will leave readers wanting more.”
“Khorram’s debut novel is an affectionate portrait of Iran: the food and aromas, the rich traditions and eclectic culture. . . . Readers will understand that home can be more than the physical place you live, and that people who make you feel at home can come into your life unexpectedly.”
—The Horn Book
"Heartfelt, tender, and so utterly real. I'd live in this book forever if I could."
—Becky Albertalli, award-winning author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
“I love this story, and the way it combines the bitter of adolescence with the sweet of friendship and family. Brewed together they make a beautiful, memorable book.”
—Laurie Halse Anderson, award-winning author of Speak
“Darius the Great is not just okay—he’s wonderful. A story about learning who you are, who you want to be in the world, and how family will always be there, no matter how great the physical or emotional distance.”
—Sara Farizan, author of If You Could Be Mine
"I've never read a book that so powerfully demonstrates how connecting with where you come from can illuminate who you are and help you figure out where you're going. From its deadpan Star Trek humor to its brilliant examination of mental health, Darius the Great is Not Okay is a supernova of heart and hope that's sure to become a classic."
—Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin
"A love letter to anyone who has felt uncomfortable in their own skin and wondered where exactly they belonged. A big-hearted and marvelous debut."
—Jasmine Warga, author of My Heart and Other Black Holes
“Darius the Great is Not Okay is a total knockout. This story of identity and friendship—and how one can inform and reveal the other—will stay with me for a long time. And challenge me too, as a person and artist, which all great books should do. For its exploration of male friendship and cultural expectations alone, Adib Khorram’s lovely debut should be required reading.”
—John Corey Whaley, award-winning author of Highly Illogical Behavior
"Prepare to fall hard for Darius. His voice will grab you instantly, with sharp humor and tender growing up moments, and won't let go until the very last page. This is openhearted storytelling at its best."
—Arvin Ahmadi, author of Down and Across
About the Author
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter mobile phone number.
- Publisher : Penguin US (1 August 2018)
- Language: : English
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0525552960
- ISBN-13 : 978-0525552963
- Reading age : 12 - 16 years
- Item Weight : 431 g
- Dimensions : 14.3 x 2.69 x 21.74 cm
- Country of Origin : USA
- Best Sellers Rank: #417,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Review this product
Top reviews from India
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Second of all, I can't begin to describe how relatable Darius was. Going through clinical depression, getting bullied and mocked in his High School, having all those Father Issues and much more. I felt like I was reading about my life or what could have been in my life if I ended up in a different country having a vacation.
This book did make us feel what it set out to do. It was soothing, calming and made us sit for a while and rethink ourselves. Absolutely loved it!
1. Darius is a sweet, sensitive soul and his love for his family is very evident. There are times when you feel frustrated with him for his excessively negative thoughts. But that is exactly what depression makes you do. The downward spirals into black holes of despair can be debilitating. The helplessness that their loved ones feel at not being able to fix it can be heartbreaking. In this case, the story takes place against a cultural backdrop that is not too open about mental illness. Some of the reactions to Darius and his illness are all too familiar.
2. Even though it deals with depression, some parts are heartwarming and funny. While his vocabulary when speaking may not be stellar, Darius’s internal commentary on people and things around him made me chuckle at times.
3. We are also introduced to Iran and get to see snippets of its culture, food and customs through Darius. His wonder and fascination is contagious. I would recommend this book for the mouthwatering descriptions of the food alone.
1. As other reviewers have pointed out, there was too much telling here (as opposed to showing) with Darius acting as our tour guide to Iran.
2. The writing is a very juvenile and Darius sounds much younger than he is at times. His vocabulary mainly consists of 'Um' and 'Uh'. There is just too much repetition of certain phrases. I was really close to throwing something when Darius made yet another Star Trek reference and Sohrab "squinted" yet again. It was Level Eight Annoying.
3. Sohrab’s character wasn’t explored in detail. His friendship with Darius seemed rather instantaneous. It is also strongly hinted that Darius and Sohrab have romantic feelings towards each other but the author chose to leave this unresolved. Why hint at it at all if you're not going to address it? A close platonic friendship, one that is not marred by toxic masculinity, between two young men would have been nice to see. Not every YA book must have romance to complete it, just saying.
4. The issues between Darius and his father were resolved over a single conversation at the end. I take more time to decide what to eat for lunch.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I'm off to make some tea. I need some to deal with the Soulless Minions of Orthodoxy in my own life. That’s normal, right?
Rating: 3 stars
Darius is a nerdy teenager who likes Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and Tea. He is plump and is half Persian. He is not very popular at school and is bullied by his classmates - Chip and his Soulless Minions of Orthodoxy. This does not help the fact that he has clinical depression. And here is the very first reason I like this book. It talks about Depression. Quoting the author "I wanted to show how depression can affect a life without ruling it - both as someone who lives with it, and as someone who loves people living with it." Every time I read a book that talks about the topic, I understand depression a little better and I feel better equipped to help someone who could be struggling with it. The author has very subtly pointed out different ways in which it can manifest in our lives, and how it can unknowingly lead to disasters.
Darius's get his Persian roots from her mother. She migrated to the states and has not visited her family in years. But when she gets to know that her father has brain-tumor, a family trip to Iran is inevitable. This is Darius's first trip and he feels as much as an outsider among the people there as he does at home. Darius's struggle to belong and to be accepted is real and he always feels inadequate.
"Maybe I never should have tried being something I wasn't"
Thankfully, he finds someone to help him. He finds a friend. Sohrab, with his history of family trouble but a smile on his face, becomes Darius's first friend. He welcomes Darius with open arms and introduces him to a circle where it is okay to bump shoulders and hug friends without it getting awkward. Where it was okay to show weakness and cry in front of each other. He understands Darius and does his best to make him feel included. I don't know why but I expected them to be involved romantically. They were not. But I wasn't disappointed. It solidified the fact that true friendship helps you out more often than love does.
The book is as diverse as they come. In this case, it talks about a country, a culture I know so little about. I loved visiting Yazd with Darius and Sohrab, enjoyed the rooftop view of their Khaki Kingdom, marveled at the audacity with which Persepolis is built, and could almost taste the various delicacies from Iran. Thankfully we get Faludeh in India and I could eat and satiate that craving.
Adib Khorram has beautifully explored relationships in this book. Between father and son, brother and sister, friends, and grandparents. Darius’s relationship with his Dad is more tricky. Darius is always anxious to prove his mettle to his ubermensch figure of a father and to hold on to the time he used to spend happily with him. Depression is what brought the distance between them but it is what brought them closer too. I wanted to keep reading about his love for his sister and his grandparents. And to laugh at the funny start trek references.
"It's okay not to be okay"
Even after writing all this, I feel I have not really portrayed how I loved this book. So please go and read it and love it.
Top reviews from other countries
This book is a small masterpiece, and I can't wait for the sequel.