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Suicide isn t the only way you can lose someone to depression Darius the Great Is Not Okay and neither am I.I will rave about this book A lot I have so many good things to say about it that I need to gather my thoughts before I can write a coherent review This book took my heart by storm It made me sad and happy and also very hungry.When I started this book, I knew that I would get emotional With some books, you just know The tension started building up and I could feel the tears prickinSuicide isn t the only way you can lose someone to depression Darius the Great Is Not Okay and neither am I.I will rave about this book A lot I have so many good things to say about it that I need to gather my thoughts before I can write a coherent review This book took my heart by storm It made me sad and happy and also very hungry.When I started this book, I knew that I would get emotional With some books, you just know The tension started building up and I could feel the tears pricking my eyes They were impatiently waiting to be released, and during the last chapters of the book, the dam broke, and I was a complete and utter mess.I would not say this is a sad book At least not in the tragic and heartbreaking way that Adam Silvera is known for More in the silent and nostalgic way of Benjamin Alire S enz Sometimes life is ugly and beautiful at the same time, and Adib Khorram wonderfully captured this feeling.Darius has an American father though I did have a feeling that there might be some German roots and a Persian mother He loves Star Trek and The Lord of the Rings but not as much as he loves his 8 year old sister Laleh At school, he is the weird, chubby loner, who falls victim to his classmates jokes And he has to take his medicine every day, or his depression will get out of hand For all of his life, his Persian grandparents have only ever been pixels on a computer screen, but now he and his whole family are going to visit them in Yazd, Iran for the first time in his life The only downside is that his grandfather, his Babou, suffers a brain tumour and does not have much time left.This is where I fell in love with Yazd, with Persepolis, with Persian food and culture We need diverse books because they help us discover a world that isthan just our own four walls We need diverse books because they teach us tolerance, acceptance and love I needed this book, because I had never before read a story set in Iran I never knew that I wanted to taste Quottab, a deep fried, almond filled pastry, or Faludeh, a sorbet like dessert served with rose water syrup I want to go visit Yazd, I want to see Persepolis and learn about the historic Darius the Great I loved how elegantly the author teaches the reader about Persian culture and life in Iran.The only thing I could criticise would be Darius himself, but that would be cruel Some people might say that they got annoyed with his inability to start a sentence without an Uh, but I think it simply transmits his shyness and awkwardness around people, especially around people he loves You also have to keep in mind that Darius has been struggling with depression for years He fears that he will disappoint everyone around him, especially his father, and he often feels inadequate and unwanted I think this is something many teenagers and adults can identify with, which is what makes Darius so relatable Another aspect that I enjoyed was that the author did not spell everything out When authors explain each and every detail of their story, when they reveal every secret and leave no room for my own imagination, it often kills the story for me Books that leave me to wonder and ponder are the ones that stick with me the longest Darius life does not start and end with this book There is room forThere is actually a lot of potential for a sequel that would maybe explore Darius future, his friendship with Sohrab, and also his sexuality.Onething Darius father has two mum s, and the fact that this is portrayed in a basically off hand way like it is the most normal thing in the world, makes me want to wave rainbow flags and throw glitter Which defeats the cause, I know.What I want to say is, read this book I hope you will love it as much as I did Thank you to Penguin Random House International and NetGalley for providing me with an uncorrected eGalley Findof my books on Instagram 4.5 stars, rounded up.What an enjoyable, sweet, and special book What kind of name is Darius Grover Kellner It was like I was destined to be a target Darius Kellner calls himself a Fractional Persian his mother is Persian, and he refers to his blonde, Teutonic father as the bermensch But he feels like he doesn t quite fit into either world He looks like his mother but never really learned to speak Farsi although his younger sister did , and while he and his father share a love ofSta 4.5 stars, rounded up.What an enjoyable, sweet, and special book What kind of name is Darius Grover Kellner It was like I was destined to be a target Darius Kellner calls himself a Fractional Persian his mother is Persian, and he refers to his blonde, Teutonic father as the bermensch But he feels like he doesn t quite fit into either world He looks like his mother but never really learned to speak Farsi although his younger sister did , and while he and his father share a love ofStar Trek , it seems like mostly Darius disappoints his father, because he s notathletic, not in better shape, not the bermensch in training he knows his father wants.The other thing that Darius and his father share is depression, although both manage it through medication But when Darius gets sad when thepopular kids in high school aka the Soulless Minions of Orthodoxy pick on him or play pranks with him as the subject, when his father disapproves of Darius in depth interest in fancy teas not the factory made stuff he sells at his part time job , or when his father criticizes his hair or his eating habits, it seems like his father forgets that Darius has the same problem, which depresses him even further.But when his family heads to Iran to visit Darius grandparents his first trip to his ancestral home , he hopes that things will be different While he absolutely loves spending time with his grandmother, he feels ill at ease around his grandfather, who is terminally ill He feels his grandfather looks at him as disapprovingly as his father, especially when he learns Darius takes medicine for depression Plus, he doesn t speak Farsi, and his younger sister has no problem communicating with everyone.Everything changes when Darius meets Sohrab, the son of friends of his grandparents With Sohrab, Darius plays soccer and enjoys it for the first time , visits various historical landmarks and tourist attractions in the area, and learns about both his heritage and his grandparents, who have been a part of Sohrab s life as long as he can remember More than that, however, Darius finds he can confide in Sohrab and share the things that sadden him or cause him to feel inadequate, and he knows not only does Sohrab listen, but he identifies with the feelings as well The thing is, I never had a friend like Sohrab before One who understood me without even trying Who knew what it was like to be stuck on the outside because of one little thing that set you apart Darius the Great Is Not Okay is a book about feeling like you don t fit in, and how good it feels when you finally click with someone who helps you realize your self worth It s about the assumptions we make which cause us emotional pain, and how if we only expressed our feelings, we d save ourselves so much anxiety It s also a book about what it s like to live with depression, and how it can impact everything we do and feel, as well as our relationships.This is such a special book It is so full of heart and the characters are so memorable I was utterly hooked on this book from start to finish, and unbelievably, read the entire book in one day and I worked, too Adib Khorram does such a fantastic job telling a simple yet poignant, rich story, and he makes you feel the same emotions the characters do I enjoyed this book so much I am willing to overlook my one pet peeve, which is that nearly every sentence Darius said started with, Um I know this is probably accurate for teenage boys, but it got a little monotonous after a while.I love books that leave me with a smile on my face Darius the Great Is Not Okay is definitely one of those I can t wait to see what s next for Khorram if this is what he did in his debut, the sky s the limit See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at It s okay not to be okayThe first thing you should know about Darius the Great is Not Okay is that it actually made me cry which doesn t happen frequently It was hilarious, and heartbreaking, and gorgeous I saw so much of myself in Darius, and each time I put the book down I just wanted to pick it back up and read.This book is about a boy named Darius, who has never really been in touch with his Persian identity until visiting Iran and his family for the first time It sIt s okay not to be okayThe first thing you should know about Darius the Great is Not Okay is that it actually made me cry which doesn t happen frequently It was hilarious, and heartbreaking, and gorgeous I saw so much of myself in Darius, and each time I put the book down I just wanted to pick it back up and read.This book is about a boy named Darius, who has never really been in touch with his Persian identity until visiting Iran and his family for the first time It s about family and friendship and mental health and learning to be okay with not being okay It s about finding who you are and making connections with other people and it s just overall a beautiful story about a boy coming to terms with himself.This book quite character driven, as it s focused on Darius development, and I REALLY loved it Darius is such a sweet, lovable character, and you can t help but get attached to him and root for him throughout the book What he feels, you feel and I lowkey almost hate that because I ENDED UP CRYING.The writing is super easy to read, enjoyable, and engaging Darius voice is really hilarious and almost reminds me a little of Alice Oseman s writing style which is a huge compliment and I felt compelled to pick the book back up right after I put it down.One of the things I loved most about this book was the depression representation, which was absolutely amazing Granted, I haven t seen a LOT of depression rep in books, but this is definitely one of the best representations I ve read.While it didn t capture my experience exactly, it did highlight just exactly how depression can turn you against yourself without you realizing it, and how it s okay to not be okay One of my favorite things about the rep is that it shows the subtlety if you could call it that of depression Sometimes it s not a huge thing looming over you sometimes it s just a collection of moments that build up until you can t take it any No one had ever made me feel like it was okay to cry Or bumped shoulders with me and made me smile Also, so many struggles with his Persian identity were struggles I could relate to, though of course with my Thai identity There are really specific connections to my own family, but there were alsogeneral ones, like not being able to communicate as much with grandparents, or feeling awkward with them, or not knowing things about your culture that you feel you should already know.Another of my favorite aspects of this book was how it explored the themes of family and friendship Family was SO important in this book, especially since it s directly connected to him getting in touch with his Persian identity, and it s really beautiful to see him bond with these people he d only ever been able to see on Skype.And while Darius does get to know his grandparents and aunts and uncles, he ends up also growing closer to his dad, who he hasn t been on really good terms with It was honestly so beautiful to see their relationship developing, especially because they also talked about depression which his dad has as well.And finally, about friendship The friendship that rose between Darius and Sohrab was SO GOOD I d originally thought this was an m m romance between the two of them, but it wasn t, and I m kind of glad Because 1 it emphasizes that queer people don t have to be in a relationship to be queer or queer enough and 2 FRIENDSHIP IS SO IMPORTANT.Sohrab is really Darius first friend, since he never really fit in at school and always got bullied, and he helps Darius realize that who he is is okay, that the different parts of himself aren t bad or things to be insulted And it was just so beautiful to see these two soft boys BE SO SUPPORTIVE of each other and I loved itYour place was empty before But this is your family You belong hereAt this point, I truly have no idea what else I can say to make you read this book besides this IT MADE ME CRY I mean, crying has been happeningoften with books now, but it s still not a common thing and that should tell you just how emotionally powerful this book is READ THIS BOOK PLEASE It is just a beautiful story that will stay with me for a long time, and I think it will be an unforgettable book for a lot of peopleYou okay, son Yeah, Dad, I said.I took a long, slow sip of my tea I m great rep fat biracial Persian Iranian, white gay MC with depression, major Persian Iranian Baha i side character, major side character with depression, multiple Persian Iranian side characters content warnings depression, racist comments challenged , fatphobic comments challenged , comments criticizing depression challenged Thank you to Penguin Random House for providing me a copy of the book in exchange for a spot on the blog tour and promotion of the book First book of the Reading Rush complete Oh this was so good I got so into it that if anyone had asked me what I was doing this weekend, I would ve been fully like Yes I am just in Iran with Darius this weekend how about you It was so easy to feel in the story Darius is biracial Persian American and since he s visiting Iran for the first time and he doesn t speak farsi he so often felt lost and outside and like he didn t truly belong So explained the culture and the holidays as he went and it was so easy to be swept up in expl Oh this was so good I got so into it that if anyone had asked me what I was doing this weekend, I would ve been fully like Yes I am just in Iran with Darius this weekend how about you It was so easy to feel in the story Darius is biracial Persian American and since he s visiting Iran for the first time and he doesn t speak farsi he so often felt lost and outside and like he didn t truly belong So explained the culture and the holidays as he went and it was so easy to be swept up in exploring his heritage with him.I heart It also had thoroughly good depression rep.Absolute shout out to ownvoices authors who bare their soul on the page, because that is not easy ok Darius has been depressed ever since he was a really young teen, so this is his life But like he has no reason to be and that chews at him Depression doesn t work that way WE KNOW THAT Darius knows that But as also a depressed person with no reason I just connected with him so hugely He talks about the wild emotional mood swings and the isolation and the anxiety spirals It was just A excellently discussed view spoiler And I almost CRIED when his dad was talking about how he nearly killed himself when Darius was about 7, so that s why he pulled away from their relationship afsjdkal Depression is horrible and cruel and scary and I think the book captured that while not being uber dark also hide spoiler also shout out to the fact it was a book with depression, but that wasn t the catalyst or Thing Darius had to work through It was part of his life but the book underlined how you could just go on living plus manage your depression It was MASSIVELY about family I loved this Just getting to be with Darius as he meets his Iranian relatives for the first time, gets to know his grandparents, eats absolutely all the delicious amazing holiday food oh oh I had such a good time I don t want to sound like I demand ownvoices authors walk white people thru their culture, but I really loved learning about this and soaking up all the explanations and the touristy perspective of the sights they went to see And Darius grandma is sooo nice I just loved how they all said I love you so often and it was so special and close omg And his parents loved each other and Darius has an epic ball of sparkles for a little sister I listened to the audio so I don t know how to write her name haha Who he loves Yay for big brothers taking care of their smol sisters And the friendship between Darius and Sohrab was amazing.I think it was softly coded queer as in Darius was questioning but it mostly focused on how he felt he had his first true friend with Sohrab, how they could be themselves and it was okay.It was such a soft and loving story about friendship and family and figuring out how you fit in the world There s this one part where Sohrab saysWe have a saying in Farsi It translates your place was empty We say it when we miss somebodyAnd I love that And it s not just Darius finding his place amongst his Persian family, but he s finding his place just being HIM I used to believe that the first chapters of a story set the tone for the whole book, but DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OKAY proved me wrong.See, I had trouble picturing the events happening in the first twenty or so pages I couldn t picture the characters, settings or figure out the relationships between people But theI read, the better it got and this is not something I get to say very often.This book quickly escaladed from a DNF to a three star rating to a deserved four star rating Darius I used to believe that the first chapters of a story set the tone for the whole book, but DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OKAY proved me wrong.See, I had trouble picturing the events happening in the first twenty or so pages I couldn t picture the characters, settings or figure out the relationships between people But theI read, the better it got and this is not something I get to say very often.This book quickly escaladed from a DNF to a three star rating to a deserved four star rating Darius is someone that you may dislike at first find him pessimistic, sarcastic and just not fun to be around but the moment where he allows himself to be vulnerable with us, the reader, everything changes.So much that I feel a little disheartened to be leaving him I feel thoroughly invested in his relationship with his family, newfound friendships and, of course, his future The writing makes it so easy to understand his thoughts and the first person POV works absolutely perfectly I have read books with characters struggling with depression before, so none of Darius reactions shocked me, but I do want to say that I learned a lot about how other people may view depression and these types of books are simply amazing because they HUMANIZE people with mental illnesses Yes, Darius has his moments, but he is a breathing, living human being with a beautiful heart and sense of loyalty Blog Youtube Twitter Instagram Google Bloglovin |Free ♍ Darius the Great Is Not Okay ⚖ Darius doesn t think he ll ever be enough, in America or in IranDarius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones He s about to take his first ever trip to Iran, and it s pretty overwhelming especially when he s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom s family for the first time And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everythingSohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what s going on He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time And he understands that sometimes, best friends don t have to talk Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he s spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skylineSohrab calls him Darioush the original Persian version of his name and Darius has never felt like himself than he does now that he s Darioush to Sohrab When it s time to go home to America, he ll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own 3.5 starsA solid YA novel I would recommend to fans of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda Darius the Great Is Not Okay did not blow me away, but I appreciated several parts of it, in particular its emphasis on Persian Iranian culture, its careful portrayal of depression, and its focus on friendship With the awful current political climate, Adib Khorram s rendering of Iran felt like a much needed respite from the racist and problematic images we receive from mainstream media Khorram s depic 3.5 starsA solid YA novel I would recommend to fans of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda Darius the Great Is Not Okay did not blow me away, but I appreciated several parts of it, in particular its emphasis on Persian Iranian culture, its careful portrayal of depression, and its focus on friendship With the awful current political climate, Adib Khorram s rendering of Iran felt like a much needed respite from the racist and problematic images we receive from mainstream media Khorram s depiction of Darius s depression felt intentional and authentic too, such as how we see him struggle with excessive rumination right on the page Finally, I liked the friendship between Darius and Sohrab So rarely we do get to see soft, tender friendships between two young men, especially one that does not turn explicitly romantic, so I found their connection wonderful.Similar to how I felt about Simon, I wanteddepth from this novel While I liked Darius and Sohrab s frienship, I felt like their conversations could have been longer, ordisclosing even Sohran has an immense impact on Darius, so I wished forcontent to explain that impact, beyond basic validation and vulnerability see the relationship in Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe for an example, supported by beautiful writing too I also wanteddepth from Darius s relationship with his dad While their relationship had nicely written tension throughout the book, the one scene that resolved that tension felt too neat I wantedcontent that addressed masculinity, intricate father and son dynamics, or how mental illness can make us mean to the people we love Despite these qualms, I still liked this novel and would recommend it tot those intrigued by its synopsis While the book did not move my heart too much, it makes a nice addition to the YA genre WOW OKAY I liked this a heckin ton This is the first book I ve ever read with an Iranian mc and I learned so many things about the culture that I never knew before It was also just really well written and I will without a doubt read everything Khorram publishes in the future So good Darius Kellner is what he likes to call a Fractional Persian as his mother was born and raised in Iran but his dad is white Although he has a nightly ritual of watching Star Trek reruns with his father, the rest of the time Darius feels like he is a big disappointment to his dad The family makes a trip to Iran to visit relatives and there Darius meets Sohrab, the teenage neighbor of his grandparents This is a YA story of feeling like you don t belong and learning to accept who you are.I reall Darius Kellner is what he likes to call a Fractional Persian as his mother was born and raised in Iran but his dad is white Although he has a nightly ritual of watching Star Trek reruns with his father, the rest of the time Darius feels like he is a big disappointment to his dad The family makes a trip to Iran to visit relatives and there Darius meets Sohrab, the teenage neighbor of his grandparents This is a YA story of feeling like you don t belong and learning to accept who you are.I really enjoyed the author s subtle approach in regards to certain topics which in my opinion makes it stand out among other books in the genre I don t think everything always has to be spelled out for the reader or every loose end wrapped up in order to appreciate a story By far the thing I loved most about the book was the focus on culture and the role it played in Darius feeling like he just didn t quite belong I liked how the book explored the different relationships Darius had with family members and thought having not just Darius but his father also deal with mental health issues really added to the story Definitely recommend especially if you are looking to hear from a voice that isn t commonly represented in fiction Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion