Darius The Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram: A Review


Darius doesn’t think he’ll ever be enough, in America or in Iran.

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more 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 everything.

Sohrab 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 skyline.

Sohrab calls him Darioush–the original Persian version of his name–and Darius has never felt more 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.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Darius was so sweet and simple. He had such a pure heart. I just wanted to give him a hug and tell him it was okay. I loved how the book portrayed the family dynamics and friendships. Sohrab’s friendship with Darius, or Darioush as he calls him, was the best thing ever. Darius’ relationship with each of his family member-his sister, his Dad, his Mom, and especially his Mom’s parents-were just so well-written. And food! Oh My God! You have to read this book for the various Persian food descriptions. They made my mouth water. Also, tea lovers will love this book for it mentions plenty of tea as well! I loved the depiction of the Persian culture as well. I also loved the mental health representation, which plays a central part in the story. I adored this book and am eagerly anticipating its sequel, “Darius The Great Deserves Better”, which will be out on 25th August 2020. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

My only problem with the book was the various references to Star Trek, which I didn’t understand. However, it wasn’t a major issue and this book can be enjoyed even if you are not familiar with Star Trek.

Overall, this book is a must-read for all who wish to read a wholesome book about family, friendship, and self-discovery.

Love, Epsita

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1 Comment

  1. […] As you all know, I loved Adib Khorram’s earlier novel, Darius The Great is Not Okay, the review of which you can read here. […]

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