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 by Adib Khorram is about a depressed teen guy named Darius, who is Persian-American. Darius has never visited the place he comes from. He’s never gone to Iran and he doesn’t even speak Farsi. He doesn’t fit in and gets picked on in school. He has never met his mother’s side of the family, which consists of his loving grandmother, his ailing grandfather, and his uncles. When his family realizes that his grandfather is soon gonna die, his parents plan to visit Iran, where he later meets Sohrab, who soon becomes his best friend.
I don’t know why, but I expected something else from this book. I was super excited about it so I didn’t really think before diving into it. I’d actually thought it was a romance. Turns out the synopsis lied?
It might not be a romance, but it still is a wonderful book about friendship, family, love and mental illness. This book shows how difficult it is to deal with depression and how suicide is not the only way to lose someone to depression. Darius is depressed, and so is his father. And it shows their struggle to be okay for the sake of their loved ones.
This book is about Darius and Sohrab’s friendship. Even though the author has hinted that Darius could be gay, we are never told that clearly. I liked that the author made Darius an average guy who struggles with his mental health, weight and bullying.
I liked this book for so many reasons. It was an interesting story of a family that visits Iran for the first time in years. This book taught me a lot about Iran’s culture that I never could learn otherwise. There are certain facts that I know after reading this book. And the most important one is that I’m consumed by wanderlust right now.
There were so many things I loved about this book.
I liked that our main character was Persian-American and there were certain things about Iranian culture (like taroofing) we came to know with him. I loved how Darius loved tea and Iranian food. I didn’t know anything about Iranian food before reading this book, and while I was reading it, I was amazed by the similarities in Indian and Iranian food.
Even though there were so many things that I loved about the book, I still wondered if the book could have been a little better.
All in all, it was an interesting story of a teenager who doesn’t know how to fit in, has never had any best-friend, who also suffers from depression, and loves watching Star Trek with his father. If you like reading stories about beautiful friendships and family relationships, you should totally read it. You’ll come to know so many things you wouldn’t know otherwise.