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Darius the Great Is Not Okay

(Darius The Great #1)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  12,319 ratings  ·  2,878 reviews
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
Hardcover, 316 pages
Published August 28th 2018 by Dial Books
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Andrea In Persian culture (and Middle Eastern culture in general), men are much more physical with one another, i.e., hugs, throwing an arm around another. F…moreIn Persian culture (and Middle Eastern culture in general), men are much more physical with one another, i.e., hugs, throwing an arm around another. For those not familiar with Middle Eastern culture, they may have perceived this closeness between the boys as homosexual. But it is definitely not. (less)

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Average rating 4.27  · 
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 ·  12,319 ratings  ·  2,878 reviews

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chai ♡
So who else read this title and immediately thought “big mood”? also, am I the only one getting so many Ari & Dante vibes from this book?? ...more
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, 2018, favorites, queer
"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 prickin
may ➹
“It’s okay not to be okay.”

The 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 more.

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
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First book of the Reading Rush complete!
Larry H
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 Übermensch. 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 of Sta
Cristina Monica
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 the more I 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
C.G. Drews
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 ...more
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

A 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
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
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!
Katie B
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Corey by: Mel
As I've gotten older, I've developed a curiosity about/longing for connection to my Persian heritage that I didn't have as a younger person. I couldn't tell you where exactly this sudden interest came from, but I have lately found myself following the news about Iran, and asking my grandparents about the old country, and, of course, reading a lot of novels by Iranian-American authors.

What I'm trying to say, in short, is that I was primed to like this book. I'd heard about it months ago, when th
Em Lost In Books
I used to stay away from YA but this year it's a different story. I have read many YA books this year, so I can safely says that I am not averse this genre as I used to be 2-3 years ago. I saw this book making rounds on my GR home page repeatedly and one fine Saturday I caved in and started reading this. I have to confess, to me blurb without "Iran" is the avg blurb that I read for this genre.

This story revolves around Darius who is on his first visit to Iran to visit his ailing maternal grand
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

There are no bells and whistles for this one. Some books don’t need them. Darius the Great Is Not Okay is the story of a young boy who takes a trip to Iran with his family when they discover his grandfather is terminally ill. It’s about finding a place in the world when you feel like you’re nothing but a social outcast. More importantly, it’s about clinical depression. And it is DONE. SO. WELL. You can tell the author struggles/has str
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Darius Kellner isn't sure he fits in anywhere. At school, he's the Fractional Persian, the kid who sticks out as being just a bit different. At home, he struggles to connect with his dad, who is Zero Persian but rather a blond Teutonic ideal. He doesn't speak Farsi like his mom and little sister. Even the way he makes tea seems called into question.

But when his grandfather is diagnosed with a brain tumor, Darius is thrown into his most fish-out-of-water situation yet: Iran. He is in a country wh
Rachel (LoverofTBR)
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
BR with Diana, Mrin, Rue, Tani, and Mari! Ladies, I am going to consider this BR a success. For the most part, lol (looking at you, Brekker)!

4 ‘it’s okay not to be okay’ 🌟

Wow, look at me reading another book outside of my usual genres! I don’t read YA contemporary novels anymore, especially that deal with heavy issues including mental health, because I use books as my escapism tool and I don’t want to face reality while I am immersed in a novel. If that makes s
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Buddy read with
This book was heart warming at one moment and the next l was sobbing like a baby
So basically a roller coaster of emotions
My emotions while reading this book

I could relate to Darius in so many ways
My parents are from two different cultures
So there were many situations in the books that l was familiar with

Darius was trying his best to become a part of the Persian culture and l was so proud of him
I loved his character arc
Though l would have
✨    jamieson   ✨
I liked this a lot, my rating is somewhere between a 3 and 4 star I'm still deciding.

The focus on friendship and anxieties around culture/diaspora was really interesting. I've never read a book set in Iran so that element had me so interested throughout. The depression rep is also GREAT. Just overall great rep here. (This is ownvoices Persian & depression rep I believe)

The only thing I didn't LOVE was that I thought the characters could have been more fleshed out, especially Sohrab and Laleh. B
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
“we have a saying in farsi. It translates to ‘your place was empty.’ we say it when we miss somebody."

"your place was empty before. but this is your family. you belong here.”

Rec-It Rachel
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's been longer than normal since I've read a book in one sitting. And god, this one is certainly a one-sitting read. Filled to the brim with heart, Khorram's debut shines on every single page. It made me laugh and cry within one scene. This was my most anticipated 2018 release and it was so worthy of that.
Lily ☁️
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lily ☁️ by: Malanie Beverly
Malanie said that this book reminds her of me, because it is “friendship, cleverness, and fluffy wholesomeness, which = Lily’s vibe”, so you bet I’m going to read it!!

And if I don’t love this, I might as well crawl into a dark hole somewhere far away from civilization, where no one can find me (which incidentally suits me just fine, because uni starts next week).

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“You're okay,” he murmured.
“No. I'm not.”
“I know.” He rubbed my back up and down. “It's okay not to be okay.”

I was a bit scared going into this book, because what if I ended up being the only human being not liking it? But, fortunately for me, I ended up really liking this beautiful story.

It's a story that deals with so many important subjects: friendship, grief, clinical depression, the feeling of not belonging or being enough, and love between a father and son who don't really know how to talk
Jun 11, 2020 rated it liked it
🥀 Plot
This story is about Dauris who can't seem to fit anywhere and is constantly teased at school for being fat and Zoroastrian.
Like his father he is diagnosed with clinical depression but instead of bringing the father and son closer it drives them apart. Everything changes when they decided to take a trip to Iran to see his ailing grandfather in person rather than on video call.

The real question here is how old is he in this book?

"A lot of people thought so, because she w
Ryan Buckby
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Suicide isn't the only way you can lose someone to depression.

actual rating: 4.5/5 stars

Wow, i enjoyed that book a lot and for Adib's debut novel it was a real good one to start with!

Plot: This book centres around Darius Kellner who is a Persian American who has an American father and a Persian mother, who is just going through the motions of any teenager at his age. However Darius is living with depression and dealing with the day in and day out jokes from his classmates, he's just trying t
Gemma ♕
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 舞
Feb 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
3.5 stars

Thomas's review sums up my thoughts very well.

I will also add that Darius addressing his father as "Stephen Kellner" or the "Ubermensch" and not "Dad" most of the time did a great job at portraying the tension and distance in their relationship. Not making romance the center of the novel is another point I appreciated.

“I felt so helpless.
Sohrab was hurting and there was nothing I could do. Nothing except sit there and be his friend.
But maybe that was enough. Because Sohrab knew it was
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Aristotle and Dante
This was absolutely not what I thought it would be... But it doesn't mean it was bad (I think?).

For some reason I picked it up thinking it would be an m/m romance. It isn't.
And I am stating this straight away because I was led to believe it was, and i felt almost disappointed when some phrases were suggesting queerness but it was never stated as such. I don't want you to be disappointed. I don't want you going in to this book expecting boys falling in love. That's not what this is about.

This is
3.5 stars

Took me a second to get into, but god, that depression rep was in-credible.
Jun 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
"It's okay not to be okay."

this book tackles with a lot of relevant issues in a very subtle way. the writing is great and funny inspite of the issues being very heavy. it talks about - race, identity, sexuality, mental health, trauma, family, relationships and body image. Darius who is a teenager is diagnosed with depression at an early age and without giving too much away, it shows his struggles how often they are comorbid to each other. i loved his relationship with his dad. we got to see all
Julie Zantopoulos
What a stunning audiobook. That author's note! Watching Darius deal with his depression and find his place in the world and within his family left me so soft. It's a beautiful story about Persian culture and also mental health and unconditional love. I'm so glad that I finally read this book thanks to ContemporaryAThon round 6.
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Adib Khorram is an author, a graphic designer, and a tea enthusiast. If he's not writing (or at his day job), you can probably find him trying to get his 100 yard Freestyle under a minute, or learning to do a Lutz Jump. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where people don't usually talk about themselves in the third person. You can find him on Twitter (@adibkhorram), Instagram (@adibkhorram), or on ...more

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“Everyone wants you here. We have a saying in Farsi. It translates ‘your place was empty.’ We say it when we miss somebody."
I sniffed.
"Your place was empty before. But this is your family. You belong here.”
“Suicide isn't the only way you can lose someone to depression.” 17 likes
More quotes…