I’m thrilled to report the return of Darius Kellner in this follow up to Darius the Great is Not Okay, one of my all-time favorite YA’s. Once again, I loved the detailed and laugh-out-loud observations Darius makes of the world around him. And Adib Khorram’s writing wields such a powerful impact that reading his work is both a joy and a journey back through the emotionally draining days of high school. If you’re still in high school, or have yet to begin, this is an author who gets who you are now and who you are endeavoring to become. Darius is a gentle soul, and between varsity soccer, working at a job he’s supposed to love with his boyfriend Landon (who should be the guy of his dreams), he still finds plenty of time to worry. Medication helps him cope with depression, but even so, sometimes his perceived inadequacies and anxiety about his dying grandfather and a best friend who lives on the other side of the world feels overwhelming. Darius The Great Deserves Better takes on essential topics like identity and depression in a way that’s is both fun to read and powerfully moving. Add some seriously confusing thoughts and mixed signals from a former tormentor and current teammate and friend, and you get another shining star of a book.— Jenny Chou
Adib Khorram will be doing a Boswell virtual event for Darius the Great Is Not Okay on Friday, August 28, 7 pm. He'll be in conversation with Nic Stone. Register at https://adibkhorram-boswell.eventbrite.com/, where you can upgrade to a book purchase featuring signed character cards. Please note, you must register with book upgrade to get signed character cards. Purchasing the book here will not qualify for the character card upgrade.— Boswell Book Company
In this companion to the award-winning Darius the Great Is Not Okay, Darius suddenly has it all: a boyfriend, an internship, a spot on the soccer team. It's everything he's ever wanted--but what if he deserves better?
Darius Kellner is having a bit of a year. Since his trip to Iran, a lot has changed. He's getting along with his dad, and his best friend Sohrab is only a Skype call away. Between his first boyfriend, Landon, varsity soccer practices, and an internship at his favorite tea shop, things are falling into place.
Then, of course, everything changes. Darius's grandmothers are in town for a long visit, and Darius can't tell whether they even like him. The internship is not going according to plan, Sohrab isn't answering Darius's calls, and Dad is far away on business. And Darius is sure he really likes Landon . . . but he's also been hanging out with Chip Cusumano, former bully and current soccer teammate--and well, maybe he's not so sure about anything after all.
Darius was just starting to feel okay, like he finally knew what it meant to be Darius Kellner. But maybe okay isn't good enough. Maybe Darius deserves better.
About the Author
Adib Khorram lives in Kansas City, Missouri. When he isn't writing, you can probably find him trying to get his hundred-yard freestyle under a minute, learning to do a Lutz jump, or steeping a cup of oolong. His debut novel, Darius the Great Is Not Okay, earned several awards, including the William C. Morris Debut Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature, and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor.
Praise for Darius the Great Deserves Better
Stonewall Honor Book
★ "This coming-of-age masterpiece packs a multitude of truth and heart. . . . A sequel that gets better and better the longer it steeps." —Kirkus, starred review
★ “Khorram again presents an artful tapestry of sci-fi fandom, Persian culture, soccer, racism, sexuality, depression, family crises, a love triangle, and endless amounts of global teas in Darius’s compelling story. . . . This is a seamless and profound YA novel with a memorable and endearing main character.”—School Library Journal, starred review
★ “Delightful.” —Booklist, starred review
“Through intimate, conversational narration, Khorram provides moments of levity . . . as well as insight into insecurities. . . . and leaves readers curious and hopeful about where his journey will take him next.” —The Horn Book
"Khorram explores the intersection of Iranian and queer identity with aching tenderness and realism. This book is like a cup of tea that is as comforting as it is bold. I love it."
—Abdi Nazemian, Stonewall Honor-winning author of Like a Love Story
"Khorram manages the impossible: A stunning follow-up to Darius the Great Is Not Okay that stands alone as a masterful exploration of love, grief, and desire. This isn't just a book I needed as a teenager; it's one I need right now."
—Mark Oshiro, award-winning author of Anger Is a Gift
"I'm absolutely in love with this book. Adib Khorram has written another wise and charming tale that explores all the complexities of intersectional identities with heart and humor."
—Jasmine Warga, Newbery Honor-winning author of Other Words for Home
"A perfect blend of affirmation, hope, and love. Adib Khorram is one of my favorite authors of today."
—Kacen Callender, award-winning author of Felix Ever After
"Adib Khorram has done it again. Darius the Great Deserves Better is a gift of a novel, hiting all the right notes like a perfectly balanced tea—heartwarming and hilarious and beautifully honest. Fans of Darius Kellner, rest assured: This is the sequel we deserve."
—Arvin Ahmadi, author of Down & Across and Girl Gone Viral