Darius doesn't think he'll ever be enough, in America or in Iran. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable debut introduces a brilliant new voice in contemporary YA.
Winner of the William C. Morris Debut Award
“Heartfelt, tender, and so utterly real. I’d live in this book forever if I could.”
—Becky Albertalli, award-winning author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s a Fractional Persian—half, his mom’s side—and his first-ever trip to Iran is about to change his life.
Darius has never really fit in at home, and he’s sure things are going to be the same in Iran. His clinical depression doesn’t exactly help matters, and trying to explain his medication to his grandparents only makes things harder. Then Darius meets Sohrab, the boy next door, and everything changes. Soon, they’re spending their days together, playing soccer, eating faludeh, and talking for hours on a secret rooftop overlooking the city’s 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.
Adib Khorram’s brilliant debut is for anyone who’s ever felt not good enough—then met a friend who makes them feel so much better than okay.
First-time author Khorram's coming-of-age novel brings to life the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of a culture steeped in tradition. After learning that her Iranian father is ailing, high school sophomore Darius's mother decides to take the family to visit her father and relatives in Iran. Suffering from chronic depression and bullied at school in America, Darius isn't sure how he'll fare in a country he's never seen. It doesn't take him long to adjust as people welcome him with open arms, however, especially after he meets Sohrab, his grandparents' teenaged neighbor, who invites him to play soccer and quickly becomes Darius's first real friend ever. While the book doesn't sugarcoat problems in the country (unjust imprisonment and an outdated view of mental illness are mentioned), it mainly stays focused on the positive Iran's impressive landscape and mouthwatering food, the warmth of its people as it shows how a boy who feels like an outcast at home finds himself and true friendship overseas. Ages 12 up.)
This book was so so so good. After I finished reading it, the last line really stuck in my head. I loved the culture of Darius’ family and how he learned to integrate himself into it. There is a line in Farsi that translates to
“ your place was empty” meaning that it was waiting for Darius when he came to Yazd. With the family events and Darius’ depression, this book really tugged at my heart. It was amazing to see Darius find his place in his family and a friend to help him do it. Really good job Mr. Abid! I look forward to more books from you.