An emotional, moving YA contemporary

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Darius the Great Is Not Okay follows Darius, a half-Persian teen who travels with his family to Iran for the first time to meet his dying grandfather. While in Iran, Darius explores his cultural identity, forms an intimate friendship with a neighbor boy, deals with mental health, and develops new bonds with his family.

This young adult contemporary novel is incredibly moving in a quiet, subtle way. It's the sort of book that sneaks up on you and before you know it, you're overcome with emotions.

There are so many things I love about this book: the biracial rep, questioning queer identity, and normalizing mental health treatment. Darius and his father both experience depression and take medication for it, and their extended family in Iran has trouble reconciling this with their cultural norms.

Darius the Great is Not Okay is a love letter to teens trying to figure out who they are, mixed race identity, and those who don't know how to be okay.