Loved This Book!

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marymchase Avatar


Darius calls himself a fractional Persian, and goes to a school who’s zero tolerance for bullying policy is only fractionally helpful. He loves tea and Star Trek, but doesn’t feel like he fits in anywhere. Not at school where his only friend is more of an acquaintance. Not with his blonde judgmental father even though they both share a clinical depression diagnosis. And not with his mother’s Persian parents, who Darius has never met in person and who’s language he can’t speak. On the family’s first trip to Iran, Darius makes his first friend, grapples with processing loss, and tries to figure out how to fit in another country when he never quite feels that he’s enough.

My synopsis doesn’t even begin to cover how beautiful this book was. Darius is a funny, heartwarming sympathetic hero, but the book is so well-written that none of the characters were vilified. As an adult reading the book, I related most to Darius’ father, Stephen, who’s struggles and misses in trying to connect with his son felt so real.

This book was also interesting because there were definitely LGBTQ+ currents in this book, but, unless I missed something, nothing was ever addressed directly. My daughter often asks why most LGBTQ+ books are coming out stories in one way or another. Shouldn’t these characters get their own slice of life story that doesn’t revolve around declaring their sexuality? Darius gets that in this book.

Depression was also beautifully handled. I don’t think of the United States as being a place where mental health issues are accepted, but, in Iran, people had no problem asking Darius why he needed medicine and what he had to be sad about. But even in this, and as someone who struggles with depression, I could see pieces of myself and questions I think about my own kids.

I can’t recommend this @adibkhorram book enough. Its gentle sweetness while juggling so many issues so adeptly took me completely by surprise.