Reviews

Darius the Great Deserves Better, by Adib Khorram

jjordan_s's review

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hopeful inspiring lighthearted relaxing fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0

thislittlen's review

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5.0

i don't know what is it about these two books that makes me this emotional, that makes me cry at certain points of the plot that aren't even that sad. i was afraid to be disappointed. i should've been scared of finding even more of myself than i did in the first one. i am so overwhelmed with feelings right now, these books just got to me.

anyway, i was really sceptical after reading the synopsis but i needn't have worried, because it's perfect. it's touching, and hits close to home, and i love love LOVE it. god. i am so happy this came out.

lucaisapenguin's review

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emotional reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

A fantastic sequel very much worthy of the first book. Everything I loved about Darius the Great Is Not Okay was still in this story, but it was all told in a slightly elevated way; the narrative voice truly reflected the way Darius had grown and changed after his trip to Iran.

eehoskins's review

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4.0

ARC from Edelweiss+

Darius Kellner had several clear moments of self discovery during his trip to Iran (in Darius the Great). Now that he has returned, that self-discovery and growing comfort with himself has helped him land the internship he once dreamed of, a boyfriend who is amazing and beautiful, a place on the soccer team, and a better relationship with his father. Sounds almost perfect, so why does Darius feel so much unrest? So what if there are still a couple of bullies at school, he can handle it. And is it so bad that his father is traveling frequently for business and his rather cold grandmothers have come for an extended stay? Darius isn't quite able to put his finger on why he deserves better, but he just feels like things are not quite right.

Adib Khorram does a wonderful job of continuing Darius's story in this novel. As a reader, I got a window into several experiences that are different than my own- what it is like to be Iranian (or Fractional Iranian), what it is like to be a boy with a first boyfriend, what living with depression may be like, and many other experiences I will never have. This, in my opinion, is part of what makes Khorram's writing so engaging- I feel privileged to have had a glimpse of what it is like to be Darius.

I would recommend this book to young adult readers who can read with maturity.

aeonic's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

bookishlytaylor's review against another edition

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5.0

Y’all, I haven’t cried this much over (or stayed up so late to finish) a book since I read I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson. FUCK!

This book was fucking amazing. And I’m putting all the pieces together. When I first read DTGINO, I was confused as to why it was marketed as an LGBTQ+ book. Obviously, I assumed it was because Darius was canonically gay, but we were never given any information that would lead us to believe that other than the marketing.

So many lovely things in this book. I loved Chip. I loved the soccer team (especially the coach!!). I loved Laleh. I loved Sohrab. I loved Stephen Kellner. I loved Mamou. I loved mourning Babou with the whole family. I loved that Darius broke up with Landon for being an asshole trying to pressure him into sex. I loved Darius quitting his job. I loved Darius standing up for Laleh at school. I loved learning about Grandma and Oma.

I could go on and on, but TL;DR: read this goddamn book ASAP!

miniando's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.25

donovan12's review against another edition

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3.0

This may be more 2.5 than 3 in all honesty.

saucy_bookdragon's review

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4.0

A sequel that dives deeper than its predecessor.

In Darius the Great Is Not Okay, the story is centered around Darius and his Iranian family and heritage. Darius the Great Deserves Better does the exact opposite and delves into his life back home, and likewise delving deeper into Darius himself.

Now, I enjoyed the first book. But I think I prefer the sequel. While the first book is richer with culture, this one is richer with character exploration. It's really an incredible character exploration into Darius and his various relationships. Mainly with his first boyfriend, his soccer friend Chip, his queer grandmas, and his immediate family.

Pretty much every page is dedicated to exploring these preestablished relationships, and because exploring relationships is what I enjoy most in books (also what I most enjoy writing) not a single page bored me.

The character exploration is truly exceptional, all of these relationships are nuanced and complex and lead to a wide variety of themes that are thoroughly discussed such as being queer and out, consent, mental health, family history, racism, etc.

I think the discussions on being queer and consent were the most interesting for me. As a gay guy myself, I related to them the most. I especially appreciated how this wasn't a coming out story and more focused on what comes after. Although I think coming out stories are important, it is also important to have stories about experiences that come after being out such as dating.

Especially underrepresented, even less than stories about after being out, are complicated and outright unhealthy same-sex relationships where the fact they aren't good relationships is discussed. You see Darius's boyfriend is what the kids would call Very Horny™ and is pressuring Darius to have sex throughout the novel, but Darius isn't ready yet.

I'm ace spec, so seeing Darius having complicated feelings about having sex was very relatable, despite the fact that he is not ace spec himself (actually you could say he's Very Horny™ as well, which did detract a little from my relating to him, but he's still more relatable than most straight characters.) I am glad that a book like this exists and is for teens, how queer teens get a book that tells them it is okay if they want to wait and the importance of consent.

Now I know I just spent three paragraphs talking about the queer themes and consent, but trust me the other topics are rich as well. I believe this is a book many people will be able to relate to, I mean with this many well explored themes there is something relatable for everybody!

My one qualm with how they're presented is the prose. It is too simplistic for my taste, like in the sense it is uncreative. I got real tired of events being compared to being kicked in the balls after the first three times, please think of some other things to compare shocking events too!

But that is be a personal issue, I mean if you've read like any of my reviews you know I'm very picky about prose. I completely understand the five star ratings. This is not great because of how it picks up the first book's story, but for how it becomes its own.

vinireadsbooks's review

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5.0

darius the great deserves the entire world !!