Darius the Great Deserves Better
Darius the Great Deserves Better

List Price:

$23.17
School Discount
Price:

$16.22
Qty(25-99)
Discount Price:

$15.90
Qty(100-249)
Discount Price:

$15.73
Qty(250-499)
Discount Price:

$15.57
Qty(>500)
Discount Price:

$15.25
To purchase this item, you must first login or register for a new account.

Annotation: Darius Kellner has everything he thought he wanted--a new boyfriend, a new internship, and a spot on the soccer team--but growing up makes him question everything.
Catalog Number: #213992
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 342 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-593-10823-X Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7849-5
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-593-10823-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7849-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2020008231
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
Since we last saw "Fractional Persian" Darius in 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book honor book Darius the Great Is Not Okay (rev. 9/18), he's come out as gay, and has a boyfriend. Now back in Portland, Oregon, after his family trip to Iran, he's also started an internship at his favorite tea shop, made the varsity soccer team, and found friendship with his teammates. If only boyfriend Landon wasn't pressuring him for sex; he wasn't experiencing feelings for a teammate; and his dream job was living up to expectations. Add in his ongoing battle with clinical depression, his family's financial troubles and other worries, and not knowing why best friend Sohrab in Iran isn't answering his calls, and it's clear Darius deserves better. Khorram's emotional second book addresses many serious issues but is grounded in everyday life. Through Darius's intimate, conversational narration, Khorram provides moments of levity (mortification after an interrupted make-out session; a "catastrophic hull breach," a.k.a. an unfortunate kneeing during practice) as well as insight into Darius's insecurities (he's self-conscious about his appearance, new to dating, and prone to crying while on his medication). Darius's honest exploration of his sexual identity builds upon the growth he experienced with his cultural identity in the first book, and leaves readers curious and hopeful about where his journey will take him next.
Kirkus Reviews
A second chapter for the endearingly sweet, Star Trek­–loving “Fractional Persian” Darius Kellner.Visiting Iran. Scoring the internship of his dreams at Rose City Teas. Playing on his high school’s varsity men’s soccer team—where his awesome teammates keep the bullies at bay. Having a lot of fun kissing Landon, a prospective first boyfriend with “television cheekbones.” But even all these highs can’t keep Darius’ depression at bay. Landon might be cute—and Darius’ Persian mother certainly approves of Landon’s cooking abilities—but he keeps pressuring Darius to go beyond kissing when he isn’t ready. Darius also worries about his terminally ill grandfather and best friend, Sohrab, both “half a world away” in Iran. Family troubles and confusing feelings for a teammate only exacerbate the “burning plasma reactor feeling” in Darius’ chest. With rich characters and multilayered storytelling, Khorram’s sophomore effort deepens the complexity of Darius’ world. Blending broad themes like consent and toxic masculinity with the specificity of Darius’ intersectional identity (gay, white and Iranian), this coming-of-age masterpiece packs a multitude of truth and heart. As “super white” as the Portland, Oregon, setting may be, Khorram takes care to incorporate the diversity that does exist within the city. While the first volume focused heavily on Darius’ relationship with his dad, this one expands the focus, balancing tough situations with a hopeful undercurrent.A sequel that gets better and better the longer it steeps. (Fiction. 12-18)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 8 Up-In the award-winning Darius the Great Is Not Okay , Iranian American Darius's sexuality is inferred, but never stated. Now Darius is out, has a boyfriend, and is supported by his family and high school soccer teammates. He video-chats with his best friend and family in Iran for updates about his dying grandfather, but while Iran's landscapes and Persian culture are spotlighted in the first book, here the focus is on Darius navigating the complexities of being a multiracial gay teenager. He continues to be bullied, but Darius is more concerned with his younger sister Laleh's first experiences with racism and microaggressions. As his parents struggle financially and, like Darius, with depression, his aloof, queer grandmothers are asked to live with the family for a while to help out. They eventually open up as family dilemmas force them to be more involved, and Darius learns a little about their relationship and LGBTQIA+ history. This is a page-turning YA romance at its core. The repeating line, "That's normal, right?" reminds readers that Darius is an insecure teenager who is trying to figure out life, just like everybody else. The author skillfully places worries about being uncircumcised and having inopportune erections alongside descriptions of elegant oolong tea tastings. The soccer team's supportive culture, established by their Black female coach, is set neatly within the frame of Darius's tense family dynamic. VERDICT 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. Despite all of the seemingly disparate elements, this is a seamless and profound YA novel with a memorable and endearing main character. Elaine Fultz, Oakwood City Sch., Dayton, OH
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A second chapter for the endearingly sweet, Star Trek­–loving “Fractional Persian” Darius Kellner.Visiting Iran. Scoring the internship of his dreams at Rose City Teas. Playing on his high school’s varsity men’s soccer team—where his awesome teammates keep the bullies at bay. Having a lot of fun kissing Landon, a prospective first boyfriend with “television cheekbones.” But even all these highs can’t keep Darius’ depression at bay. Landon might be cute—and Darius’ Persian mother certainly approves of Landon’s cooking abilities—but he keeps pressuring Darius to go beyond kissing when he isn’t ready. Darius also worries about his terminally ill grandfather and best friend, Sohrab, both “half a world away” in Iran. Family troubles and confusing feelings for a teammate only exacerbate the “burning plasma reactor feeling” in Darius’ chest. With rich characters and multilayered storytelling, Khorram’s sophomore effort deepens the complexity of Darius’ world. Blending broad themes like consent and toxic masculinity with the specificity of Darius’ intersectional identity (gay, white and Iranian), this coming-of-age masterpiece packs a multitude of truth and heart. As “super white” as the Portland, Oregon, setting may be, Khorram takes care to incorporate the diversity that does exist within the city. While the first volume focused heavily on Darius’ relationship with his dad, this one expands the focus, balancing tough situations with a hopeful undercurrent.A sequel that gets better and better the longer it steeps. (Fiction. 12-18)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* This delightful sequel to Darius the Great Is Not Okay (2018) finds Darius back in Portland, openly gay, and with a boyfriend (his first) named Landon. Darius has his dream job working part-time at Rose City Teas, which keeps the young tea connoisseur stocked with his favorite beverage. But things are unsettled at home. Money is tight, and his parents are working themselves to a frazzle, while his father is experiencing a major depressive episode, even as Darius continues to deal with his own depression. At school, the odious Trent still bullies Darius mercilessly; although, to his credit, beautiful Chip, Trent's best friend, has become Darius' friend as well. The best thing about school, however, is Darius being on the varsity soccer team, which the former loner thinks is pretty cool. But change is never far from Darius' life, much of it unwelcome. What will come of his relationship with Landon, for example? What is up with Chip? And why won't his best friend, Sohrab, who's in Iran, accept or return his calls? Khorram has done a beautiful job of limning Darius' development as a character, creating situations that believably foster his growth. The plot, rich in incident, is compelling, and the best thing is an open ending, which promises another book about the appealing Darius, who remains great.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (8/1/20)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews (9/1/20)
School Library Journal Starred Review (9/1/20)
Horn Book
Stonewall Book Awards (9/1/20)
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 7-12

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.


*Prices subject to change without notice and listed in US dollars.
Perma-Bound bindings are unconditionally guaranteed (excludes textbook rebinding).
Paperbacks are not guaranteed.
Please Note: All Digital Material Sales Final.