Darius the Great Is Not Okay is a story so many of us can relate to, yet no one had dared to write before. Intertwining heartfelt narratives of Persian culture with Darius's longing to feel as if he belongs, Khorram writes about everything from family troubles to mental illness with a realness and honesty that touches the reader in a way few authors have managed. Holding hands with Darius as he grows stronger in response to the world around him is an experience that will stay with you and inspire the best in all of us.
The most compelling aspect of the book is how it is both unique and relatable. Far too many teenage novels are photocopies of the same sub-par storyline, but Khorram has created something original and enchanting. It discusses Persian culture in a way that is both enriching and interesting, and reflects everyone's desire to feel like they belong. Furthermore, I was incredibly impressed with how Khorram tackled the issue of mental illness. He was both tactful and truthful, not underplaying but rather explaining the feelings of so many young adults in the words they would use themselves. Rather than treating it as taboo, the author treats depression as simply a part of life, an illness as real as a heart condition that deserves to be treated just as seriously. Following Darius, as he navigates his way clumsily yet successfully, through mental illness alongside conflicts with his family and culture, is something that will bring many readers to recognize a part of themselves in Darius that they have struggled to face and will give them a sense of understanding and the courage to confront problems in which they previously felt alone.Darius teaches all of us one of life's most important lessons - it's okay to not be okay.
I absolutely adored this novel, it deserves attention and recognition. Just about anyone would benefit from reading it as it communicates lessons many of us need to hear. I've already recommended it to multiple friends of mine. Not a single thing regarding this book left me disappointed. I am enraptured by it cover to cover. A simply incredible story.
Amelie O, (Dusen)Berry Blogger and member of the River Teen Advisory Board