I adored Darius the Great Is Not Okay last year. So you know this sequel was on my MOST anticipated list. And I was not disappointed. This sequel is full of heart, emotions, and tons of questions. Keep reading this book review to see why I read this book in ONE day!
Darius Kellner is having a bit of a year. Since his trip to Iran this past spring, 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, his varsity soccer practices, and his internship at his favorite tea shop, Darius is feeling pretty okay. Like he finally knows what it means to be Darius Kellner.
Then, of course, everything changes. Darius’s grandmothers are in town for a long visit while his dad is gone on business, and Darius isn’t sure whether they even like him. The internship isn’t what Darius thought it would be, and now he doesn’t know about turning tea into his career. He was sure he liked Landon, but when he starts hanging out with Chip–soccer teammate and best friend of Trent Bolger, epic bully–well, he’s just not so sure about Landon anymore, either.
Darius thought he knew exactly who he was and what he wanted, but maybe he was wrong. Maybe he deserves better.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: homophobia, depression, racism
Darius the Great Deserves Better is a story about communication and family, friendship and discovering ourselves. It’s a book overflowing with emotions and heart. Darius’ entire life has changed since he returned from Iran and he might just be finally figuring out what it feels like to be Darius. But Darius realizes that the things he thought would fit into place, are actually more complex. It’s a story about expectations, new experiences, and tea.
I don’t have many notes for Darius the Great Deserves Better because it was a book that held on and didn’t let go. Time travel was invented while reading because all of a sudden the afternoon was gone and I was covered in tears. This book is an emotional journey of discovery as Darius has to figure out how to speak up for himself. How to figure out his limitations, navigate his depression, and question his future.
My heart broke a thousand different ways for Darius. The ways he helps his sister handle being bullied, the pressure he feels on his shoulders, and his new role on the soccer team. He’s such a complex, endearing, and wonderful character. Darius the Great Deserves Better delivers fantastic family relationships with his immediate family, and also his queer grandparents. But, suffice it to say, if you loved Darius the Great Is Not Okay, you will love this sequel because of the beautiful character of Darius.