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Darius the Great Deserves Better
Cover of Darius the Great Deserves Better
Darius the Great Deserves Better
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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...
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...
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Description-

  • 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.
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the cover

    The History of Creation

    The first cut is always the hardest.

    "You ready?"

    I met Mikaela's eyes in the mirror.

    "Yeah."

    The clippers buzzed to life and growled in my ear as she pushed the teeth through the back of my hair. The curls tickled my neck as they fell to the floor.

    It was tradition among the student athletes on Chapel Hill High School's varsity men's soccer team (Go Chargers!) to get their hair cut before the first game of the season. It was supposed to promote team unity.

    Except I had my internship at Rose City Teas on Sunday when everyone else got their haircuts, so I had to make a separate appointment.

    It was my first haircut in two years.

    "How high do you want this fade?" Mikaela asked as she neared my ears.

    I'd never met Mikaela before, but Landon recommended her. She was beautiful, with brown skin, impeccable box braids, and the brightest smile I'd ever seen.

    I shrugged, but I wasn't sure she could tell from under the plastic cover. "I don't know," I said. "What do you think would look best?"

    She turned off the clippers and looked at me in the mirror for a second. "Probably something higher for you. Show off these beautiful curls up top."

    "Okay."

    I relaxed and let her turn my head this way and that as she worked, first with clippers and then with a pair of scissors. When she was done, Mikaela took me to the hair-washing station. I guess it wasn't designed for tall people: I had to scoot my butt to the edge of the chair to fit my head in the basin. But she washed my hair and massaged my scalp (which was just about the nicest thing I had ever felt) and got all the itchy bits off, and then it was back to the chair for styling.

    "You use product?"

    I shook my head.

    She pulled at one of my curls—she hadn't touched the top, except for a little trimming—and twisted it around her finger.

    "Landon said you're . . . Indian?"

    "Iranian. Half."

    "Sorry." She let the curl fall. "Lucky boy."

    My cheeks warmed.

    "Thanks."

    Mikaela squeezed something that smelled like coconuts into her hands and massaged it into my hair. It made it a little shinier but kept it soft. She took one last lock from the very front and pulled it down into my forehead, so it dangled like a little question mark.

    "All set."

    I studied myself in the mirror. Instead of my usual messy halo, I had a huge pile of curls up top, but the sides and back of my head faded from super short black hair down to my skin.

    I hadn't seen the sides of my head in years.

    I'd never noticed how much my ears stuck out.

    "It looks great," I said, even though I was kind of anxious about my ears. "Really."

    "Yeah it does," Mikaela said. "Let's go ring you up."

    Landon was waiting for me up front. He got this big goofy smile on his face when he saw me.

    "Wow."

    I smiled and looked down to open the Velcro on my wallet.

    "You like it?"

    "I really do."

    Landon's hand brushed mine, and I curled my thumb to trap it. He wove our fingers together and led me out the sliding glass doors.

    It was one of Portland's perfect fall days, where it was warm enough that you didn't have to wear your hoodie, but cool enough that it was cozy if you did.

    (I had on my hoodie.)

    "Isn't Mikaela the best?"

    "Yeah." I pressed my ear flat against the side of my head with my left hand. "I didn't realize I had such huge Ferengi ears."

    "Your ears are cute." He pulled me to a stop and stood on his toes to give me a kiss on the cheek. "But what's a Ferengi?"

    The first time Landon kissed me, we had eaten at...

About the Author-

  • Adib Khorram lives in Kansas City, Missouri. When he isn't writing, you can probably find him trying to get his hundred-yard freestyle under a minute, learning to do a Lutz jump, or steeping a cup of oolong. His debut novel, Darius the Great Is Not Okay, earned several awards, including the William C. Morris Debut Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature, and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine With his empathetic narration, Michael Levi Harris captures the emotional heart of this sequel to DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OKAY. Things are looking up: Darius is on his high school's soccer team, he has a new job at his favorite Portland tea shop, and he has a boyfriend. But life is still confusing, complicated, and imperfect. Harris is especially adept at communicating the love and support of Darius's family, even as they're all dealing with their own issues. And through Darius's video calls to Iran, listeners hear the depth of the special relationships he has with his Persian grandmother and his best friend, Sohrab. This understated and appealing YA novel is full of feelings about adolescence, finding oneself, and growing up. J.M.D. � AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine

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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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