Book Review – Darius the Great Deserves Better
A poignant read about self-identity, love, family, and sexuality set against a backdrop of cultural coming-of-age. This story follows Darius Kellner—at a point of self-acceptance and exploring what that means—when everything starts to unravel once again. He is maneuvering relationships between his boyfriend, Landon, and his soccer teammate Chip Cusumano, his grandmothers, the connection with his Dad, a job, and a recent trip to Iran.
I started the book with high expectations, not realizing I picked up book 2 instead of book 1. I would have liked to come to this story with some of the foundations established in the prior book, since this one picks up right where the previous book ended. Overlooking that, this story still read seamlessly on its own.
The strengths of the book include an honesty in the writing, strong character development, and a real relatability in addressing teen issues like consent, sexuality, and the intersection of culture and society. It was a poignant and heartfelt read. I did find at times that I wasn’t sure where the story was headed, as there wasn’t a lot of plot driving it to an end result.
Overall, I thought this was a solid story with strong characters that readers will relate to, but I would have liked to have a bit more plot to carry the story forward.