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)