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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 6 star ratings
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    Emotional, with Unwavering Authenticity

    Books like these demonstrate why representation and diversity are so important in fiction. I had entered the book anticipating it to as a cute romance, but I found myself surprised yet untroubled by its absence (I mean, there are some hints at romantic feelings, but you have to squint as much as Sohrab to really see it). Rather than focus on romance, the story is centered on identity and Darius's struggle with depression. By the end of the book, I had a river of tears streaming down my face. Protagonists such as Darius are rare finds, yet he is the most authentic character I've read about in a long time. His pain, his anger, and his worry are all palpable and easy for readers to recognize their own emotions in. No matter who you are, you'll find yourself drawn into this story and no matter whether you are like the leading character or his exact opposite, you'll be able to learn something from this book. While I absolutely loved this book, one thing that might bug some readers is that the entire book kind of ignores the unofficial "show, don't tell" rule of writing fiction. While I'm sure a lot of readers will get annoyed by this, I surprisingly liked it. It took awhile to get used to, but I felt like it really worked for this story and I can see why the author chose to tell the story in this manner. Throughout the novel, readers are essentially trapped inside Darius's head the same way he is trapped by his depression. The writing style doesn't allow us to leave his head by showing us what is really happening and, instead Darius filters information to tell us his interpretation of events and individuals. It really places the reader in his position which works perfectly for the message this book delivers. It sounds weird, and I'm sure many others will disagree, but I really appreciated it.
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    Family, Culture and Friendship

    It was very interesting to learn about the Iranian culture and some of the places they visited. I looked up all the places in Google Images and I was amazed about the beauty and culture in Iran that is never talked about in the west. I’m an immigrant myself and I love how the author wrote with a lot of insight about the challenges of feeling disconnected from both cultures - the culture you came from and the place you now live in. The author wrote with a lot of sensitivity about the different characters in the story and their relationships with each other. I liked that depression was part of the story, woven in, to give others more insight and empathy. I cried a lot while reading the story, it was emotional and at the same time hopeful.

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