Down and Across Review

I went into this book with high hopes (mainly stemming from my fun interactions with Arvin on Twitter, and man, I was not disappointed.

For those of y’all that loved Mosquitoland (like me) and word play, this is the book for you.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sarah’s Sucky Summary: Scott Ferdowsi isn’t capable of finishing anything, much to the chagrin of his Iranian-immigrant parents. So when they go away on trip, Scott takes this as a chance to run away to DC to find a Georgetown professor to help him figure out the true meaning of “grit.” What he doesn’t prepare for, is the absolute shitshow the journey becomes after a chance meeting on a Greyhound.

Where do I even start?

The diversity is just so REAL to me, though the characters have been (stupidly) referred to as just too out of this world to be realistic? Y’all telling me ya never seen a brown person before? A girl that wasn’t a plot device? A gay Southern gentleman? I feel sorry for y’all, because they exist and did not come to play in this book.

I was worried about Fiora’s character, but Arvin writes her so well. She’s more than a basket case, more than a pretty face. She finds her friends in strange places, but she does what she wants and isn’t sorry. I especially loved how open she was about her mental illness and her treatment (meds and therapy), because this is not an awkward conversation. This is real life. I’m very open about my medication and therapy because I want to be able to talk about this and not feel weird, and seeing it in a book was an utterly indescribable feeling.

Trent was my sunshine, and his good heart did him good in the end. I’m so happy to see more people from the South in literature, and his story was the subtle, sad experience that a lot of people face when growing up queer in the Bible Belt.

Saaket’s (Scott’s) worries mirrored my own. I go to a magnet school, and I fucking related so hard to his own reservations about a research internship. And that bit about feeling behind a lot of friends. I’ve been terrified about my future, but so many instances in this book told me I was gonna be okay, so I’m gonna stop here and let y’all read it now.

Find it here:

Barnes and Noble



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