Whether you’re in high school, college, or a little beyond that, you know that most people can be divided into two groups: those that know where they’re going in life (or seem to, at least), and those that don’t. Scott (real name Saaket) from Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi falls into the second category. He has never stuck with anything: music lessons, the internship his father got him, and so on. One day, he reads a college professor’s writings on grit and success, and he decides to run away to Washington, DC to learn from her directly. What follows is a story of self discovery with a few hilarious hijinks along the way.
Thoughts on Down and Across
- I loved all of the characters in this book! Except one. She was a jerk. But this book wasn’t about her. While Saaket didn’t figure everything out, he definitely grew as a character. He found something he was interested in and stuck with it. Fiora was the wild one with a dark-ish past who helps push Saaket out of his comfort zone. Trent, her friend from home, is chill and has a big heart, helping Saaket simply because he was a good guy. My only complaint was that I wish we could have seen more growth from Fiora, and more of Trent in general.
- That being said, I wish we could have had a bit more from each of the main secondary characters (is that a thing? If not, I’m definitely making main secondary a thing. You read it here first). I would have loved to see more growth from Fiora. She has a lot going on, and she’s starting to work through it. I wanted more from Trent in general. His side plot was resolved, but I wanted to delve a little deeper into his character and how he wound up where he is.
- I definitely feel for Saaket. They ask us to have so much decided by the time we’re seniors in high school, and I really feel like it was only in the past few years (after I graduated from college) that I really figured out what I wanted to do. His parents push for one career, but shoot down everything else he suggests. No wonder he has a harder time than usual committing!
- I love that the author incorporated some of his own experiences into the story! You’ll have to read the acknowledgements to know exactly which ones. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you.
- Yay diversity! Saaket (as well as the author, I think) is Iranian-American. There is an LGBTQ character, and another who struggles with mental health issues.
- I want to do crossword puzzles. Even though I suck at them. Maybe I’ll get better with practice? One can dream…
Should I Read This?
4/5 stars says yes, definitely check this book out! I had a hard time starting out with it, but I think that was because I was trying to read two books at once, and that never goes well for me. Once my complete focus was on Down and Across, I tore through it! By the way, if you follow Arvin Ahmadi on Twitter, you can get some details about a preorder giveaway! Down and Across comes out February 6, 2018.