Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi

Down and Across

Scott Ferdowsi has a track record of quitting. Writing the Great American Novel? Three chapters. His summer internship? One week. His best friends know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their lives, but Scott can hardly commit to a breakfast cereal, let alone a passion.With college applications looming, Scott's parents pressure him to get serious and settle on a career path like engineering or medicine. Desperate for help, he sneaks o...

Details Down and Across

TitleDown and Across
Release DateFeb 6th, 2018
PublisherViking Books for Young Readers
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

Reviews Down and Across

  • Adam Silvera
    Official blurb: "Arvin Ahmadi's voice will be a dynamic entry into YA literature. DOWN AND ACROSS is a thrilling game-changer that touches on the universal journey of self-discovery with a deft hand and riotous humor." I really love this spirited story of grit and self-discovery where failures are respected as a part of life. And the main character Scott is a total charmer and the DC cast of characters all struck me with either wonder or adoratio...
  • YA Wednesdays
    An outstanding debut novel. Can't wait to gush about it next week on First Reads Friday.
  • Rachel Strolle
    Across1. Amazing3. Wonderful4. I loved itDown2. Yes5. You should read it6. Thanks for asking
  • Lauren
    When a book is blurbed by Adam Silvera, the man behind the spectacular, rip-your-heart-out They Both Die at the End, you know it's going to be, wait, I take that back...not just good excellent. As it turns out, Down and Across is indeed excellent. It's the kind of book that reminds me just how wonderful contemporary YA can be. Down and Across is smart, quirky, and incredibly charming. Down and Across introduces us to Scott Ferdowsi. Sco...
  • Marie
    "Down and Across was a great coming of age story I'd recommend to everyone, really. Charming, witty and really fun to read, this is also a journey about trying to find yourself and why it's okay if it takes time. If it's a work in progress, because after all, we are never entirely finished here. Arvin Ahmadi is definitely a new voice in the YA industry that I will follow for a while because, if that's his debut, then the rest of the stories he ha...
  • Laura
    I loved this book so stupid much. The characters are all so well-developed and the main character's struggle to find his future path is something all teenagers (and many adults) will relate to. Extremely necessary and timely and also laugh out loud funny.
  • Kim at Divergent Gryffindor
    Scott has a hard time with sticking to his decisions. He starts things, such as his internship, but doesn't see those things through to the end. When his parents leave to go to Iran to look after his ill grandfather, Scott decides that instead of going to his internship, he's going to find Cecily Mallard, the great psychology professor who specialized on grit, the psychology of success. There, he meets Fiora, crossword enthusiast, and Trent, poli...
  • Sam Kozbial
    Rating: 4.5 StarsI love a good coming of age story, and with Down and Across I got a GREAT coming of age story.•Pro: Scott was fab-u-los! I couldn't get enough of him and his musings. Being in his head was a total treat too. Loved him! •Pro: The side characters in this book were very well crafted. From the major to the minor players, each character had something that made you give them your attention. •Pro: I loved the whole "grit" concept,...
  • Kathleen
    I was drawn to this book for two main reasons. First, it's about a boy who comes to DC, not knowing anyone, and ends up learning more about himself than he ever expected. I too came to DC as a stranger and learned a lot about myself in 2008. Circumstances were very different - I was an adult and had a job and apartment lined up. But I have great memories of discovering DC for the first time and enjoyed seeing the city through the eyes of the main...
  • Shelumiel Delos Santos
    SMART, FUNNY and EXCEEDINGLY RELATABLE. My reading experience with this debut reminded me of those lines from Lorde’s latest album: “You asked if I was feeling it, I’m psycho high / Know you won’t remember in the morning when I speak my mind / Lights are on and they’ve gone home, but who am I?” Only Lorde will take her hangover as an opportunity for existential reflection. And she does this with such eloquence. Just as how Ahmadi take...
  • Emma Stein
    Can't wait to read the final version, but this book is a must read for anyone hankering for a growing-up/adventure story with...crossword puzzles. Trust me on this one. You'll be remiss if you miss.
  • Adriana
    The story of directionless, young Saaket/Scott won me over with and interesting plot and incredibly engaging characters. Scott is every 16 year old being forced to decide their future before they truly know themselves. Scott's (dangerous) adventure of discovery as he travels to find the one person he believes can help him decide his path is full of well-rounded characters and thought-provoking moments. My one demerit is that I really dislike the ...
  • Lisa
    Down and Across is your classic coming of age story. I loved the protagonist Scott (Saaket), who is trying to figure out what he wants from life.This book reminded me of Mosquitoland in some ways: the adventure is about the journey. What I think this book struggled with was weaving in the big moments with the small. There's a build-up to some Changes with a capital C for Scott, but the path to get there was slow and mundane at times. I wanted to ...
  • Katherine Paschal
    I found this to be a really cute fast read. I enjoy character driven contemporary reads and Scott was such a quirky, interesting kid that I could not help but to love- and that's not even mentioning the random people he meets on his spontaneous journey, all so different but necessary. He tried to find his purpose and goals, as well as himself and somehow keep who he was culturally. I have not read very many YA books with male main characters or t...
  • Bianca (The Ultimate Fangirl)
    How should I put it? How do I talk about this book without sounding biased, even if it is just a temporary review?Saaket Ferdowsi spoke to me. His story gave me chills, because I was just as lost as he was. My mind cannot form coherent sentences on how much I can relate to him despite a majority of dissimilarities. Arvin Ahmadi has made a novel now close to my heart, and I cannot wait for other teens like Scott and I to read this book so we can b...
  • Alexis Jackson
    I think Arvin Ahmadi, as a writer and author, definitely has something to bring to the market, but I was hoping for something more than this.The story is charming, believable, and spontaneous in that new-age way, but it just didn't do anything for me. I didn't feel entirely connected to any of the characters and it was all a bit too whimsical for me.
  • April
    3.5 Stars
  • Just Reading Everything
    DOWN AND ACROSS is heartwarming and humorous contemporary YA that gives readers a realistic look at self-discovery and identity. Scott, Fiora, and Trent felt like friends, and Ahmadi does an excellent job creating the crippling pressure Scott's parents have placed upon him. After his parents are pulled overseas for a family emergency, Scott ditches the internship his father set up for him and instead takes a bus to Washington DC, determined to fi...
  • Duncan Young
    The best book, by far.
  • Aditi ~ •A Thousand Words A Million Books
    AS SEEN ON: A THOUSAND WORDS A MILLION BOOKS I received a review copy from Penguin Random House International in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. Arvin Ahmadi’s debut novel is one of those book that you INSTANTLY feel intrigued by. An Iranian American boy on the search for grit, leaves home and finds himself on an epic adventure and, also, there were also crosswords involved? YES, THANK YOU!Can we a...
    “Two steps forward, one back. Five forward, twelve back. Left, right, diagonal, down, across, and right back around to the block. We’re all just trying to keep moving. Sometimes we know where we’re going and sometimes we get lost. But as long as we move, we grow.”A few things drew me to this book. One, the adorable crossword puzzle cover. Two, the recommendation by Adam Silvera (I just recently read my first book by him and, though it was...
  • Lee (Rally the Readers)
    Also posted on Rally the Readers.I received an eARC via First to Read.4.5 StarsAs a longtime crossword geek, I was instantly sold on reading Down and Across because of the title alone. Fellow cruciverbalists will find plenty to love about this novel, starting with the assurance that the title isn’t a mere passing reference. Crossword puzzles figure prominently throughout the book, which even namechecks New York Times crossword editor Will Short...
  • (a)lyss(a)
    "He'd assert himself in all matters Fiora like he knew the girl better than she knew herself."I received a copy of this ebook from in exchange for an honest review. Holy manic pixie dream girl batman! This is the kind of book that makes me wonder if I'm too old to enjoy YA. The premise is interesting - following Saaket "Scott" in his quest to develop grit but the execution didn't wow me. Scott quickly meets Fiora - the manic pixie...
  • Erin
    Review based on ARC received at YallFest.First of all, despite my issues with novel, I have to say it's a great debut from Arvin Admadi. Down and Across is different and funny and definitely tugs on your heartstrings. Even as an adult, I could definitely relate to Scott, Fiora, and Trent. After all, even adults are still trying to figure out shit and that's what this novel is all about -- figuring out who we are and what role we hope to play in t...
  • Susan
    I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book at an event for librarians. I was going to skip it because the premise starts with a teen who is trying to track down Professor Mallard, a researcher of grit, (aka Angela Duckworth). I really dislike Duckworth's grit hypothesis and the discussion around it. But then I heard the author speak, and he was really endearing, so I decided to read it, and I am glad I did. The grit discussion is only a min...
  • Amber Garabrandt
    Summary:Scott Ferdowsi is amazing at quitting- the tar, the great American novel…. just about every school club.  This summer, he has an internship that goes the way of the tar.  Something has clicked- Grit.  His dad talked about it before his parents left for Iran.  Is this really the key to success?  Where can he get some?  His friends have their futures mapped out- they have goals and plans.  Him… nada.  What’s a guy to do?  Run...
  • Jennifer
    * Received advanced reader copy from publisher via Baker & Taylor book supplierScott just cannot stick with anything long term. Writing a novel? Stopped at two chapters. Working a summer internship? Lasted one week. Deciding what to do with his future? Yeah right … who can make that decision?! When Scott’s parents return to Iran to visit family and leave him at home alone, Scott decides to go to Washington, D.C. to meet the professor of one ...
  • Vishaka Rajan
    This was a really great YA novel about what it means to have grit! The book was funny, and sweet, and all about coming into one's identity. Scott is a teenager who just doesn't know what he wants to do and feels the pressure to live up to everyone's expectations. Unfortunately, this pressure causes him to give up quite easily - until he decides to become a "grittier" individual. I really connected a lot with Scott's character - I know what it's ...
  • Lisa Ram
    *The publisher provided me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review* Meet Scott/Saaket, a 17 Iranian boy who lives in Philadelphia. He narrates his story, which begins with his parents living him alone for the summer, trusting him to be responsible and occupy his time working. The father hopes Saaket will find a passion and a future career. Saaket's heart is not in it, and he wonders what is wrong with him. He decides to ...