"John Green fans will appreciate this tale." —USA Today "[A] humorous, deeply human coming-of-age story." —The Washington Post
Scott Ferdowsi has a track record of quitting. 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 and his parents pushing him to settle on a “practical” career, Scott sneaks off to Washington, DC, seeking guidance from a famous psychologist who claims to know the secret to success.
He never expects an adventure to unfold. But that’s what Scott gets when he meets Fiora Buchanan, a ballsy college student whose life ambition is to write crossword puzzles. When the bicycle she lends him gets Scott into a high-speed chase, he knows he’s in for the ride of his life.
Soon, Scott finds himself sneaking into bars, attempting to pick up girls at the National Zoo, and even giving the crossword thing a try—all while opening his eyes to fundamental truths about who he is and who he wants to be.
About the Author
Arvin Ahmadi grew up outside Washington, DC. He graduated from Columbia University and has worked in the tech industry. When he's not reading or writing books, he can be found watching late-night talk show interviews and editing Wikipedia pages. Down and Across is his first novel.
You can follow Arvin on Twitter @arvinahmadi.
"A lively first novel . . . This humorous, deeply human coming-of-age story will connect with teens." —The Washington Post
"John Green fans will appreciate this tale . . . [Ahmadi] successfully fashions a universal story of discovering one's true self through the honest eyes of another." —USA Today
"Lovely." —Entertainment Weekly
"Arvin Ahmadi’s novel shares a lot in common with its irrepressible hero, Saaket. It's quirky and charming, wise and unpredictable, and, dare I say it, full of big-hearted grit." —Khaled Hosseini, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Kite Runner
"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." —Adam Silvera, New York Times bestselling author of More Happy Than Not and History Is All You Left Me
"Arvin Ahmadi's earnest debut is a charming romp of a book, a heartfelt tour of a city through the bright eyes of a hopeful heart. Ahmadi proves his grit and then some with Down and Across." —David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite and Mosquitoland
"Charmingly funny, intensely relatable, and unexpectedly moving—Down and Across is a big-hearted gem of a debut from an exciting new voice." —Jasmine Warga, author of My Heart and Other Black Holes and Here We Are Now
★ "Witty, smart, and inspiring, the novel celebrates life’s big and little surprises and the connections made between people that lead to profound changes." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ "A story of friendship, growing up, and learning to commit to something." —School Library Journal, starred review
"John Green fans will fall hard for this story of a guy at war with his future and the unpredictable girl who helps him risk everything to discover who he wants to be. Extra love for the reminder that failure is part of the path to success!" —Justine
"It's a must-read book for anyone who has ever felt a little lost." —Bustle
"This is a heartwarming and humorous contemporary YA that gives readers a realistic look at self-discovery and identity. Ahmadi writes with head and heart, captivating readers with passages that leap beautifully from the pages." —BuzzFeed
"Down and Across is clever, brash, and punchy, rife with good advice and incisive commentary about parents’ expectations." —Christian Science Monitor
"Highly original . . . An engaging debut novel about self-discovery." —Kirkus Reviews
“Debut author Ahmadi sets up a meet-cute with a manic-pixie-dream-girl type, but he refreshingly upends those tropes, instead telling a smart story about transformation . . . Both Saaket and Fiora emerge as multifaceted personalities with an engaging dynamic, and readers will easily cheer Saaket on as he blunders through toward meaningful growth.” —Booklist
"Utterly satisfying." —VOYA
"Arvin Ahmadi's debut novel is a rollicking adventure full of humor and quirky characters from all walks of life . . . Their zany exploits are humorous and insightful and nothing is off-limits on Scott's educational journey: youth hostels, hospitals, bars, even the French Embassy." —Shelf Awareness
"Arvin Ahmadi’s charming debut, Down and Across, brings a strong new voice to teen literature. Scott’s uncertainty, and his panic over that uncertainty, will resonate with high school readers faced with the impossible task of figuring out what they want to do with their lives." —BookPage