Sometimes a friendship can make all the difference. Darius doubts everything about himself, doesn't fit in, is constantly picked on, doesn't really connect with anyone. Anyone. Then he finds his first true friend, and that connection allows him to see himself in a new light--through they eyes of someone who really appreciates him--which creates ripples through everything.
Of course, it's not nearly as easy as that description; there is much sadness and struggle getting to that point. It involves a journey to Iran to get to know a grandfather he has never met who is on the verge of death. A journey into his heritage, somewhere entirely new he doesn't fit in. For Darius sits at the strange intersection of American, Iranian, Star Trek, and Tolkien cultures. This gives him an unusual perspective and a great narrative voice for telling this poignant, moving tale of growth and self-discovery.