Breathing Underwater

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Breathing Underwater
Author(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
April 24, 2001
ISBN
0064472574
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Like father, like son.

Intelligent, popular, handsome, and wealthy, sixteen-year-old Nick Andreas is pretty much perfect — on the outside, at least. What no one knows — not even his best friend — is the terror that Nick faces every time he is alone with his father. Then he and Caitlin fall in love, and Nick thinks his problems are over. Caitlin is the one person who he can confide in. But when things start to spiral out of control, Nick must face the fact that he's gotten more from his father than green eyes and money.

User reviews

8 reviews

 
(4)
 
(4)
3 stars
 
(0)
2 stars
 
(0)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Plot 
 
4.5  (8)
Characters 
 
4.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
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Great anger management story
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I'd recommend for all teens to read to raise awareness about the topic of domestic abuse.
Good Points
As a licensed psychotherapist, I thought that the characters rang true as well as the content of the abusive boyfriend and his attitude toward therapy. I liked seeing a female character have the strength to not back down to her abuser. I think it's a great book for teens struggling to understand their own relationships with their romantic interests, their parents, and themselves.
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This Was a GREAT Book !
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Lainie

This book was so good ! Just that fact that he didnt think he hit her and didnt notice it! i didnt know that anyone could be like that. I cant belive how he turns out in the end i thought he would just give up when he was done, but suprise! People could learn a lot from this book!

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This is a new twist on an old story
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by dori

This is a teen book with a classic storyline: Caitlin was in love with Nick, and Nick was in love with Caitlin. Was. Their relationship ended officially with a restraining order placed against Nick, in addition to an order of anger management classes Nick was obligated to attend. This story is about Nick's controlling and abusive nature, and how Nick begins to understand himself. Alex Finn mixes the story up by writing the book in the abuser's point of view, not the POV of obvious victim. However, she shows how the abuser is a victim as well. The author teaches teens how to deal with difficult situations. Although the book is very captivating, I found that the way Nick patches up his relationship with his dad very unrealistic, and some of the characters are unconvincing as well.
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What an abusive teen goes through
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Grace

Seventeen-year-old Nick seemed to have it all, but underneath the surface was an ugly truth. He had hit his girlfriend, Caitlin. Now, Caitlin and her family have brought him to court and the judge sentences him to a violence class, a restraining order, and to write in a notebook. As Nick writes in his notebook, recounting the times he spent with Caitlin and how his own father abused him, he realizes the truth of what he did to Caitlin and makes an effort to change.

Breathing Underwater is a realistic book that looks at an abusive relationship from the violent person's point of view. Even though I didn't like Nick because of the way he was toward Caitlin, I still sympathized with him as he discovered how much he had really hurt Caitlin. I was kind of annoyed at him not even realizing he was hurting Caitlin, but I guess he was blinded by his love and protection of her.
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Insider's view of violence
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by LJK

There were times when I wanted to stop reading this book. I didn't want to read about Cailin, who gives into her boyfriend when he's cruel to her, or about Nick, who spends the early part of the book trying to justify his behavior. Half of the story is told in flashbacks, so as we follow Nick's life after Caitlin gets a restraining order and his friends dessert him, we are also reading Nick's entries in his court-mandated journal. The more I read, the less I wanted to get to the moment when Nick's world falls apart (at his own doing). It was also hard to read about the cruelty of his classmates, who pretend to help Caitlin by torturing Nick.

This is a very well-written book, which asks many questions about domestic violence amongst teenagers. No one emerges unscathed, and at the same time all of the characters are painted with empathy. This is an important book that teachers and students should read.
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Controversial
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Alyssa

I liked that this book had a plot that was serious and yet appropriate for teens. It never held back on its plot and I loved that it was told through the abuser's eyes. Truly disturbing yet interesting. I felt connected and understood his story.
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At first I thought it was the girlfriend's fault
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Babydex17

I remember first reading the book and thinking it was the girlfrind's fault. I don't really no why, I just didn't like her that much.

And then I was mad at his "friends", who dropped him for her. Especially his best friend, I mean come on, that's his best friend.

I was mainly mad at his father. His father was just plain evil the things he did. He obviously didn't want to be like his father, but those things leave an emotional mark on you that sometimes you start to do it yourself.

His mother must have been crazy to leave him with his father like that. I wondered exactly what kind of woman would do that.

Then there was that guy, Leo. His story just broke my heart. His twin brother, who was being mistreated by his stepfather, either ran awya and was killed or committed suicide, when he was younger. His mother was constantly being hit by his stepdad, to the point where his stepfather did it in front of him and his siblings. Then he was shut out of the group whe he tried to get back in, so he killed his girlfriend and committed suicide.

That book was sad and dark, but it was still good.
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Awesome Book
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Stasha

I'm so glad they finnaly put this book up for review I summited it b/c i thought it was a good choice. I read this book about a month ago or so it's soo good its hard to put down. It's about this boy named Nick has to go to anger classes b/c he slapped his girlfriend. It tells how he loved Caitlin but was a controlling boyfriend then it got out of control. Nick is ordered by the judge to keep a journal so while he's living his own life he's also writing about Caitlin and his relationship. You want to hate nick but its so hard too. I recommend this book it took me two days to read I could hardly put it down.
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