Challenger Deep

Featured
 
5.0
 
4.7 (1)
2749 1
Challenger Deep
Age Range
12+
Release Date
April 21, 2015
ISBN
9780061134111
Buy This Book
      

Caden Bosch is on a ship that's headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench. Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior. Caden Bosch is designated the ship's artist in residence, to document the journey with images. Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head. Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny. Caden Bosch is torn. A captivating and powerful novel that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by one of today's most admired writers for teens.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

A masterpiece of contemporary fiction that brings to life the challenges of mental illness.
(Updated: February 28, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Caden Bosch hasn't been himself lately. He goes for long walks, returning home with blistered feet and soaked through with rain. He can't sleep, and lays awake at night until sunrise and sunset are meaningless notions. He can't bring himself to stay in school, feeling that he was follow the directions of signs around town until he is hopelessly lost. After weeks of strange and erratic behavior escalate into something dangerous, Caden's parents take him to the hospital, where he is admitted to the juvenile psychiatric ward.

CHALLENGER DEEP is told entirely from Caden's perspective; sometimes Caden is in the real world, and sometimes he is on a pirate ship bound for the deepest part of the ocean, under the control of a one-eyed captain and his cruel parrot. The reader struggles to determine what is real, and what is not, just as Caden does.

What I loved: The balance between character development and an honest portrayal of mental illness.

Caden is a very well-developed character. It was clear from the beginning that he is a boy with a lot of different sides, and the reader gets to know them all.

Caden is a very sick boy. Shusterman modeled Caden on his own son, who has been treated for schizophrenia. The drawings scattered throughout the books were done by Shusterman's son, and are reflections of the boy's mental health. The unashamedly honest and necessarily accurate portrayal of mental illness from inside Caden's own head is so powerful.

We get to see Caden's thought processes, the effects of medication, or lack thereof, on his everyday functioning. We see his spiral into darkness, and his return into the light, and everything in between. Shusterman masterfully portrays the benefits and detriments of treatment, and how a lesser evil is often the only choice for someone at the end of their rope.

The verdict: A masterpiece of contemporary fiction, CHALLENGER DEEP brings to life the challenges of mental illness in a compelling and eye-opening story. This is a must-read for everyone who has struggled with their own mental health, or the mental health of a friend or loved one.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0  (1)
Characters 
 
5.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Very eye-opening
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Sometimes Caden Bosch is a regular high school student who lies about being on the track team so he can go walking by himself, whose friends and family are starting to notice his strange behavior. Sometimes Caden Bosch is a member of a crew on a ship heading to explore Marianas Trench, who doesn’t know if he can trust the captain. Caden Bosch is both and he’s struggling to survive in both worlds.

This was the type of book where, I knew I was affected while reading it but it never really sunk in just how much it was affecting me until I was finished and had time to process the story. It was not an easy read and I was glad for that because the subject matter in no way should have been an easy read. Each chapter was short, only about a page or two, and it made for a lot of chapters, well over a hundred, but Shusterman made the most out of every short chapter.

The book went back and forth between Caden’s real life and life on the ship, but never in any particular order. There could be a few chapters of real life then a chapter of ship life then another real life then a few ship life. The more we got from both lives, the easier it was to see the parallels Caden was drawing between his two worlds. The book never shied away from showing just how isolating and frustrating it can be for someone in Caden’s situation.

As mentioned, it was not an easy read. It was definitely the kind of book you have to pay attention to while you read because the little details are important. With all the back and forth between real life and ship life and the blending together of both, it could have gotten confusing if I wasn’t paying full attention. Luckily, it was the kind of book I wanted to give my full attention to and was never tempted to skim. It was such a heart-wrenching journey for Caden.

There were illustrations done throughout the book, provided by the author’s son. They were hard to fully appreciate on the small digital screen I read the e-ARC on but I plan on buying a physical copy of this book so I can see them better.

Also, this is definitely a book where you want to read the acknowledgments at the end.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Cousins
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of One...
A Curse of Roses
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Based on Portuguese legend, this #OwnVoices historical fantasy is an...
I Don't Want to Wash my Hands!
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
From beloved children's author and illustrator Tony Ross, comes a...
Dance Like a Leaf
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
As her grandmother's health declines, a young girl begins to...
The Bitterwine Oath
 
3.3 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
San Solano, Texas, is a quaint town known for...
Sing Like No One's Listening
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A moving YA debut about a talented young singer...
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first book in an epic and romantic YA...
The Good Girls
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
One of Us Is Lying meets Sadie in this...
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Iduna harbors a dark secret. On the surface,...
The Camelot Betrayal
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Every summer, they say goodbye. Dorit goes to Tel Aviv...
Incredible Animals
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this illustrated guide, discover fascinating and unusual information about...
Special Delivery
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A lovely book to share with children in an expecting...
Eyelike Stickers: Trains
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hundreds of irresistible, reusable, and collectible stickers to mix, match,...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
It is twenty years since the events of La Belle...
Winter Light
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
WINTER LIGHT is the story of 15-year-old Mary Donahue...

Latest Member Reviews

The Cousins
 
5.0
"THE COUSINS is a highly devourable and engaging family drama/mystery. The Story family is very wealthy, running a bunch of..."
Golden Curse (The True Story of Rapunzel)
 
5.0
"This beautiful story is highly enjoyable. The writing flows easily, and the characters feel relatable. The main conflict was interesting..."
The Raven and the Dove
 
4.0
"An intriguing tale of forbidden love as two young lovers fight to stay together. Well written and entertaining. ..."
The Devil's Apprentice
 
4.5
"This was actually a pretty interesting story. At first I really wasn't sure how it was going to go so..."
A Curse of Roses
 
3.7
"A CURSE OF ROSES is an intriguing YA historical fantasy based on a Portuguese legend. The book tackles themes of..."
Speechless
 
4.7
"this story is amazing! i have a project for honors english 10, and this is a great story to chose..."
I Don't Want to Wash my Hands!
 
3.0
"I DON'T WANT TO WASH MY HANDS is a picture book about the need for frequent hand washing. The little..."
Dance Like a Leaf
 
5.0
"DANCE LIKE A LEAF is a beautiful book about grief and loss of a loved one. A young girl loves..."
The Bitterwine Oath
 
3.3
"THE BITTERWINE OATH is a YA fantasy and light horror read. Nat is the descendent of the girl who put..."
Heart Sister
 
4.8
"The story: When Emmitt’s twin sister Minnie dies in a tragic accident, it cripples not only him..."
Incredible Animals
 
5.0
"INCREDIBLE ANIMALS is a fascinating collection of animals by special skills, including clever camouflage, devoted parents (such as penguins), and..."
Special Delivery
 
4.0
"SPECIAL DELIVERY is a delightfully silly picture book. A little duck is eagerly awaiting the delivery of her baby brother...."
Eyelike Stickers: Trains
 
5.0
"EYELIKE STICKERS: TRAINS is an unbelievably cool collection of stickers. These 400 stickers include many photographs of trains, as well..."
 
4.3
"If your expecting the same type of books that you’ve been reading in this series, you’d be wrong. This whole..."
The Kinder Poison
 
5.0
"From start to finish I absolutely adored this story. The opening scene was so much fun to read while Zahru..."
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
"HEIRESS APPARENTLY is a YA rom-com with deep themes that make it such an engaging and captivating read. Gemma is..."
The Good Girls
 
4.0
"THE GOOD GIRLS is an enthralling read. The book begins after the disappearance and seeming murder of the police chief's..."
All our Hidden Gifts
 
4.0
"Maeve finds a pack of tarot cards while cleaning out a closet at her school. What starts off as curiosity,..."
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
"DANGEROUS SECRETS: THE STORY OF IDUNA AND AGNARR is a great MG/YA fantasy romance. Based on Frozen, this book tells..."
Hot British Boyfriend
 
4.0
"When Ellie is completely humiliated by her best friend an crush, she decides the best way to escape her jeering..."