Author: Neal Shusterman
Series Number: –
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Genres: YA, mental illness, contemporary
Summary: 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.
i really enjoyed challenger deep. i found it different from many other books i’ve read. challenger deep focuses on a fifteen year old boy who’s suffering with schizophrenia. one thing i absolutely loved about this book is how accurate the portrayal of the mental illness was. there are some other books where it’s inaccurate, but i didn’t find that with this book.
the writing style made it very difficult for me to get into the book. it was extremely slow paced and i felt it wasn’t really building up to much. the constant switching between reality and the pirate ship became kinda confusing and wasn’t really explained (multiple characters from the pirate ship have the same/similar names to people caden meets in the mental hospital, even though he doesn’t go to the hospital for a while after the pirate ship.)
in saying that, i also didn’t connect to the characters very well. i neither liked nor disliked caden, the protagonist. however, i found that his experiences were very relatable and realistic. it’s clear that a lot of research has gone into this book. as for not liking caden, i’m not sure if it’s because he’s is young and portrayed as an immature teenager, but i just couldn’t connect to him.
i really love how caden wasn’t “cured” by romance. it showed his time in a mental hospital in a positive light. and how his illness affected his family. i’ve seen so many books try to romanticise mental health to the point of being “cured” by love and not therapy/medication. challenger deep promotes getting help from professionals, and i appreciate that.