Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Review: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

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I received this book for free from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Challenger Deep by Neal ShustermanChallenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
Published by HarperTeen on April 21st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: HarperTeen
Buy on Amazon

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.

This book was so confusing at first, but ended up making so much sense and really stuck with me. The way it is written pulls you in right away. Even though I wasn’t quite sure what was going on when I started, I was compelled to keep reading. I hoped that it would make sense to me as I got further in. It did and it didn’t. What I mean is that I realized why it was written how it was, and I understood it, but it was still a very confusing story. It fit perfectly with the main character though, and the mental illness that it is about. This was a brilliant book, and I have already recommended it to many people.

Caden is the main character, and the story is told by him. It starts off with him on a pirate ship, then goes into different parts of the storyline. As I read and got to know him, I found myself really feeling for him. As I was confused, he is too, but not on the same level. Everything he is telling us is his reality. Or what he thinks is his reality. He can’t really tell the difference between what is real and what isn’t. He is so imaginative, smart, and mentally ill, though he doesn’t know it for quite a time. I really liked his character. He was fascinating. He sees so much in other people that most people wouldn’t think to look for.

This book is really hard to review because I don’t want to give too much away. It is an experience to read it. I loved and hated the confusion. The way I felt at times while reading this was a bit overwhelming due to the awesomeness of the writing. It was written in the perfect way to almost put yourself into the characters mind and feel how they feel. Obviously not to the same extent, and I knew that when I didn’t want that unsettled, confused feeling, I could step away. I was confused at what was real and what wasn’t. I especially loved when things kind of blended together. I can’t really find the right words to explain how reading this book made me feel, but it was amazing, and I think an important book. Mental illness is such a complex thing, and I really love reading about the different ones. This book was done in such a way that it really puts you right there for a short time. I have not read this author before I read this book, but I know that I will definitely be picking up more of his books.


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I'm no good at this, but I'm a mom of one little girl who really thinks she is a princess. I love reading all sorts of books (horror being a favorite genre of mine), love meeting new people, drinking lots of coffee, and eating chocolate. If you want to know anything else about me, just ask.
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18 Responses to “Review: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman”

    • Amy

      The ship isn’t meant to dive that deep, but Caden himself. Kind of a metaphor of his life and struggles. It really was an interesting read.

    • Amy

      Haha!! When I started reading I was seriously like, “WTF? I’m so confused! What is going on!!!” Lol! Once you get a bit into the story it is just great though. I love books that cover mental illness, and this was especially great. The author note at the end was incredible too.

    • Amy

      The confusing part does make sense, but it really does give you a bit of an unsettled feeling. I think it was the perfect tone for what the book covers though. It really makes you feel for the MC.

    • Amy

      Yes, even though I felt so unsettled it was an experience. It really made me feel for Caden and understand the depths of the mental illness. I was just glad that when I finished reading I could go back to reality, unlike living with the mental illness and having that part of your life all the time.

  1. Rashika

    This review is so on point. I started off being very confused by the book and I was pretty sure there were cartoonish question marks popping out of my head but as I read on, things started becoming clearer and I started getting a better grasp on Caden and as I did, I fell in love with this amazingly written novel.

    It’s just SO FLIPPIN GOOD.

    I am glad you enjoyed this, Amy!! 🙂

    • Amy

      I couldn’t even put into words how this book really made me feel. This seriously was an amazing book and I have been telling anyone who will listen that they need this now.

  2. Cynthia

    I have heard great things about this one and have added it to my TBR. I love that it is told from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know the difference between reality and delusion. Great review!

    • Amy

      It was such an amazingly told story. I really loved how it really put you right into the book and into the characters head.

    • Amy

      I really need to read more of this authors books. He is a fantastic writer and I am interested to see how his other books are too.

  3. Lyn Kaye

    I actually bought this book after I read Oh! The Books review, and I am really excited to see other bloggers picking up this title. It feels so overlooked, and from what I have read, some trusted readers have some great things to say about it.

    • Amy

      I am so glad that I requested this for review. Like you said, it is overlooked. It was one of my favorite books I have read so far this year actually. That was totally unexpected, but I am happy. I have now discovered an author that I had heard of, but never read before, and am excited to pick up more of his books.