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Breathing Underwater (Breathing Underwater #1)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  5,390 ratings  ·  748 reviews
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
Paperback, 263 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by HarperTeen (first published April 24th 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Breathing Underwater is a staple in my clasroom. This book is written so well that it becomes the hook for my non-reading students. I learned about the thought process of someone that abuses mentally and physically. I also learned about why someone might stay in an abusive relationship. I found myself having empathy for the main character even though he had made large mistakes.
I know if I don't try to type out my feelings now, I will lose what I am thinking/feeling.

I don't want to say that I didn't like the book, but I have very few good things to say about it. Yes, it captured my interest and I read it quickly. I wasn't ever bored and anxiously waited to see how it ended. There were so many things that I didn't like though.

1. I don't like books that are written for YA that try to "capture" what it is really like in high school. I don't want my kids reading those kind
Kerry Cerra
In this extraordinary novel by Alex Flinn, we experience a violent teen relationship from the point of view of the boy who beats his girlfriend. Nick is everyone’s friend and seemingly has a perfect life. What his friends don’t know is that his father is abusive. Before he knows it, Nick finds himself following in his dad’s footsteps as he becomes both verbally and physically abusive to his girlfriend Caitlin. When Caitlin’s parents file a restraining order against him, Nick is forced into a fam ...more
"Breathing Underwater" is about sixteen year old Nick Andreas who leads a double life, most of the time he is a charming, straight-A earning football player. However, the guys in his anger management class and his ex-girlfriend Caitlin know differently. They know that Nick is actually an abusive person who has lived under the poor influence of his father. This book details his struggle to find himself in the mask of anger that has been controlling him for awhile now.

I honestly did NOT want to li
May 07, 2008 Annette rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teens and adults
Recommended to Annette by: Tambre
Shelves: ya
It makes me sad that a book about teenage violence has become required reading for all freshman at North High,(where my kids attend). On the other hand, I'm glad that someone took the time to write a book about such a serious and much needed topic. I'm sure that the author wrote it thinking that if she could make a difference in even one person's life it would be well worth it. I feel that if the reading of this book is accompanied with a great deal of classroom discussion it could prove to be v ...more
Sadly, this book may be a work of fiction but in many ways it isn't. I know people in similar situations or even someone like Nick. It's not fun. It's sad to think growing up in a hostile home and not having the love from your parents that you need can mold you into a certain person who lashes out on the ones who care most about them (girlfriends/boyfriends and friends). It's a hard cycle to break and there's only two routes that it could end up at. I think this book could be very helpful for ce ...more
A fast simple read that was gripping, shocking and honest.

Was this really challenged to be banned from a school? This is exactly the type of book that teen girls should be reading......yes he's hot, yes he's popular and sexy, but he's mean, he's controlling and he hits you, this is not a romantic relationship you want to be in.

Even though the entire book is from the abusers POV and Flinn gave us hope for his character by the end, she made her girl SMART and able to do the right thing once the da
Amanda Says
Aug 20, 2014 Amanda Says rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Beautiful Disaster, FSoG, Twilight, and other books with abusive boyfriends
Telling her that stuff was a mistake. It’s easier to fake it. When you fake it for sixteen years, it becomes part of you, something you don’t think about.

When a story is so perfect good it leaves you breathless, where do you start describing it? Do you start with the delicate plot that have you hanging on for every word? Or maybe with the provocative protagonist? Do you begin with the powerful message the story conveys? I don't know. At least not with Breathing Underwater. So I apologize in a
Loz Cook
Feb 16, 2008 Loz Cook rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Loz by: Adolescent fiction Class
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicole O
This book is WOW! I just can't wait to read next book, Diva!

When I begin read this book, and Nick was in court. I was shocking that Nick's girlfriend use to lie that Nick did abuse her. Because I was believed to Nick what he has said. But I knew that I have to find out more about Nick and Caitlin and why she was liar about their relationship. A while time that Nick has attended to class that he was require to have it instead of go to jail. He was told to wrote a journal.

After I have learned that
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cassi Davila
Cassi Davila
Breathing Underwater
Alex Flinn
263 pgs.
Sep. 6,2009

Nick Andreas was a confused young man. I believe he really loved Caitlin, and that he changed and was willing to love again. But I do believe Caitlin had every right to make the decision to not trust him again. I wouldn't. She was hurt and Nick did everything in his power to make her feel inferior to him. That makes me furious as a young woman reading this book, but by the end of the book i feel sympathetic towards him because h
What can I say about this book?

It really hit home with me, as I could totally relate to Nick, could feel myself in his shoes, could feel the anger, the insecurity, the overwhelming need to not be a failure. I was much like Nick, who thought he was fine, that he would get by and that everything was a simple accident, and that it wouldn't happen again.

Nick, having lost his dream girl after slapping her during an argument, is given a restraining order, as well as being sent to counseling sessions
Sophia Lin
Original Review posted on Bookwyrming Thoughts
Original Rating: 4.5

I suppose I'll mention this was one of the books we just finished in English. Apparently, I think that Breathing Underwater is the best book so far in the school year that was required reading. (Notice I didn't say the best book I've ever read...)

Nick seems to be a person who is quite spoiled and probably has the perfect life being handsome, popular and rich. Beneath the surface though (see what I did there?) he's abused by his
Wow. This book makes me a little sick to my stomach. And it hurts. It hurts a lot. It's the story of an abusive relationship, but rather than the voice of the girl, the victim, we are in the head of the boyfriend, the abuser. And I surprisingly found myself... not sympathetic, exactly, but something. I felt for him, wished he'd open his eyes to things, realize how hurtful and cruel he was. He also demonstrated some stellar character growth. Not enough that I think Caitlin should ever go back to ...more
Liza Wiemer
Take thirty seconds and think about what behaviors you've picked up from a parent.
Are they positive?
Are they negative?
Would you want to change them?

Breathing Underwater is a powerful novel about abuse narrated by sixteen-year-old Nick. He lives with his abusive father but hides that abuse from everyone. His anger, vulnerability, helplessness against his father grows. Until he falls in love with Caitlin, a girl who doesn't exactly have the greatest self-esteem. At first, she's deeply flattered b
This book seemed to be in the point of view of the "villian". This was a new concept to me, most of the books I read are in the point of view of the protagonist or "good guys." Of course, it's not black and white. I wouldn't say the character was evil, but he was a teen struggling from issues that led to some serious consequences. It was interesting to see how he dealt with his past and present so he can move on.

The book starts out with hearing the verdict of his trial. He has to continue to go
Michael Mc
My rating for Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn is 4 out of 5 stars.

Meeting the girl of his dreams Nick decides to ask her out. She says yes not knowing that Nick has a dark past with his dad, and resembles his dad’s behavior. After starting the perfect relationship it ends as it begins. Nick and his friend Tom just hanging out like good friends do.What I really like about this book is that it has really great messages and really pulls you in to the point where you don’t want to put it down. Fl
Tierney Denning
I thought this was a great read. Breathing underwater was a sad and eye opening book. Nick was a strong young man who was going through rough times on his own; stumbled into trouble. I think that part of the reasons why he was abusive was because of his father. Through out the book it was interesting to see his changes in his journal entries also. The authors style of writing was different from most books i have read. Every week nick would write in this journal and the author made the print as i ...more
Yoanny Gonzalez
Yoanny Gonzalez
Breathing Underwater
Alex Flinn
263 pages

I f this book had gone one more chapter their would be a lot of things that could had happend. One thing that could happend was that Nick and Tom would become best friends againg like they were before but this time they would connect more they would understand each other more and tell each other more stuff then before. Another thing is that now Nick would understand and respect girls more he will understand how they feel and f
Breathing Underwater is a very gripping book that I somehow managed to read in about a day. I couldn't make myself put it down. Nick is such a dynamic character, and when you read this book from his standpoint, you may feel empathy for the abuser. But if the book were written from the victims viewpoint, it may not be quite the same way.

This book can inspire emotion, entertain you and keep you guessing. However, it isn't rich in vocabulary nor does it have any poetic nature really at all. Regardl
I really enjoyed breathing underwater. I enjoyed it because it was in the boys perspective and he is the one who abuses his girlfriend Caitlin. Both in dreamland and breathing underwater Rogerson and Nick abuse their girlfriends because they get abused by their fathers (that's not a good excuse as to why they did it). I couldn't put this book down when I started reading it. I don't know what I'd do if I was in an abusive relationship, it's not fair to have to go through that. At first I thought ...more
Cesar Lara
Oct 06, 2009 Cesar Lara added it
Shelves: ssr
cesar lara
breathing underwater
alex flinn
263 pgs.
breathing underwater, is one of the best relationship books i've read, in the story, nick andreas has to go to counseling for hitting his girlfriend. in the class he met leo sotolongo, leo is one of the most important small characters. leo helped nick figured out nick that the problem behind his violence towards caitlin was really like revenging what he goes through with his father at home. in the end leo ends his life after killing
Margie L
Very realistic. Another great book to recommend to our students in the library.
Feb 24, 2010 Tammara added it
Shelves: favorites
Everything a YA book *should* be - gritty, realistic, deals with a subject that frankly I haven't seen written about enough in YA, has a seriously flawed main character (Nick) - and yet, the author somehow manages to keep the reader sympathetic to almost everyone in the story, including Nick. Flinn tackles head-on the cycle of domestic violence, and what it can mean to a boy who otherwise has everything. I am awed by this book, which at my reading is nine years from original publication, but str ...more
Morgan Deese
Very Good Book !
Carl Occhipinto
This book Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn is a great book. The main character, Nick Andreas, is living a double life. Nearly perfect on the outside but not nearly on the inside. I like how only his girlfriend, Caitlin, and the guys in his anger management class know about his real problems. Caitlin is the only person who can slow his life down and help with his problems with his dad. After a lot of bad things Nick has done, you still feel like you are pulling for him to get his friends and Ca ...more
Sara Daw
Sixteen-year-old Nicholas Andreas is in love with Caitlyn. The only problem with their relationship, according to him, is that she overreacted to a simple slap and put a restraining order on him. Through his therapy sessions and a journal he is mandated by his judge to keep, we learn that there is a lot more to the story. This is a book about an abusive relationship told completely from the point of view of the abuser, and Flinn tells the story of Nick's downward spiral and later redemption beau ...more
Kimberly Camacho
Mar 07, 2014 Kimberly Camacho is currently reading it
Nick and his girlfriend Caitlin were dating and something happened. They both ended up in court because Caitlin filed a complaint on him because he hit her. She testified and everything that the judge asked her, she answered yes. They called Nick up to the stand but he wasn't allowed to testify. Instead, the judge didn't grant him anything but a restraining order because she's seen him out of court with his friends. She set him up for anger management classes and assigned him to write in a journ ...more
Anthony Sharkey
"Breathing Underwater" by Alex Flinn, really captured my attention and I really liked this book. I thought at first that really nothing was wrong with Nick because he was a football player, was popular, and was a straight A student but, as I read throughout the book that he had a lot of anger problems from his dad being a alcoholic and always yelling at him for his flaws and calling him a mistake,and the only way for Nick to express the anger he has inside of him was to put down his girlfriend C ...more
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teen abuse in relationships 2 38 Jun 10, 2013 10:16AM  
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I was born in a log cabin in the Big Woods of . . . okay, maybe not. I was born on Long Island, New York. When I was five years old, my mom said that I should be an author. I guess I must have nodded or something because, from that point on, every poem I ever wrote in school was submitted to Highlights or Cricket magazine. I was collecting rejection slips at age seven!

I learned to read early. But
More about Alex Flinn...
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“Anyone else feel like that? Like your life's a big act. Like you're trying to be a man when you're just a scared kid, trying to keep under control when you really want to scream, cry, maybe hit someone. Ever feel like you're breathing underwater, and you have to stop because you're gulping in too much fluid?” 56 likes
“It's easier to fake it. When you fake it for sixteen years, it becomes part of you, something you don't think about.” 19 likes
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