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Challenger Deep

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  14,133 Ratings  ·  3,065 Reviews
National Book Award and Golden Kite Award Winner

A captivating novel about mental illness that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman.

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 br
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by HarperCollins
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Emma Giordano
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
WOW I am blown away by this novel. This is an intense, intense story that you really need to dedicate yourself to reading. It is a truly incredible work of literature and absolutely deserves the title of National Book Award Winner. Eye-opening, thought-provoking, all around amazing.

TW: schizophrenia, talk of suicide

This is genuinely one of the greatest books I have ever read about mental illness. It is accurate, well-rounded, authentic as raw. As someone who suffered from a form of psychosis sim
"Dead kids are put on pedestals, but mentally ill kids get hidden under the rug."

Thank you, Neal Shusterman, for portraying the pain, the horrors, and the light touches of hope that come with mental illness. I have read at least one book (looking at you, All the Bright Places) that glamorizes mental disorders, and as an aspiring psychologist, such inaccurate perceptions of these real diseases disturb me. Through Caden, Shusterman shows the delusions and doubts and episodes of emotional dysregula
Raeleen Lemay
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, young-adult
It took me a while to get into this book, but once I got used to the way it was written, I was hooked. This book was an excellent portrayal of mental illness, and in no way glamorizes or romanticizes it. Absolutely fantastic.
C.G. Drews
This book is a blue puzzle pice of emotional genius. I am affected. I AM VERY AFFECTED. At first I felt like I was sliding headfirst and upside down through a tunnel...the prose was so very woah. Like Alice in Wonderland but making LESS sense. I panicked for a moment that I wouldn't like this book, but come on! IT'S NEAL SHUSTERMAN. I trust him. And oh, gosh, it paid off. This is the kind of story that gets lodged in your throat until you shout about it's marvellousness. SO HERE I AM. SHOUTING. ...more
Neil (or bleed)
UPDATE: Neal Shusterman has won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for this book! OHMYGOD! I AM SO HAPPY!!

EDIT: So this book is longlisted on National Book Awards. Yay!!!

"We are, however, creatures of containment. We want all things in life packed into boxes that we can label. But just because we have the ability to label it, doesn't mean we really know what's in the box. It's kind of like religion. It gives us comfort to believe we ha
My first impression of this book was also the one that lasted - While reading I often felt like I was drowning in it; and about as often like I was re-emerging.

I will try to write a review that does this magnificent book justice, but I am also fully aware of the fact that no matter what I say and how, I will not be able to encompass it all.
But let's start at the beginning - Normally, I avoid books about mental illness as I avoid books about cancer. Authors often spiral out of control and go cra
Kristina Horner
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book. It was a little confusing to figure out what was going on right away, but once the two stories start overlapping it all comes together in this beautiful and emotion way. I loved it, and it hit me in the feels more than a few times. Probably the books that's made me cry the hardest, but so worth it.
I’m not sure what to rate this book.
On one hand, there were so many moments where I had the overwhelming urge to cry, because the depiction of mental health in the story was so raw, brutally honest and to a certain extend, relatable.

On the other hand, I had quite a few moments where I couldn’t connect with the story and the overwhelming symbolism would throw me off.

It might have been better had I taken more time with it, since it required some effort on my part to fully grasp the meanings.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
This is the third gorgeously written book with positive representation of mental illness I’ve read this month. Third! It looks like YA is finally going there, endeavoring to explore the unexplorable. Neal Shusterman’s new book, Challenger Deep is the latest and brightest attempt to shed some light onto the struggles of people with mental disorders.

Challenger Deep is a magical book – smart and funny, intelligent and poignant, frightening and thought provoking – all at once. The mood changes with
Brian Yahn
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Neal Shusterman writes like he’s a wizard and Challenger Deep is his spellbook. The prose is enthralling, think Truman Capote meets Junot Diaz--world class stuff here, honestly.

He puts you through a child’s mental illness by taking you on a voyage across the sea, on a pirate sheep, to the depths of Challenger Deep. The mysterious way Caden ends up on this ship, and how strange the inhabitants are give the book a nonsensical feel, like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, but with a twist of mystery
Liz Janet
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-buy, favourites
“And you know the darkness beyond despair, just as intimately as you know the soaring heights. Because in this and all universes, there is balance. You can't have the one without facing the other. And sometimes you think you can take it because the joy is worth the despair, and sometimes you know you can't take it and how did you ever think you could?”

This review will be filled with quotes, because almost everything in this book was quote-worthy. That is how beautiful it is. I will gush about it
Fuzaila ~ is on hiatus
No combination of twenty-six letters can express what this book did to me.

I’ve never been diagnosed with any kind of mental illness. I’ve had bad days - days when I felt like I was the only living being in the planet and everyone else was plotting against me. I’ve had suicidal thoughts for three days at a stretch. I secretly used to think that I might have survived depression once. Those thoughts feel laughable now. I thought I knew mental illness. I could usually connect with mentally ill cha
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Dead kids are put on pedestals, but mentally ill kids get hidden under the rug.”

This book is incredible. It’s the brave and harrowing, but above all brutally honest story of what it feels like to suffer from schizophrenia. Alongside Caden we confront it all: the delusions, the mania, the constant fear and doubts - but also the lights on the horizon and the support from friends and family. Challenger Deep is based on the experience of Shusterman’s best friend and own son with this mental ill
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Count your blessings,” the captain says, “And if you count less than ten, cut off the remaining fingers.”

This story was just plain weird, and while I figured out after a while that it was actually about mental illness, it was still pretty weird.

“Where does this hallway go?”
She looks at me with suspicion. “It doesn’t go anywhere, it stays right here.”

Caden was a boy who
This is probably one of the most manipulative books I've ever read. Not on purpose or anything, but I just feel like if I don't rate it high it means that don't care about people with mental illness and their struggles. But I think I am going to go ahead and give it 2 stars because I, myself, did not particularly enjoy reading this. This is definitely an important book and one of the best portrayals of mental illness i have ever read and I would TOTALLY recommend it to anyone who wanted to read ...more
Brigid ✩ Cool Ninja Sharpshooter ✩
Thank you Edelweiss and HarperCollins for providing me with an ARC of this book!

Short review:

I'm having a bit of difficulty expressing how I feel about this book. I really enjoyed it, and it had a lot of powerful moments. I appreciate that Neal Shusterman tackled a personal subject (from what I understand, his son struggles with mental illness––and actually did the illustrations in the book, which is cool).

To be honest, though, this was not my favorite of his books. While I think it's great tha
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I have so many thoughts on this book that this will be my first video review of the year. I'll link it here when I make it and post it on my channel. So great!
Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

It would seem that 2015 is the year of all the fantastic books because here I am, finding yet another favorite. This book is gorgeously, frightengly written and it will find a way to creep inside your heart and hold it hostage. I make this book sound scary and believe me, it is.

I don’t read a lot of books that deal with mental illness because admittedly, I am a chicken but this book called to me. I don’t know if it was the cover, or how the
Chance Lee
I recently asked someone, "Would you rather travel into outer space or the deepest depths of the ocean?" He said, "There's nothing underwater. Outer space, there's so much out there." Yeah, if you're interested in flying rocks! My answer: The depths of the ocean, because there's so much fascinating life down where the sun cannot reach. But both would be too scary for me to actually attempt, because your vessel of choice could depressurize and turn your head inside out.

Shortly after that thought
Beatrice Masaluñga
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Beatrice by: CW (Read Think Ponder)
Shelves: young-adult, owned
Challenger Deep is vivid and masterfully written. It's an eye opening book about mental health as our protagonist, Caden Bosch, a 15 year old boy who suffers from Schizophrenia. We get to see his long journey as he struggles from such illness and his road to recovery. At first, you might find it complicated because he's in some kind of adventure, on a ship with a Pirate, and Caden is one of the crewmen as they head towards Marianas Trench to find a place called Challenger Deep. You'll be thinkin ...more
Iryna (Book and Sword)
3.5/5 stars
(Goodreads please give us half stars soon please, and thank you!)

“I used to be afraid of dying. Now I’m afraid of not living. There’s a difference. We go through life planning for a future, but sometimes that future never comes.”

This was one of the hardest books I've ever read. I spent about three weeks on it, because I had to keep putting it down - the emotions of this book kept drowning me. I will be honest - if I didn't read other, more light hearted books while I was also reading
National Book Award Winner!! Congratulations, Neal!!

My experiment to read all NBA Finalists in Young People's Literature is complete! I have personally selected Challenger Deep as the winner. We'll see who wins on 11/18! Read about my experiment and all nominees here.

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

‘Sometimes the darkness beyond is not glorious at all, it truly is an absolute absence of light. A clawing, needy tar that pulls you down. You drown but you don’t. It turns you to lead so you sink faster in
Marta Álvarez
May 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
En su día a día, Caden siente una paranoia que sabe que no tiene razón de ser, pero que no puede evitar. Visita un barco pirata que navega hacia la fosa de las Marianas; un barco con un capitán tuerto y un loro tuerto y cerebros que escapan de sus propietarios y cofas donde se sirven cócteles radioactivos. Claro que sabe que todo eso no es real. ¿O sí lo es? Aunque su razón le diga lo contrario, ¿marca eso alguna diferencia?

Caden es el protagonista, pero la mente de Caden no es suya, ni de sus v
Naima ✩
So this was my first ever Neal Shusterman book and can I just say what a genius this man is. This book was brilliant.

It’s about mental illness; more specifically: schizophrenia. Let me begin by saying that I knew next to nothing about Schizophrenia before reading this. I mean, i’d heard the word in passing and I knew of it but not what it was really like.

But the moment I started reading this, it felt so personal and REAL and I could tell that the mental illness representation was AMAZING. I 10
Krista Regester
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How Neal Shusterman managed to write this I’m not sure… It truly feels like you are within the mind of someone living in a parallel universe while holding onto real life – and trying to stay balanced between them both. Or perhaps it’s just within the mind of someone who isn’t mentally well.

I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this book, and that was a good thing. Caden Bosch is a creative, gentle, confused sole and I loved getting to know him. There were so many “ohh” moments du
Melina Souza
Que livro maravilhoso.
Uma experiência rica, emocionante e intensa sobre saúde mental.
Não é um livro fácil de ler. É um livro confuso (principalmente no início), pois a história é contada sob duas perspectivas: Caden e sua vida em casa e Caden em um navio. Embora tenha tido um pouco de dificuldade para conseguir me acostumar com essa variação, acredito que ela é extremamente importante para a história e para a sensação que o autor quer provocar.
Falarei mais sobre o livro em breve no canal.

Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

Challenger Deep is not an easy read. But schizophrenia is not an easily understood illness. The book outlines the delusions, anxiety and paranoia which a schizophrenia sufferer experiences, at their worst, and it serves as a confronting and elegant look into a feared and misunderstood mental illness. I’m a big fan of books that tackle mental illness sensitively and realistically, and Challenger Deep had an artistic flair and

I really enjoyed this book, it was unsettling at times but that was only because everything was so realistic. Even during the more surreal moments, it felt true. Like when you're trapped in a bad dream that you can't wake up from.

That's what mental illness can feel like, and to have the main characters real life and dream life became so blurred was both chilling and intriguing.

I will admit that I did like the “real life” scenes the most, but I was still very impressed by how imaginative the na
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
As you may know, I have a deep affection for Neal Shusterman’s writing. I find it incredible, and his books so very vivid and full of genius. This is no different. No, scratch that. This is different, because it is more. Challenger Deep is such an incredible insight into mental illness that is captured in such a way that will leave readers reeling.

I won’t even say I liked this book. Because I don’t think I did. I hate what Caden and so many others have to go through every single day. No, I didn’
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the saddest stories I had possibility to read lately. Very deep, very important, not only for young readers, but for everyone. A sad picture of a family being pulled into a mental disease of a boy, into his weird world, into second reality, deep underneath.
Beautiful and unsettling.

„Głębia Challengera” absolutnie nie jest utworem fikcyjnym – oto zdanie, które robi na czytelniku największe wrażenie. Neal Shusterman opisuje bezsilność, której sam stał się ofiarą, obserwując swojego zanur
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Award-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a movi ...more

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“Dead kids are put on pedestals, but mentally ill kids get hidden under the rug.” 161 likes
“The fear of not living is a deep, abiding dread of watching your own potential decompose into irredeemable disappointment when 'should be' gets crushed by what is. Sometimes I think it would be easier to die than to face that, because 'what could have been' is much more highly regarded than 'what should have been.' Dead kids are put on pedestals, but mentally ill kids get hidden under the rug.” 88 likes
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