Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Challenger Deep” as Want to Read:
Challenger Deep
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Challenger Deep

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  26,193 ratings  ·  5,056 reviews
Alternate Cover Edition for ASIN B00M70ESPO

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 behaviour.

Caden Bosch is designated the ship's artist in residence to document the journey with images.

Caden Bo
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by HarperCollins
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Challenger Deep, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jeanne Felfe Imagine stepping into the head of a teen with schizoaffective disorder. His world is one of chaos where things unreal appear real and things real are …moreImagine stepping into the head of a teen with schizoaffective disorder. His world is one of chaos where things unreal appear real and things real are suspect. It isn't so much what it's about as it is what it reveals. This is a must read book.(less)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  26,193 ratings  ·  5,056 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Challenger Deep
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
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Lala BooksandLala
Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it
"Dead kids are put on pedestals, but mentally ill kids get hidden under the rug."

This had so many powerful moments and moving quotes throughout, but half of it just didn't do it for me, y'know? I appreciate everything this book did, especially the scenes set in reality- I just found myself uninterested in the actual scenes and setting during the character's delusions that take place at sea. It was such a raw and real story to share, so I want to take nothing away from that- I just personally fel
Neil (or bleed)
UPDATE: Neal Shusterman has won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for this book! OHMYGOD!

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 have defined som
Kristina Horner
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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. ...more
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
Xandra (StarrySkyBooks)
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I think I'm feeling more emotions than the first time I read it? If that's even possible?

You can read my full review here on my blog, Starry Sky Books! This is one of my favorite reviews. If you're thinking about reading this book, I highly suggest you skim through my review, so you can find out some vital info about how the book is set up. (cw: mental illness, mental hospitals, mentions of self-harm, mentions of death, implication of suicide)

I would like to begin this review by saying two
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.

Hannah Greendale
Starts slow but strengthens, matures, and astounds with every turn of a page.
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
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
Q: Blank pages scream at me to be filled with crap from my brain. (c) I have a feeling that's the experience that brought this book into existence.

Q: And when the abyss looks into you—and it will—may you look back unflinching. (c) This one I do like.

Q: “‘Look into the abyss and the abyss looks into you... Let’s hope the abyss finds nothing of interest.” (c)

Deliria diary. Undewhelming and all.

Some kids are travelling by some ship to some deepwater place to do some strange stuff. Turns out, (view
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
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
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
DNF @ 30%

I think this book is probably really powerful and necessary, but it just wasn't for me!
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 readin
Sarah Elizabeth
(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
BUT....I completed this book before 2020!!

Buddy read with Mr.Stark
Captain America AND

What could go wrong in this BR???!!

Definitely not my go-to genre BUT I am surprised that I am enjoying decoding the sentences and their meaning


YUP!!! Now I am a fan of Sherlock too xD
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Challenger Deep is a brilliant and imaginative account of an adolescent’s descent into mental illness and his recovery. The author takes us into the disturbed mind of 15-year-old Caden Bosch and we perceive what it means to live in a world where reality keeps shifting and there is no true North. Caden is distracted by things he cannot see but can feel, such as termites he claims he can hear. I steeled myself for a difficult read, and it was difficult and longer than I liked it to be, but what I ...more
Dec 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Liz Janet
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
"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 i
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
Charlotte May
Another pay day treat to myself 😊
Brigid ✩
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
⭐Anny⭐ (Book Princess)
I dare to say that this book is one of a kind.
An important, but not a light topic, and therefore extremely difficult to rate.

There were parts where I really wasn't sure about the book, like the beginning. It took me quite a while to get into the story and to understand what's going on.
But the more I read, the more it got me, and some parts were so deep and emotional and amazing and would totally justify 5 stars.

This is two stories in one - intertwined but also separate. The places Caden goes t
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, young-adult
This book had more layers than I even know how to begin with.

I knew going in this would be a tough read, one that in theory reads quickly, but the subject matter is heavy and deserves time to process as the reader makes their way through the Marianas Trench and the brain of Caden Bosch (cool name, right?).

Caden is 15 and struggling with dual timelines, grasping school and the pressures of teenage life along with the alternate reality of assisting the captain on the ship as it ventures into part
Beatrice Masaluñga
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
How Does This Novel Connect With You? 1 4 Aug 27, 2021 07:30AM  
Teen Book Club: challenger deep- summer hw 3 39 Jun 27, 2021 07:22PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman - GBR - Starting May 1st 2021 27 157 May 18, 2021 06:45PM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: Shusterman - Challenger Deep [Jan 5, 2021] 22 24 Jan 15, 2021 10:45PM  
Challenger Deep (December 2020) 1 4 Dec 06, 2020 09:09AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Darius the Great Is Not Okay (Darius The Great, #1)
  • Black Box
  • Your Voice Is All I Hear
  • City of Lies (The Keepers, #2)
  • Napoleón puede esperar
  • Afro Afetos
  • Тетрадь в клеточку
  • Alice 190 (Abraqueerdabra)
  • Utopía. Una aventura filosófica
  • Девочка в нулевой степени
  • The House of One Thousand Eyes
  • People Like Frank and Other Stories from the Edge of Normal
  • Highly Illogical Behavior
  • Hasta la última estrella
  • Velha Gata do Apartamento 34
  • My Life in Black and White
  • A Grande Chance de Ana Luna (Amor Entre Garotas, #1)
  • A Valsa Eterna
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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

Articles featuring this book

The creator of the Unwind Dystology answers your questions on moral mysteries, plot vs. character, and the story behind his moving new book,...
34 likes · 6 comments
“Dead kids are put on pedestals, but mentally ill kids get hidden under the rug.” 223 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.” 133 likes
More quotes…