Goodreads Rating: 4.13 / 5 stars
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: April 21st 2015
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.
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 thinking there’s something deeper behind this and as the story unfolds, you’ll see the clearer picture of its true meaning.
Neal Shusterman accurately portrayed mental illness, specifically Schizophrenia. He doesn’t sugarcoat of what actually happens on a person suffering with mental illness. There are hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thoughts and other signs and symptoms, even it’s treatments (medications, therapies etc.). I love this book because it’s realistic and not romanticized. As quoted in the book: “Nothing is inevitable” — Mental illness can be treated but it doesn’t disappear. Relapse may happen but it can be prevented as long as the person practices a healthy lifestyle and proper intake of prescribed medications.
Educating, understanding and raising an awareness can make a huge difference to those who suffered mental disorders. We shouldn’t be scared or left them hanging instead, we should listen on their cries when they need help before they further destroy themselves. There’s one quote in this book that left a huge impact:
“Dead kids are put on pedestals but mentally ill kids get hidden under the rug.”
I would like to thank CW for recommending this book to me [click her name to read her other other recommendations of positive portrayals of Mental Illnesses in YA and this book is one of them.]