Book Review Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

challenger deep

To be honest, I picked this book off a list without even looking at what it was about.  After reading the first chapter, I was thinking, “wow, this is strange.”  Then I thought, hmmm, I wonder if this is about mental illness.  Google helped me out and then the book started to fall into place for me.


The protagonist, Caden Bosch, seems torn between two worlds.  One world is the world where he is a crewman on a ship headed for Challenger Deep, the ocean’s deepest trench.


The other world is the actual world where his family lives.  Caden experiences paranoia and voices speaking to him.  He is convinced that people in the world he lives with his family are trying to kill him.


This book gives a very realistic view of what mental illness can be and how it takes hold of the person with the illness.  The book itself will be confusing in parts, because mental illness is confusing.  The book is written from Caden’s perspective and from that perspective, the reader gets a real sense of what it feels like to fight a mental illness.  The reader can feel the struggle within this character as the character struggles through “getting well.”  


Challenger Deep was a challenge to read at times.  It twists and is uncomfortable at times, but gives a realistic view of mental illness.  It was unlike anything I’d ever read before and I enjoyed it.


10 thoughts on “Book Review Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

  1. Ahh, mental illness is tricky when those loved ones who suffer do get help than start to function better they stop taking medication so you start over it is a vicious cycle. Books like “Challenger Deep” help the readers who do not suffer or know someone who does need to know the confusing aspect of it, not just the sufferer but those around them sometimes live a life of confusing with them.


    1. It was challenging. I think mental illness is such a hard topic to cover because there are so many levels of it. The journey through those conditions and treatment can be so overwhelming and I don’t know that you are ever “cured.” That’s what makes this book so raw.


  2. This one has been on my TBR for a couple of weeks. It seems like it would be a great one to challenge my thinking. I am even more intrigued after reading your review.
    You said that some of the twists were uncomfortable. How uncomfortable are we talking? Do you have an age group you’d recommend it to?


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