Caden Bosch is a brilliant and artistic teenager that lately has been distancing himself from his friends, family and studies for no apparent reason. Caden Bosch is the young crew member of a ship that’s on its way to Challenger Deep, the deepest point on earth, located in the Marianas Trench, in the Pacific Ocean. Caden Bosch’s schoolmates start noticing that he’s not behaving like he usually does. Caden Bosch is confronted by a decision on the ship: be loyal to the captain or join everyone in the upcoming mutiny.
At first, this was an odd book to read. Two parallel stories where being told and there was seemingly no connection between them, that is, until halfway through the book, when what was really happening became clear and, to a certain extent, painful. Something I particularly liked was the way the protagonist is written: Caden isn’t a “unique and original” teenager full of quirks and always ready for a sarcastic comeback who doesn’t conform to the expectations, he doesn’t have a fantastic romance with anyone, and he is not involved in any love triangles. Caden is just a teenager with a growing problem.
This book by Neal Shusterman is something unlike anything I’ve read before. It is a depiction of mental illness that feels deep (pun intended) and personal. Caden’s mind is spiraling, and he’s falling into the abyss and you’re falling right with him. The book is written from his perspective, so the reader sees everything through his eyes. It does feel slow from time to time and there are a couple of scenes where absolutely nothing happens, which can be somewhat tedious, but once you realize what’s going on, you completely understand why it feels like this.
All in all, this is probably one of the best YA novels I’ve read.