Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
I’ve always been a Neal Shusterman fan. One of the reasons is because his books (usually in a series) are different from one another. Scorpion Shards (The Star Shards Chronicles) is unlike the Unwind Dystology, which is completely unlike The Schwa was Here and the other Antsy Bonano books. They are all well written, though, all thought provoking, and all appropriate for teenagers and adults.
Challenger Deep is Shusterman’s latest. It is, of course, different from the others, and is absolutely brilliant. It is probably the weirdest of his books, at least at first, and little by little it starts to make more sense and has a chance of breaking your heart.
This is a story about adolescent mental illness. It is also the parallel metaphorical story of a boat headed to explore the deepest recesses of the Mariana Trench. Both stories star Caden Bosch, and as the book progresses they become more and more difficult to separate. Apparently, Shusterman’s son suffered from severe mental illness as a teenager, and this story is a tribute to his struggle. It is likely because of Shusterman’s personal experience with this that the story is so vivid.
This is a good story. I don’t know how to describe it without spoilers. But it really makes you feel the descent into mental illness. The descriptions of feeling like you are alone in a crowd are unparalleled. It is the sort of book that ought to be required reading for young teenagers. If anything could make you feel sympathy and empathy for the mentally ill, it is this book.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was a number one Amazon Hot New Release in the Fall of 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.