It might take some time to warm up to it, but this book is a YA must read. This book is about a teenage boy, Caden, who is suffering from Schizophrenia. It’s a harrowing journey although it is a harsh read and might be bothering or even triggering to sensitive kids.  The writing really reels you in and it’s incredibly unnerving and gripping. The writing style feels very natural and I’ll be honest,this is the best book I’ve read in a long while.

It’s great to read a book that captures mental illness as well as Challenger Deep has. The author has a friend who is schizophrenic as well as his son, whose artwork is included throughout the book. I did end up sort of skimming through large portions of the alternate reality, especially in the beginning when it was a bit confusing and without context, but it’s still a lengthy read regardless.

Shusterman did a stunning job illustrating the character’s descent into insanity while maintaining a realism and believably. It almost makes you second guess yourself, how rational the inner dialogue is presented. Top it all off with a good inspiring ending and a sweet, unconventional hospital romance and you’ve got an 8/10 rating.

Pick it up next time you’re at the library. It’ll be worth it.

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