Review: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Author: Neal Shusterman
Title: Challenger Deep
Format/Source: ebook/Edelweiss
Published: 21 April 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Length: 320 pages
Genre: Young adult
Why I Read: New work by a favourite author
Read If You: Want to understand what experiencing mental illness can be like
Rating:  ★★★★★ [ratings guide]
Links: GoodReads IndieBound Chapters | Amazon
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review. 

I don’t know what to say about this book, beyond that it’s probably Shusterman’s best and one I’d recommend to anybody.

The story feels deeply real. I felt I was finally able to understand a bit better what it’s like to have this sort of experience. Shusterman’s prose cuts sharply, more so than anything I’ve previously read by him before. He writes with sensitivity and clarity. I thought he had to be writing from personal experience. His note at the end confirmed this.  His son Brendan experienced mental illness during high school. Brendan’s illustrations during that time are included in parts of the book, and Neal worked closely with Brendan to write this story. (See link to interview below.)

I’m not sure what else to say. If you’re thinking, “Oh, not another book about mental illness” – forget the others, this is something different and definitely worth your time.

The Bottom Line: Read this book to gain at least a glimpse of what it’s like to experience mental illness.

Further Reading: