Challenger Deep - Neal Shusterman
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Count your blessings,” the captain says, “And if you count less than ten, cut off the remaining fingers.”



This story was just plain weird, and while I figured out after a while that it was actually about mental illness, it was still pretty weird.

“Where does this hallway go?”
She looks at me with suspicion. “It doesn’t go anywhere, it stays right here.”



Caden was a boy who had obviously got problems, the hallucinations that the was experiencing were so vivid that he actually believed that they were really happening to him, and his delusions about a boy at school who he had never spoken to wanting to kill him, did come across as a symptom of possible schizophrenia.

“well, it’s just that… there’s this kid at school.”
“Yes?”
“Of course I can’t be sure…”
“Yes?”
“Well… I think he wants to kill me.”



The storyline in this was split in two, half of the time we were following Caden as he lived on a ship (which was very strange), and the other half of the time we saw Caden at home with his family, and experienced the strange ideas he came out with, and his admission to a mental health care facility. This was all a bit confusing though, and after a while I started to get a bit sick of the repetativeness of the story.

“Cartilage of cow,” he tells, “and spine of black beetle.”
“Beetles have no spines,” I point out. “They’re invertebrates.”
“Exactly. That’s why it’s so rare.”

The ending to this was okay, and I appreciated what the author had tried to do with this story, I just struggled to really enjoy this though.