High schooler Caden Bosch is a brilliant young man. He is a good student, great artist, and a good brother. But his friends and family are starting to notice some odd behavior from Caden. He pretends to sign up for track, and instead of joining the team he spends hours walking aimlessly. But that isn't everything. Caden spends much of his time on a pirate ship headed for the deepest part of the Marianas Trench called Challenger Deep. There he will find great wealth and riches or lose himself completely. This book focuses on mental illness from the inside, you are with Caden as he sails the rough seas of mental illness, and trying to distinguish the real world from the world his mind has created for him.
This book is absorbing. It looks at mental illness from the perspective of the patient, not from the family and friends around the patient. It shows how mental illness takes over Caden's life to the point where he can't distinguish reality from the effects of his illness. The writing was amazing, and throughout the novel you hope that Caden can find his way back to the family and friends that wait for him to recover from this unending battle.
Overall this is an amazing book that takes a unique approach to a disturbing topic. Shusterman makes the reader Caden's illness with him. You are on the inside looking out at the world through Caden's eyes. Well written book.
Cautions for Sensitive Readers:
Drugs/Alcohol: Caden is on medication to control his illness and he goes to the crows nest to get "cocktails" which are the meds that he needs.