Release date: April 21st 2015
Sometimes Caden Bosch is a regular high school student who lies about being on the track team so he can go walking by himself, whose friends and family are starting to notice his strange behavior. Sometimes Caden Bosch is a member of a crew on a ship heading to explore Marianas Trench, who doesn’t know if he can trust the captain. Caden Bosch is both and he’s struggling to survive in both worlds.
This was the type of book where, I knew I was affected while reading it but it never really sunk in just how much it was affecting me until I was finished and had time to process the story. It was not an easy read and I was glad for that because the subject matter in no way should have been an easy read. Each chapter was short, only about a page or two, and it made for a lot of chapters, well over a hundred, but Shusterman made the most out of every short chapter.
The book went back and forth between Caden’s real life and life on the ship, but never in any particular order. There could be a few chapters of real life then a chapter of ship life then another real life then a few ship life. The more we got from both lives, the easier it was to see the parallels Caden was drawing between his two worlds. The book never shied away from showing just how isolating and frustrating it can be for someone in Caden’s situation.
As mentioned, it was not an easy read. It was definitely the kind of book you have to pay attention to while you read because the little details are important. With all the back and forth between real life and ship life and the blending together of both, it could have gotten confusing if I wasn’t paying full attention. Luckily, it was the kind of book I wanted to give my full attention to and was never tempted to skim. It was such a heart-wrenching journey for Caden.
There were illustrations done throughout the book, provided by the author’s son. They were hard to fully appreciate on the small digital screen I read the e-ARC on but I plan on buying a physical copy of this book so I can see them better.
Also, this is definitely a book where you want to read the acknowledgments at the end.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.