Like badkittyuno, the book didn’t quite gel for me at first. I liked the bits of Caden’s normal life, but found myself drudging through the rest to get back to those. I could tell right away that something was off about Caden, as he was convinced some random kid he didn’t even know was going to kill him, and I assumed the other sequences would be revealed to be somehow tied to reality, that they were a glimpse into how his head actually works… but it didn’t make it any less of a struggle getting to that point later on in the book when the two “worlds” start to collide, so to speak. The end result is that Challenger Deep isn’t an easy read. It’s not meant to be, I imagine many, including the author himself, saying. The book is meant to be a personal look into mental illness from a perspective influenced directly by the author’s own son. Mental illness is characterized by us “normal” people not being able to understand what’s going on in their head and trying to, through medication and therapy, bring things back to some sort of even keel that at least resembles that “normal” we aspire to. It’s not an exact science, as we see in this book, but it’s the best we can manage, and it’s worth it in the end to give people like Caden some peace, lest they end up like some of the other, less lucky ones whose sickness drives them to attempt taking their own lives. So I’m conflicted, as I feel that it’s an undeniably important work, one that might help younger kids understand mental illness more thoroughly, I tend to rate based upon actual enjoyment, and there wasn’t as much of that here. I’d still recommend it, but I can’t rate it too highly, sorry.