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Breathing Underwater
Cover of Breathing Underwater
Breathing Underwater
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Nick is one of the chosen few at his high school: intelligent, popular, wealthy. People think his life is pretty easy. Except for one thing. Nick has never told anyone about his father’s violent...
Nick is one of the chosen few at his high school: intelligent, popular, wealthy. People think his life is pretty easy. Except for one thing. Nick has never told anyone about his father’s violent...
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Description-

  • Nick is one of the chosen few at his high school: intelligent, popular, wealthy. People think his life is pretty easy. Except for one thing. Nick has never told anyone about his father’s violent temper.
    When Nick meets Caitlin, he thinks that she is the answer to all his problems. Caitlin is everything Nick has ever wanted–beautiful, talented, and in love with him. But then it all changes. And Nick must face the fact that he’s gotten more from his gather than green eyes and money.
    In a harrowing journey of self-recovery, Nick learns the truth about himself and that the phrase “like father, like son” can carry terrifying possibilities.
 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Alex Flinn studied theater, opera, and law before writing her first novel, Breathing Underwater, for which she was a Publishers Weekly "Flying Starts" featured author in June 2001. Ms. Flinn lives in Miami with her husband, Gene, daughters, Katie and Meredith, and her dog, cat, and five turtles.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Jon Cryer brilliantly captures the surly, sullen tone of 16-year-old Nick Andreas's first-person narration, which begins the day he arrives at court, charged with physical violence against his girlfriend. Ordered to attend Mario Ortega's Family Violence class and to keep a journal, Nick resists the former, but finds increasing solace--and a vehicle for telling his backstory--in his journal. Anger burns beneath the surface of Nick's memories, his daily life, his relationship with his brutal father, and his longing for love. Cryer's pacing is spot-on as he rides the roller coaster of Nick's fury, passion, lust, and yearning. He is equally successful with the voices of the mixed ethnic/racial group in Mario's class and with Mr. Andreas's Greek accent. Flinn's popular YA novel gains added depth and power through this superb audio production. T.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2003 YALSA Selection (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 28, 2002

    In what PW
    called "a gripping tale," a 16-year-old, who is considered perfect by his classmates, suffers a turbulent home life with an abusive father, and he himself follows the pattern of violence. Ages 13-up. (Oct.)Note:
    Additional reviews of children's books can be found in the Children's Religion section (p. 69).

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 23, 2001
    "Ever feel like you're breathing underwater, and you have to stop because you're gulping in too much fluid?" For 16-year-old Nick Andreas, these words from his violence counselor ring true. While his classmates think of him as rich, popular and perfect, they don't know the truth about his turbulent home life with an abusive father. As Flinn's first novel opens, Nick finds himself in court, facing a restraining order by his girlfriend, Caitlin. He is sentenced to six months of counseling and to write 500 words per week in a journal, explaining what happened from the day he met Caitlin to the present. Set in Miami and told in a split narrative, the novel juxtaposes Nick's journal entries about his past relationship with Caitlin alongside the current challenges of going back to school with his friends turned against him, his counseling sessions and life with his father. Gradually, he begins to recognize his own responsibility in how events played out ("Somehow, when I see it on paper, it becomes more real than when it's just in my head"). The correlation between Nick's controlling behavior and his father's abuse is subtle but effective. Caitlin's insecurity, borne of self-image problems due to a previous weight problem and her beautiful mother's badgering, is also credibly rendered. The ending scene with Nick's best friend rings a bit hollow, but as Nick's past comes to light, both the circumstances and his owning up to his actions carry heavy emotional weight in this gripping tale. Ages 13-up.

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