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Breathing Underwater Revised Edition
Contributor(s): Flinn, Alex
ISBN: 0064472574     ISBN-13: 9780064472579
Publisher: Harperteen
    OUR PRICE: $8.99  
Product Type: Paperback - Other Formats
Published: October 2002
Annotation: Nick has never spoken of his father's violent temper, but when Nick meets Caitlin, everything changes. This critically acclaimed first novel offers an honest and fresh look into the mind of the abused--and abuser.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Dating violence; Fiction.
Anger; Fiction.
Fathers and sons; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: BL2002011527
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 10-12, Age 15-18
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 7.00" H x 5.00" W x 0.50" (0.35 lbs) 279 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 49640
Reading Level: 3.9   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 7.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q28218
Reading Level: 7.1   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 9.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
Like father,
like son

Intelligent, popular, handsome, and wealthy, sixteen-year-old Nick Andreas is pretty much perfect -- on the outside, at least. What no one knows -- not even his best friend -- is the terror that Nick faces every time he is alone with his father. Then he and Caitlin fall in love, and Nick thinks his problems are over. Caitlin is the one person who he can confide in. But when things start to spiral out of control, Nick must face the fact that he's gotten more from his father than green eyes and money.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2001 Fall)
Attending a court-ordered family violence program after hitting his girlfriend, Nick recalls, through journal entries, how his escalating need for control ruined his relationship with Caitlin. Nick's excessively macho narrative is better at capturing the smaller moments of verbal cruelty than the more outsized scenes of rage. The tone is sometimes heavy-handed, but presenting the story from the perspective of the abuser is intriguing. Copyright 2001 Horn Book Guide Reviews

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2002 October #4)
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.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2001 April #4)
"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. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2001 May)
Gr 9 Up-Key Biscayne High School and south Florida environs provide the affluent setting in which sophomore Nick and his friends carouse. Nick is rich, good looking, an athlete, a talented poet, in love with beautiful Caitlin-and he is an insecure, manipulative individual being raised by a violent and abusive father. The story opens as Caitlin is awarded the protection of a restraining order against Nick, and the plot unfolds along two streams. Regular font is "real time"-January 5th through September 2nd-while the "handwritten" font flashes back to reveal the stages by which Nick's first love twists inexorably into abuse. His former friends turn against him, he attends court-ordered group counseling sessions with a bunch of abusers he sees as losers, and his dad still beats him. The one member of the group he bonds with, Leo, withdraws when he is able to talk his girlfriend into dropping her charges. Nick gradually begins to perceive the vile depths to which he had fallen by observing Leo's obsessive behavior toward Neysa, which culminates when Leo murders her and commits suicide. Nick learns important lessons about being a man, responsibility, self-control, and trust. He successfully confronts his father and, in the final journal entry, begins his junior year by reestablishing contact with his former best friend. An open and honest portrayal of an all-too-common problem.-Joel Shoemaker, Southeast Junior High School, Iowa City, IA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.