Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Breathing Underwater #1

Breathing Underwater

Rate this book
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.

263 pages, Paperback

First published April 24, 2001

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Alex Flinn

30 books5,598 followers
Love Jacaranda is out in the world! Hope you'll check out this fun wish-fulfillment romance!

Now, bio:

I grew up on a street called Salem Court. This probably influenced my interest in witches. When I was five, my mom said I should be an author. And when I was eight, I got my first rejection letter from Highlights Magazine.

I learned to read early. But I compensated for this early proficiency by absolutely refusing to read the programmed readers required by the school system -- workbooks where you read the story, then answered the questions. When the other kids were on Book 20, I was on Book 1! My teacher, Mrs. Zeiser, told my mother, "Alexandra marches to her own drummer." I don't think that was supposed to be a compliment.

My family moved to Miami when I was in middle school. I had a really hard time making friends, so I spent a lot of time reading and writing then. By high school, I'd made some friends and gotten involved in various "gifted and talented" performing arts programs. I studied opera in college (I'm a coloratura -- the really loud, high-pitched sopranos.) and then went to law school.

It was law school that probably helped with my first novel. Breathing Underwater deals with the serious and all-too-common problem of dating violence. I based the book on my experiences interning with the State Attorney's Office and volunteering with battered women. I thought this was a really important topic, as 27 percent of teenage girls surveyed have been hit by a boyfriend. I'm happy that the book is so popular, and if you are reading this bio because the book was assigned for school, I'm happy about that too.

I think I write for young-adults because I never quite got over being one. In my mind, I am still 13-years-old, running laps on the athletic field, wearing this really baggy white gymsuit. I’m continually amazed at the idea that I have a checking account and a mortgage. So I try to write books that gymsuit girl might enjoy. It’s a way of going back to being thirteen . . . knowing what I know now.

Right now, I live half a mile away from my old middle school, in Palmetto Bay, a suburb of Miami, with my husband, daughters, dogs, and cats.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
2,804 (33%)
4 stars
2,927 (34%)
3 stars
1,983 (23%)
2 stars
547 (6%)
1 star
203 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,128 reviews
76 reviews
May 13, 2008
Breathing Underwater is a staple in my clasroom. This book is written so well that it becomes the hook for my non-reading students. I learned about the thought process of someone that abuses mentally and physically. I also learned about why someone might stay in an abusive relationship. I found myself having empathy for the main character even though he had made large mistakes.
Profile Image for Brandy.
307 reviews20 followers
May 3, 2008
I know if I don't try to type out my feelings now, I will lose what I am thinking/feeling.

I don't want to say that I didn't like the book, but I have very few good things to say about it. Yes, it captured my interest and I read it quickly. I wasn't ever bored and anxiously waited to see how it ended. There were so many things that I didn't like though.

1. I don't like books that are written for YA that try to "capture" what it is really like in high school. I don't want my kids reading those kind of books. Yes, this may be real life for some, but I hope it isn't real life for my kids. I want my kids to be hanging out with their friends from church, not having sex on the weekends. It seems like authors that try to write like this write about the minority of high school kids. I saw signs posted at the high school that we directed at that say "only 3% of high school students drink alcohol regularly" or something close to that. They are wanting the student body to understand that NOT everyone is doing it, so it bugs me when teen literature makes it seem like everyone does (meaning alcohol, sex, etc).

2. I understand from a friends review that the author was compelled to write this story after working with battered women and children. I can see that she is trying to get the message out there that says you are in control of your own actions and feelings. You need to own up to them and take responsiblity. I honestly don't see how this book is going to create change in young adults. The ending was very predictable. I knew as soon as the book started that he would have an ah-ha moment and suddenly be better or at least be on the road to better at the end. It seemed to "wrapped in a pretty package" to me and I think that high schoolers will see right through it. When I have felt the most compelled to change in my life, it has always been situations (weather listening to someone or even reading something) that the spirit was there. I don't think I ever once felt the spirit while reading this. I think there are more uplifting books on the market to get teens to understand the point the author was trying to make.

3. When I was teaching in Young Womens, a talk I came across from Susan Tanner said that we don't encourage our youth to obey the standards by showing them all the ways they could disobey. Meaning, we don't show them multiple examples of immodest clothing to get the point across to wear something modest. I feel that same way with this book, don't show us violence and anger to get us to not do it, or to get us to change our ways. I don't think the book focused enough on the 'message'. In fact, I didn't really even feel the message of the book until I read my friends review. Until then, I felt like this book was about a jerk who ended up realizing his errors and wanting to change. The problem is that when he wanted to change, the book was over. There was no time spent on the change. So this leaves readers who don't know how to change empty and just like every person who is caught in the abusive cycle... knowing they need to change but not knowing how. The kid in this book got lucky that he was sentenced to take this class. Not many people in real life are going to voluntarily take those type of classes.

So, to end, this book was fine for just reading. But to create change like I suspect the author was trying to do, I think it fails miserably. So folks, that is my initial gut reaction of this book. I am going to sleep on it, and I may change my mind tomorrow!!
Profile Image for Kerry Cerra.
Author 3 books67 followers
June 27, 2010
In this extraordinary novel by Alex Flinn, we experience a violent teen relationship from the point of view of the boy who beats his girlfriend. Nick is everyone’s friend and seemingly has a perfect life. What his friends don’t know is that his father is abusive. Before he knows it, Nick finds himself following in his dad’s footsteps as he becomes both verbally and physically abusive to his girlfriend Caitlin. When Caitlin’s parents file a restraining order against him, Nick is forced into a family violence class. Required reading for many schools, Alex Flinn does an amazing job of portraying Nick in a way in which the reader can almost feel sorry for him. I found myself rooting for him to get help and stick with his recovery program.
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,462 reviews8,568 followers
April 12, 2009
"Breathing Underwater" is about sixteen year old Nick Andreas who leads a double life, most of the time he is a charming, straight-A earning football player. However, the guys in his anger management class and his ex-girlfriend Caitlin know differently. They know that Nick is actually an abusive person who has lived under the poor influence of his father. This book details his struggle to find himself in the mask of anger that has been controlling him for awhile now.

I honestly did NOT want to like this book. It seemed to be the type of book that I would naturally not like, even though I just love Alex Flinn's works. As I began the novel I couldn't stop myself from flipping the pages to find out what exactly Nick did and if he manages to control himself or not. Some people complain about happy endings, but this book's ending was bitter sweet, not completely happy. Flinn really has a gift in making the reader just feel the emotions of the main character, like it or not. I would definetly recommend this book to every teen who isn't aware of situations like the one presented in this book.
Profile Image for Annette.
441 reviews26 followers
May 7, 2008
It makes me sad that a book about teenage violence has become required reading for all freshman at North High,(where my kids attend). On the other hand, I'm glad that someone took the time to write a book about such a serious and much needed topic. I'm sure that the author wrote it thinking that if she could make a difference in even one person's life it would be well worth it. I feel that if the reading of this book is accompanied with a great deal of classroom discussion it could prove to be very helpful to kids who are prone to violence or kids who are victims of violence.

This is not your typical book about abuse because it's from the abuser's point of view. It takes you on a journey inside the mind of Nick Andreas a 16 year old, who grows up in an upper-class neighborhood in Miami FL. Once you get to know him you start to feel sorry for him because of his relationship with his father and his inability to recognize the seriousness of his situation. Because he refuses to see the obvious (that he needs professional help)he continues to make bad choices. Only when his life completely spins out of control does he finally have an "aha" moment and he starts to make the changes necessary to improve his life.

What impresses me the most about this book is how the author stresses the importance of accepting responsibility for your own actions. I think that was the main message of the book - to give hope to those who struggle with anger/violence, to let them know that there is a way to break the cycle of abuse and the first step to recovery is to stop blaming others for your problems and accept responsibility for your actions.

The author does capture the lifestyle of the average American teen which may be offensive to some, it's actually quite offensive to me personally, however, I understand that writers who write for YA's feel the need to portray high schoolers as realistically as possible. Alex Flinn may have gone a little too far with this though, the boys do use really crude language (this is what makes it a 3 star rather than a 4 or 5 star) Although, (as my daughter reminded me) if she were to make it truly realistic she would have to add a lot more 4-letter words. Obviously, the book was written especially for today's teens and therefore is much more appealing to that age group and less appealing to adults.

Interestingly, the author, Alex Flinn interned with the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, (while in law school) trying several domestic violence cases. It was this experience, along with serving as a volunteer and mentor at the Inn Transition facility for battered women and their children that led her to write this book.

Incidentally, Alex Flinn recently came to visit some of the Com. Arts classes here at North High School. She came and visited my daughter's Creative Writing Class.
Profile Image for TinaB.
534 reviews134 followers
June 7, 2012
A fast simple read that was gripping, shocking and honest.

Was this really challenged to be banned from a school? This is exactly the type of book that teen girls should be reading......yes he's hot, yes he's popular and sexy, but he's mean, he's controlling and he hits you, this is not a romantic relationship you want to be in.

Even though the entire book is from the abusers POV and Flinn gave us hope for his character by the end, she made her girl SMART and able to do the right thing once the danger became to much. Its for sure a teachable book that examines the characteristics in a domestic abuser and the signs to know when to break off the relationship.

Profile Image for Ashley.
97 reviews36 followers
October 1, 2007
Sadly, this book may be a work of fiction but in many ways it isn't. I know people in similar situations or even someone like Nick. It's not fun. It's sad to think growing up in a hostile home and not having the love from your parents that you need can mold you into a certain person who lashes out on the ones who care most about them (girlfriends/boyfriends and friends). It's a hard cycle to break and there's only two routes that it could end up at. I think this book could be very helpful for certain people and it's a good read for anyone who wants to get in the mind of someone like this and have a little understanding of their world.

Sometimes they are the victim.
Profile Image for Rachel Nicole.
235 reviews27 followers
March 24, 2023
i’m surprised that i liked this book as much as i did! i say this because i don’t usually reach for YA books nowadays. this book is not an easy read by any means content-wise, but the writing was very gripping and i read the majority of it in one day. this book is from the point of view of a sixteen year old, nick, who abuses his girlfriend. the book starts with the girlfriend getting a restraining order on him, in which he must go to anger management class and write in a journal about the relationship. this book did not glamorize abuse at all and showed the mindset of the abuser really well. i have never read from that perspective before and it helped me understand how abusers think and what can cause them to become abusive (not that that justifies it, of course). one of the most valuable things i learned in health class in high school was how to spot signs of abuse and what to do if you find yourself in an abusive relationship. this book showed the cycle of abuse really well, and i think it’s important for teenagers, the target audience, to understand the cycle.
December 15, 2021
Whenever you are reading a book people always ask you how it is and if you like it so far. This happened more times than I could count through my process of reading this book and every time I had the same response. I would say with a pause "It's . . . interesting." Then you get the inevitable follow up question “what do you mean?” The truth was reading this book was really hard for me.
My teacher challenged us to read a book to challenge our perspective, read something we have never read before, so I did. I chose this book because when she explained it to us, she said it was a book about an abusive relationship told from the perspective of the abuser. It hooked me. Something I have never understood but always wanted to is what goes on inside people’s heads that allows them to justify abuse. I thought the book would have answers to my questions and challenge my perspective, and it did but not in the way I thought.
After reading this book I still don’t understand why people can do things like that but reading it did challenge my perspective. It was hard to read but Flinn writes it beautifully. I loved the transition between before as told in the journal and then present. It was like the present was an escape from the intense words of Nick Andres. The way she writes the book is very well done and the topic and turn of events is so fascinating.
I wasn’t expecting the end and it surprised me, I was before reading this book a person who believed an abuser would always abuse, now I’m not saying that what she is saying is Nick won’t abuse again, but the ending provided hope and I like hope.
I still don’t know if an abuser can change but reading this book helped me look into the eyes of an abuser and see how they see and justify their actions, it puts a situation into greater perspective allowing me to understand the other side more than I had before.
I guess the biggest thing anyone reading this review wants to know is why this book was so hard for me to read, why I had to put it down and walk away when my feeling against Nick were overpowering my ability to stay open and explore, why when some people who read this book sympathized with Nick I could not, why I could view my own life as I read this book and actually cried trying to push those memories back.
The answer: I was a victim of abuse. This book was the exact opposite perspective of a situation I had lived in real life. It was hard to be open and try to understand the perspective of Nick Andreas and it really took strength for me to keep turning the pages at times.
I am, however, glad I read the book. It was interesting and well written. The details were good without getting to detailed and the story moved with speed but not urgency. It was a very difficult story to tell, and I think Flinn told it very well.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is curious about abusive relationships and anyone who wants to explore a new perspective or challenge their preexisting beliefs because this book will challenge you in one way or another. It really puts true meaning into the phrase “there are two sides to every story”, and I am glad I decided to explore that other side of the story, even if it was hard.
Profile Image for Lori Kircher.
3 reviews
March 29, 2013
I hated the book. I didn't like how Nick thought it was okay to abuse Caitlin, and Caitlin just stood there and let him abuse her. I think this book is sexist. The message of this book is that it's okay for women to be abused as long as your boyfriend buys you something afterward and tells you he's sorry. Plus, women have no use other than just pleasing her man, and cooking in the kitchen. No, just no. Nick needs to find some new hobbies other than Caitlin. He's so protective of her, it's abusive. He doesn't let her: do anything she wants, she can't make her own descions, she can't eat the foods that she likes, he's always putting her down, he keeps her from her friends and tells her who and who she can and can't hang out with. Caitlin doesn't do anything. He calls her names and puts her down if she mentions a boy. At one point in the book, Caitlin is apologizing to Nick for doing nothing wrong, and Nick tells her she's a slut for mentioning a boy. Seriously, Nick needs to find some new hobbies. It frusates me that some people think it's okay for this to happen. Why is Nick so horny all the time? Just reading those feeling he has for Caitlin is gross. So, I really didn't like this book.
Profile Image for Robyn.
53 reviews
January 26, 2016
This book made me think and feel so much. It could've been improved storywise and characterwise but it gets its message across really well, and the main concept of the story is portrayed perfectly.

It made you feel sad for all types of characters, while being so frustrated at them at the same time. This made me love this book.
Profile Image for Myndi .
1,371 reviews50 followers
March 8, 2019
Another book from my library's display for Teen Dating Violence Awareness month. This one was different, in that it was told from the perspective of the abuser. In past books, I've had trouble reading a story told from the "bad guy's" point of view, but in this one I found myself sympathizing with him at certain times.

I like how the story is told through a journal writing exercise and how Nick ends up understanding more about himself and his life through the exercise. I really enjoyed the character Mario and how he related to the guys in his class. His story was a very sad one and I like that it was included in a book of this nature. And even though it crushed me, I think it was wise of the author to include what happened to Leo and his girlfriend. I think it's important to show all the bad sides of this situation and not just the ones where the person learns from what they've done.

The ending was a good one for me. I like how Nick chose to continue his life and the conversation with his father. I also like that there wasn't some big happy ending... more like sort of a normal moving on from this chapter in their lives.

I think more teens should get out there and read these kind of heavy-hitting books and I'm so impressed with the authors who are writing them.
Profile Image for Danielle Lee.
196 reviews2 followers
July 15, 2020
This book is a very personal account of a young man who abuses his girlfriend and his journey to healing !

There isn’t much I can say without giving it away , but the story is moving ; The message invaluable and super important ! The message of self love and self respect ! I feel that the lessons the young man learned by the end of the book are priceless!! I really appreciate a book like this !

The book is written in a journaling style Instead of chapters which is something different and unique . The author writes in short, concise sentences which leaves the reader the chance to make connections about the characters and their personalities !

I enjoyed this a lot !
Profile Image for Ayesha Alam.
1 review
June 1, 2023
I hadn't cried in long. Thank you, Alex Flinn. This book is about Nick, a 16 y/o, and his anger management journey after he's under restraining order for hitting his girlfriend. His relationship with his father and friends is complicated and he learns what manhood really is towards the end.

It was a crazy read, because I never thought I'd be pitying Nick, but I was and despite his behavioural issues, wanted to read his side of the story.

"Maybe it doesn't excuse it. Maybe it explains it". What a phenomenal and emotional experience.
Profile Image for Rose.
1,872 reviews1,055 followers
September 13, 2011
Probably one of the best books on abusive relationships I've read/heard in the scheme of YA fiction. And what surprises me is that it's written in the eye of the abuser. Nick Andreas is seemingly the perfect high school student - gets good grades, plays on the football team, overall a stand up guy, at least on the surface. But Nick hits rock bottom when his girlfriend, Caitlin, files for a restraining order against Nick for hitting her. Nick doesn't believe he did anything wrong, but he faces a reality check with not only operating under the terms of the restraining order, but also having to attend anger management classes, and adhere to community service. Thus begins Nick's journey into recalling what really happened in his relationship with Caitlin, as he toggles between the past (written inside a journal he keeps) and the present day, where he has to deal with the aftermath of his actions. And he has to come to terms with the fact that he was not only an abuser, but also being abused by his controlling father.

This novel was a heartbreaking, insightful read for me, and I couldn't put it down, to be honest. Even after it ends, the issues that it brings to light stick with you and make you think about all the persons involved in the unfolding events. It's very realistic. Nick is a dimensional character that while one could hate the things he does/thinks/acts upon, one could also feel sympathetic in his situation because you're watching him learn and change in recognizing the measure of his actions. I found myself really hoping that he'd get help, and Flinn does an excellent job of getting inside his head - both on the level of the brutality as well as coming to reason and assuming responsibility.

I think that this is a book that teens can relate with, not just on the level of real issues within the life of a teen, but also providing insight into how real and frightening relationship abuse can be. But I think it also provides a lesson into how important it is to take responsibility for ones actions, and then start the process of being able to move forward. Nick's character ultimately does this, but it isn't without reasonable weight that I think will resonate with readers long after they finish the book.

Wonderful audiobook narration by Jon Cryer.

Overall score: 4.5/5
Profile Image for Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts).
660 reviews231 followers
September 19, 2019
I suppose I'll mention this was one of the books we just finished in English. Apparently, I think that Breathing Underwater is the best book so far in the school year that was required reading. (Notice I didn't say the best book I've ever read...)

Nick seems to be a person who is quite spoiled and probably has the perfect life being handsome, popular and rich. Beneath the surface though (see what I did there?) he's abused by his father often and has taken out his anger on others as well, such as Caitlin. As a result, there are many consequences due to Nick's actions. It make me really sad to hear that his father was abusive though. Comparing my very own life to Nick's life, my life seems to be easy as pie.

I don't seem to have a lot of reaction from this book. I typically don't read YA Realistic Fiction that much on my own when I look on my list of Books Read.

Why I really gave it such a high rating is the dramatic storyline and the emotional process that Nick takes to recover and learn from his many mistakes that really makes his life far from perfection when he takes an anger management.

Though I don't typically read Realistic Fiction, I highly recommend that if you enjoy reading Realistic Fiction, you read the book. As mentioned earlier, the book has a dramatic storyline and is an emotional and powerful read.

This review was originally posted on Bookwyrming Thoughts
Profile Image for Cassi Davila.
9 reviews
September 21, 2009
Cassi Davila
Breathing Underwater
Alex Flinn
263 pgs.
Sep. 6,2009

Nick Andreas was a confused young man. I believe he really loved Caitlin, and that he changed and was willing to love again. But I do believe Caitlin had every right to make the decision to not trust him again. I wouldn't. She was hurt and Nick did everything in his power to make her feel inferior to him. That makes me furious as a young woman reading this book, but by the end of the book i feel sympathetic towards him because he realized what he did. It wasn't his fault that he grew up to be like that, it was his father's. And the fact that he did not have a mother to teach him how to treat a woman. He had no right to hit a woman. But his backround does make you understand that you shouldn't judge before you know the whole story. He knew that no matter how hard he tried, he would never get Caitlin back. And he never should. Nick was selfish in the beginning, and thought that just a slap was okay. He changed completely after taking the class, and the death of his friend Leo, and realized that life is too short and should be taken in, not wasted.
Profile Image for Ashley.
1,611 reviews140 followers
April 7, 2014
Wow. This book makes me a little sick to my stomach. And it hurts. It hurts a lot. It's the story of an abusive relationship, but rather than the voice of the girl, the victim, we are in the head of the boyfriend, the abuser. And I surprisingly found myself... not sympathetic, exactly, but something. I felt for him, wished he'd open his eyes to things, realize how hurtful and cruel he was. He also demonstrated some stellar character growth. Not enough that I think Caitlin should ever go back to him, but enough that if/when he gets involved in a new relationship, I won't constantly be terrified for her safety. He grew and matured a lot and he began to take responsibility for his actions, to understand where he went wrong and that what he was doing WAS wrong. This is a book that NEEDS to be read by more people.

Update: I just reread this one on audio, and wow. Its hard to listen to. and I love it. It hurts, it angers me, it moved me, and I wish more people knew of this book. I've read several other books by this author, and this one is far and away, her best in my opinion.
Profile Image for Loz Cook.
19 reviews5 followers
February 16, 2008
Starting to read this book I had a totally different view of what it was going to be about and i'm glad to say that it made me think very differently by the time it was finished. I thought this book was great. It is so innovative and interesting to me.
This book drew me in very quickly and I really enjoyed the styles involved and each one had me anxious to get to the next part where that style would be continued. I thought it was very well done how Flinn managed to have me invest myself in the reading and by the end I was really feeling for Nick.
I found it really interesting how Nick was shown the error of his ways by writing it down. It’s one thing that I never really did growing up. I never wrote a journal, but recently I have been urged to try my hand at creative non-fiction. My writings have taken on a very personal vein and have been so cathartic to me.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kristina Čechová.
Author 3 books81 followers
January 31, 2015
Jak mně se do téhle knihy nechtělo. Jak moc jsem měla dávivou předtuchu, že tohle bude další klasické počteníčko pro děvčata, ze kterého jsem už vyrostla. Jak moc jsem se spletla. Kniha byla skvělá. Rozhodně si myslím, že by se měla dostat do podvědomí hlavně mladým mužům, protože tenhle příběh doslova křičí myšlenkou "jsem násilník a neuvědomuji si to." Hlavním hrdinou je zde Nick, nechtěné dítě, o kterého se stará jeho otec. Má všechno. Peníze, auto, bydlení na pláži. Díky tvrdé výchově vlastního otce se toto naučené chování projevuje i na Nickovi, který nechápe a neví, že by něco dělal špatně. Kniha tak začíná tím, že je soudem odkázán na léčbu, jelikož napadl svoji přítelkyni. Jak se celý příběh vyvine, zda se Nick změní, zda se postaví svému otci, zda získá zpět svou dívku a své přátelé... o tom všem je tato kniha. "Vždycky něco ztratíš, abys něco získal." Výborná kniha!!!
5 reviews
February 1, 2013
This was SO not what I was expecting. Knowing that Alex Flinn writes modernized fairy tales, I decided to read this. But what did I get? A depressing and upsetting story about a stupid, insecure kid with anger issues who stalks some chick until they fall "in love". This "love" consists of him controlling her whole life and her totally letting him do it, until one day he cracks, beats her publicly, and -- strangely -- she never wants to talk to him again. Gets a restraining order and everything. Both kids were idiots. The only redeeming feature of this book is that the girl never let the guy back into her life, try as he might. At least she was smart enough for that. Yeah, this was not exactly the fairy tale I was hoping for.
Profile Image for Audrey Henning.
119 reviews14 followers
September 18, 2015
I really enjoyed this book, but it was quite difficult to read.

It's about an abusive relationship and it's told from the abuser's point of view.

It was a book I can relate too, mainly because I was in Caitlin's position. As someone who was in an abusive relationship/marriage for many years, this book is incredibly honest. I could feel her pain all those times that she was verbally assaulted and abused. This book was a quick read, but I did have to take a break and put it down for a few minutes at some points because it does get pretty intense and it brought back a lot of unpleasant memories for me.

This book is written mostly through Nick's journal entries. Out of all the protagonists I've read about, he is probably one of the most detestable.
Profile Image for Natrat.
12 reviews
September 25, 2015
When you start reading this book you will feel bad for Nick, but when he writes in his journal what he has done, bye bye sympathy. This book is an emotional roller coaster for all you romance lovers. But you also will feel bad for Nick when you realize his dad is much to blame for his actions. This is my favorite book I have read so far in my years, and one of the weirdess point of view, A GUY. This book is also very good for the ladys who want to find out how guys think, I woudlnt have know how they thought after this book. (very diffrent than you think) Cant wait to read the sequal!!
Profile Image for Kelli.
88 reviews12 followers
March 17, 2015
This book explores a relationship that slips and slides between all that is harmful and also that is now non-existent- the logical consequences of Nick's wicked and controlling temper. Great story about finding yourself. The book shares how a temper out of control demands self-awareness as results burn down around Nick as he missed Caitlyn. This is a book for all girls who have overbearing boyfriends or the potential to date someone with "trouble" and bad boy written on them. I loved watching the main character (Nick) transform and learn the source of his fire.
Profile Image for Amy.
Author 5 books346 followers
April 6, 2009
This book is told in the perspective of a teen guy who abuses his girlfriend. The voice is very realistic, and the author does a great job of getting in the head of an abuser. There's no other book told from this POV on the subject, so it's a must read!
May 6, 2020
Breathing Underwater was an interesting book it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as good as the other ones I have read this year. It had interesting point but the fun part about it is that it’s in the guy’s point of view Nick. The fun part of the book is that it has dates and has an explanation to everyday until he tells how everything happened the day, he hit her and the fact that he hit her and then wanted to get her a ring after like if nothing had happened. When he saw her again after he slapped her the fact that he said I hit her, but I didn’t even hit her hard. You should just never hit a girl so know Nick that he lost Caitlin he wants to get her back with anything he can do but know she doesn’t want to. You have to lose something to really want it bad enough to do crazy stuff. It’s crazy how every relationship can go like with Nick and Caitlin when they started, they were happy and then they started having a lot of problems. But Nick had great grades with everything that he had going on with Caitlin because she had put a restraining order on Nick. So, Nick had to start going to counseling talks with other guys that had problems. The judge made him write in a notebook every day that he had spent with Caitlin. This book was just a little bit of everything and had a lot to say about relationships and how you should respect each other so something like Nick and Caitlin doesn’t happen to your relationship.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
December 13, 2022
Breathing underwater by Alex Flinn

When I first chose to read breathing underwater I wasn’t sure what to expect I thought it would simply be a book about a high schooler struggling in life, but in the book you’re either hating Nick for something he did or said, or feeling bad for something he went through and then you like him again but he is always ending up in a worse situation because of something he did that he could’ve easily prevented. This is why the book was so addictive of course and by the end of the book I did feel some sort of fulfillment even though he didn’t get exactly what he wanted. Something else stepped in the way and he was alright with that.

Along with this the book was amazing. I'm not usually a big reader but I could barely put it down once I started reading. It has a lot of plot twists which helps add tension when he gets in trouble or stands up for himself against the antagonist(his father) and that is his moral dilemma. The man who influenced his previous choices which made him lose everything. The plot is really well developed and you really feel attached to the characters. By the end I also noticed how you may hate Nick, but you really feel where he’s coming from. So I highly recommend this book if you are into dramas or like a lot of emotion in the arguments and have a hard time finding books you like to read.
Profile Image for Chaitra.
136 reviews9 followers
October 24, 2017
3.5 Stars

Ever feel like you’re breathing underwater, and you have to stop because you’re gulping in too much fluid?

Reading a book from the point of view of an abusive guy is not something I ever thought I would do. Because there's no justification for inflicting pain voluntarily over a person, however much you may have suffered. That's not what this book is about. It is not a justification.

It's a window. To his thoughts, why he does what he does. And I have to say, I never really thought of it before. It makes me uncomfortable, but that's a good thing, right? The only place where this book failed was it felt a little too impersonal. It's like reading a powerful monologue that doesn't touch you, but shocks you.
1 review
March 16, 2018
I really enjoyed reading this book, it was both intriguing and interesting. I may read it again because I want to know every detail of this book. I was so excited for the ending the whole time, because I wanted to see what happened to the couple. It was a little confusing to read because he was telling a story of his past, but also talking in present form. I got confused at times weather he was talking about. I would recommend this book, it really gets to your heart, you are constantly wondering what might happen next, and the ending kind of surprises you. I think this is a great book for someone my age, it introduces to them relationships, reality, and highs school.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,128 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.