Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn

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Review: Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn
Breathing UnderwaterBreathing Underwater by Alex Flinn is written as a series of journal entries. The journal is written by Nick as an assignment from the judge who also sends him to anger management after the girlfriend he beat up finally presses charges. The book was published in 2001, before the recent increase in dating violence novels, and it tells a story often overlooked, that of the abuser instead of the abused.

It 's a delicate subject. And it tells a hard story. Because while Nick is (obviously) not without his faults, he most certainly has his good points as well. And as I read I found myself feeling... not sympathetic, exactly, but definitely feeling something, more than I thought
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The group anger management class ends up being the best thing that ever happened to Nick, both because of the sympathetic and understanding instructor, and because Nick can see himself in the actions of some of the other members of the class and he doesn 't like what he sees. For such self-assessment to come from a 16 year old who then takes it and applies it to making himself better is amazing. Nick really grows as a person and while I don 't think Caitlin should ever take him back, I also think that he would not easily allow himself to fall back into the patterns of an abusive relationship. He really gets it.

This is a story that needed to be told and needs to be read by more people. I don 't think enough people know about this book and I don 't think it 's one that should be missed. It 's painfully hard to read at times. Nick doesn 't hide the nasty things he said to Caitlin, because in the beginning, he doesn 't think there is anything wrong with what he 's done. And then, as he begins to recognize what was wrong with his actions, he starts to expose more of his internal motivations for being so cruel and the thought to action correlation begins to make more sense.

Flinn is brave for taking an oft told story and telling the unspoken side of things. It would be easy, in a novel
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