Reviewed by Julie M. Prince for TeensReadToo.com
If one more person tells 12-year-old Gabe Livingston that he needs to learn to "float above" his feelings or to "rise above" his anger, he'll lose it! Especially since all he ever wants to do is dive below the rest of the world...way below, like into a deep sea canyon. Gabe longs to be a marine explorer, like his hero, Jacques Cousteau.
Not only is the world below the surface beautiful and full of interesting life, it's nowhere near as chaotic and confusing as people. If the kids at school wouldn't make him so mad, if his mother wouldn't push him to go outside and play games he can't stand, everything would be fine. But, Gabe's constantly forced to deal with people and situations he wants nothing to do with, and he has to find a way to survive somewhere besides Underwater.
This character-driven novel has a strong voice in its main character. Gabe is a typical boy with typical problems, but they'll resonate deeply with young readers.
Like most kids this age, Gabe finds it difficult to control his emotions and anger. Things that make sense to him don't even seem to be on the radars of the people around him, and vice versa. He has frequent blow ups and feels frustrated and confused when he has to deal with the consequences. Especially when other kids seem to have everything go their way. Again, something to which nearly everyone can relate.
Watching Gabe Livingston learn to navigate the real world along with his beloved deep sea diving video game is priceless. Levy's character building and story telling skills are exceptional from page one. They make a quiet book speak volumes.