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Publisher's Summary

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 father than green eyes and money.

In a harrowing journey of self-discovery, Nick learns the truth about himself - and that the phrase "like father, like son" can carry terrifying possibilities.

©2001 Alexandra Flinn (P)2002 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"A gripping tale." (Publishers Weekly)

"Jon Cryer brilliantly captures the surly, sullen tone of 16-year-old Nick Andreas' first-person narration.... Cryer's pacing is spot-on as he rides the roller coaster of Nick's fury, passion, lust, and yearning.... Flinn's popular YA novel gains added depth and power through this superb audio production." (AudioFile

"An open and honest portrayal of an all-too-common problem." (School Library Journal

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Missye
  • Gettysburg, PA, United States
  • 08-05-09

Compelling Reading of an Important Story

I initially picked up this book to see how its title compared with my soon-to-be-published MG read BREATHE, then understood it had nothing to do with that at all.

Domestic abuse knows no boundaries, and the affluent have their share of said concerns as does anyone else. Nic Andreas is a 16 year old in love with his first girlfriend--yet he can't show love to her not knowing he didn't learn it from his home life to begin with. Thankfully, the author of this book doesn't turn the ending into a typical Brady Bunch one, nor does it hold an "Afterschool Special"-esque romp through a serious issue. How Nic handles his problems--or more accurately, how he was forced to handle his business--is a refreshing, touching, sometimes witty look inside the many hearts and souls of abused and abusing men. This story does any guy in Nic's position justice and kudos to Flinn in telling this from the male's POV as gracefully as she does for a change.

You won't see this book on one of Oprah's Book Club selections, though considering this topic is often on her program, it should be. I found myself feeling for the characters deeper emotions than just sorry or regret, to my surprise; I wanted to get deeper why abuse does what it does, and how to resolve that voice when it still hits close to home.

My one issue with this read: the author fails to resolve why Nic's mother isn't in the picture. . .but as a writer, I understand within the context of the story why the author didn't spell this out. It's already understood why she's not around--and for Nic to relive this would've sunk this otherwise fine read into the politically correct, touchy-feely tissue-fest afterschool specials and Oprah is well-known for. I don't thing Nic's finding this out would've boded well for him, either.

This download comes highly recommended and is one of many re-reads that'll remain in my library.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Amazing book - intense but great story

!! *** First off, this book details abuse in a romantic relationship (and touches on child abuse) - if this is something you've experienced or you're sensitive towards, I recommend you don't listen *** !!

So insightful, it gives a look into the mind of the abuser - how they think and how they rationalize their actions. It's got a little taste of that "rich kids in high-school" setting. Very little "dirty" moments - the scenes that may be deemed "dirty" have very little details (I'd rate it PG-13.) There is a moderate touch of romance, how he thinks of this girl, the things he says, etc. but it's easily displaced with his actions. There is wonderful character development and the book is so well-balanced - touching on his past and re-focusing the listener on his present. It never gets boring.

Also, Jon Cryer's voice is just perfect - his tone, pronunciation, make the book really easy to listen to and not at all boring. I really wish he narrated more books.

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brutally honest

There are certain things and topics that paint horrible pictures...pictures we try hard to ignore, or pretend they don't exist. This book paints it with bold strokes and sheds a cleansing light on it. Bravo! I found myself on the receiving end, and this book was very insightful.

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étonnante

I personally loved everything including the concluding chapter between Nick and Tom, narrating was on point as well.

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I love this book

This book feels as real as anything I've been through. What a great great book!!

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My Class loves it!

I teach 10 grade English and selected this book for our short novel. The students love it! The good readers are ahead of the audio and the lower level readers are keeping up and want to borrow the audio after class! This says volumes about the book! Great read and excellent reader!

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  • Alieski
  • Miami, FL, United States
  • 08-05-12

Want To Read An Amazing Book Then Read This One

Would you listen to Breathing Underwater again? Why?

I would listen to Breathing Underwater again because its a good book and the audio it amazing.