Breathing Underwater

by Alex Flinn

Start Free Trial

What type of look does Nick believe Tom gave him in "Breathing Underwater"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn is a Young Adult novel that examines the main character the abusive relationships the main character, Nick, has with his father and with his girlfriend, Caitlin. At the beginning of the novel, Caitlin takes Nick to court for slapping her. Nick claims that it was just a slap and that he didn't hurt her, but as the story continues, the reader finds out just how abusive Nick was.

Nick's best friend Tom, who got Caitlin and Nick together in the first place, takes Caitlin's side and, for most of the novel, refuses to talk to him. In their first meeting at school after the court case, Nick says Tom sees him, and, "for a second, I think he'll smile, say hello, like maybe things will go back to normal." Instead, though, Tom puts his arm around Caitlin and tells her that he won't let Nick hurt her.

In the second meeting, Nick says Tom stares at him in Spanish class. Nick is looking at some old pictures of him and Tom on holiday and passes them onto Tom. At the end of the class, however, Tom gives them back to Nick. Nick says, "But I think I see something in his face . . . Like maybe he's sorry we're not still friends?"

At the end of the book, Tom finally forgives Nick after Caitlin tells him how abusive Nick's father is to him. Tom asks Nick why he didn't tell him earlier, and Nick infers that Tom is some kind of snob: "Tom looks at me like I loogeyed in his face." Eventually they make up, and by the end of the novel, they are best friends again.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial