“Their friendship went so far back, it bordered on the Biblical-in the beginning, there was Nina and Avery and Mel.” So says high school senior Nina Bermudez about herself and her two best friends, nicknamed “The Bermudez Triangle” by a jealous wannabe back on Nina’s eleventh birthday. But the threesome faces their first separation when Nina goes away the summer before their senior year. And in ten short weeks, everything changes. Nina returns home bursting with stories about Steve, the quirky yet adorable eco-warrior she fell for hard while away. But when she asks her best friends about their summer romances, an awkward silence follows. Nina soon learns the shocking truth when she sees Mel and Avery . . . kissing. Their friendship is rocked by what feels like the ultimate challenge.
This was a very pacey read. The book’s about 384 pages long and things are not rushed along, which was fine with me as I wasn’t in any hurry to finish it.
The Bermudez Triangle started out as a book about friendship which turned into one about coming to terms with one’s sexuality and ultimately a test of the changing dynamics of friendship between the closest of girl friends.
Generally, it takes some time for me to get into a third person narrative because 90% of the time I read first person narratives. Which is not to say I don’t like third person narratives, I like them very much if they are written well, as is applicable to all other books. It just so happens that most YAs are written in the first person. As for this book, it took me no time at all. The crisp prose and the vividly fleshed out characters pulled me right in. There is so much heart in Maureen Johnson’s understanding of characters — Nina, struggling with feeling left out by her best friends on her return, Avery, confused and angry about her sexuality and the repercussions of it in her world, Mel, coming out to her family and friends and nurturing a broken heart.
The character development is really well-done. You can really feel the changes in the three girls as they face perhaps, one of the biggest challenges of their life – coming to terms with what/who they really are. For instance, Nina has always considered herself as someone who isn’t homophobic. Yet, when she sees her best friends making out, her emotions contradict her reason and that struggle within herself makes her so very real.
In fact, the dynamics change so much that my favourite character at the beginning became my least favourite as the reading progressed. Not that I disliked her (that would be villainizing) but I liked the others more.
This was my first Maureen Johnson novel (yes, it was long awaited). It didn’t exactly shoot up to my favourites list, but I liked reading it.
I will be looking forward to reading more books by the author. I’m especially curious about her upcoming title, The Name Of The Star (Shades of London #1). I think it has an interesting story. And do you see the Briton on the cover? 😉
Have you read any Maureen Johnson book? What are you reading now?