Book info

The Bermudez Triangle (2007)

The Bermudez Triangle (2007)
Rating
3.5 of 5 Votes: 5
ISBN
1595141553 (ISBN13: 9781595141552)
languge
English
publisher
razorbill
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The Bermudez Triangle (2007)
The Bermudez Triangle (2007)

About book: This is the first book I've read by Maureen Johnson, and I'm so glad I started with this one. I have to be honest: I actually met her at LeakyCon last summer, and while she was very nice and very intelligent, she struck me as slightly mad-scientist-y. I went into this book not quite knowing what to expect, because I was operating under the (severely misguided) assumption that it was going to be partly a reflection of her conversation skills and her mad-scientist-y personality, and then it apparently had this LGBT element...I was kinda scared. I judged her personality (harshly), and I judged this book (even more harshly) based on that. Because I suck. Turns out, I'm having crow for dinner. This is perhaps one of the best YA novels out there about girls and boys and the ways they support each other. It also talks about what's it like to be queer and confused and lonely, and what it's like to both love and be in love with another person (who might happen to be your best friend). It has complex characters, eager and sophisticated writing, oodles of pop culture references (which I happen to love in my YA), and also everyone's favorite literary device, kissing. (On the subject of the kissing: Maureen Johnson manages to make very subtle actions extremely adorable and romantic.) And of course some of you out there will pooh-pooh this book, writing it off as a whiny, trite romance novel with three severely unlikable protagonists, and to you I say: DO NOT DO THAT. Read the whole thing (yes, I'm talking to you, person who read only one third of this book and felt qualified to critique it). This book does deal heavily, damn near exclusively, in the territory of romance, and so you should be prepared to read about characters crying because their hearts get stomped on, but their crying is not without reason. Their hearts get stomped on pretty darned hard. And said heart-stomping is completely realistic and accurate: Johnson depicts the anxiety of long-distance relationships and blossoming first love in a realistic way. (I dare you to tell me you've never moped and/or wept over a significant other who broke your heart. I dare you!)One of the most important things about character-driven, literary YA is the characters, derp. And here is where Johnson delivers in spades, especially in the form of one third of the Bermudez Triangle: Melanie Forrest. The emotional odyssey that Mel endures over the course of 370 pages (pages not just devoted to her, but to a host of other characters and events) is one of the most poignant, inspiring journeys I've ever read about a fictional character. Because that's what novels are really all about: we read novels because we want to see characters (people like us) grow, or at the very least change significantly by the time we turn the last page. And boy does Melanie Forrest grow. One reviewer on here mentioned that Mel was the typical weak character, and I have to say that I strongly disagree. Mel starts out "weak," but by the end of the novel she has become a far cry from the girl she was in the first few pages. And that's the best part about the characters in this book: none of them are one-dimensional. Everyone is flawed somehow, asking for too much or too little, caring too much or not enough, trying to figure out how to forgive each other...no one is a total Mary Sue or a total Wonder Woman, and that makes them all so much more interesting. Anyway. Go. Read this as soon as you can. And aspiring YA authors: read this book closely. Study it. This is how you write YA that examines the troubling and exhilarating subject of first love.

This is more like 3.5 stars for me, mostly for the ending, which just fizzled out, after a strong beginning, strong middle, even strong leading up to the end . . . but the end was a nope. Rounding up though, because I’m just magnamimous like that.The Bermudez Triangle (I refuse to ackowledge its new title) follows Nina, Avery, and Mel, who have been best friends since they were small children. In the summer before their senior year, Nina goes away to a college prep program in California, and Avery and Mel . . . fall in love. When she comes back home, all three have to navigate around the new dynamics in their relationships. Nina feels like an outsider. Avery and Mel struggle with coming out (or not coming out) as a couple in their high school. And while Mel has pretty much always known she was gay, Avery only becomes more and more confused as the book goes on.I loved Mel. Loved her to bits. And although she frustrated me, I really liked reading about Avery’s struggles with her sexuality, trying to define who and what she was. The more confused she became, the more true to life it felt. Nina was interesting at first, and her struggle to fit herself back into the triangle of her previous friendship was pretty solid, but her romantic drama got more tiresome as the book went on. By the time the story was over, I didn’t care who she ended up with in the slightest. In fact, I don’t even remember how her story ended.The ‘meh’ of Nina for me was only a small problem, and until I got to the ending, I was ready to give this a solid four stars. And then somehow, the book managed an ending that was both cliche and incredibly anti-climactic. Without spoiling anything, the ending resolved the action of the plot, but not the emotion. I felt almost no resolution at all upon finishing the book. I’m not sure exactly why I felt this way, and it’s not like the ending ruined what came before it, only undercut it and made it feel less important somehow. It’s like if you watched a magician do a pretty great magic show for forty-five minutes–cutting edge illusions, low-key setting–and when it came time for the last trick, supposedly the best trick, the magician pulls his hat off his head, pulls a rabbit out of the hat, and then just sort of wanders off. The rabbit hops around for a while and then disappears. All of that? And then *that*? What was the point?Anyway, most of the book was really very good, and I shall try and remember it fondly.
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Reviews
Lizzie
I love this book's premise so, so, so very much. I think it does a marvelous job with a marvelous idea, and becomes a rather useful story about gay teenagers and friendship. I'm really glad it's a book. Some of the stuff holding it up didn't work as well for me, so this is gonna go on the record with 3 stars, because that weakness holds it back from being a really wonderful book. But it is a wonderful subject.A few things could have balanced a little better for me. My biggest problem was Nina an
Steph Su
It’s the summer before their senior year and Nina, Avery, and Mel are not spending their time together. Nina is going to leadership camp all the way in California, and Avery and Mel are working at a local Irish diner. What happens to all of them over the summer is so unexpected that no one can predict how it will change their friendship forever.At camp, Nina falls in love with Steve, her eco-warrior boyfriend. Steve is her first love, but he also happens to live in Oregon, 3000 miles away from where she lives in New York. Both are determined to remain together until they can see each other again the following year when they both get into Stanford for college, but until then they have to get through senior year.Nina comes home with her head full of Steve, only to stumble into shocking news: over the summer, Avery and Mel have kissed, and now they’re a couple! Nina is left feeling like a third wheel, but all is not paradise in her friends’ land. While Mel is certain she’s a lesbian, Avery’s having mixed feelings. Is it possible she only likes girls when the girl is her best friend, Mel?Senior year is a time of maturation and understanding for the three members of the “Bermudez triangle” (called that because Bermudez is Nina’s last name). While I found the ending a little too perfect, THE BERMUDEZ TRIANGLE is an excellently written book that explores the complications of love and friendship.
Ruthie
I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this book. All I really knew about it was that one of my favorite authors (John Green) is friends with the author, Maureen Johnson, and that there was some controversy awhile ago over whether or not the book was appropriate for school libraries. John Green had at the time said that it was a ridiculous discussion because there was nothing in the book that was remotely ban-worthy. Curious, I ordered the book, and I agree with him, there's no reason to ban this book."The Bermudez Triangle" deals with the topics of teen homosexuality, coming out, friendships, acceptance, and different kinds of love. Nina, Avery, and Mel have been friends for years and years, then Nina comes home from a summer learning experience to discover that Avery and Mel have started dating, and the world just gets more confusing from there.I thought this was beautifully handled. Regardless about how a person feels personally about homosexuality, the fact is that it's out there, and that some people feel that way and we need to love them, and our personal opinion of their choice shouldn't matter. These girls have to work through all of that, deal with haters and prejudice, and the general confusion of being teenagers in love. It's not easy for any of them, but in the end they work their way through it.One of the best things about this book is that the characters and situations feel realistic. Now that may sound strange coming from the mouth of someone who primarily reads fantasy, but within that genre my favorite books tend to be the one's where I can see the characters as being realistic people (in their given situation). Nina, Avery, Mel, and their friends, all felt like people that you could meet walking down the street. They each have their quirks of course, and they make mistakes, but the situations and their responses are some that you could find in any high school in America. It provides a perfect setting for the message of understanding that is laced through out the book.
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