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LGBT > The Bermudez Triangle

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message 1: by Lydia (new)

Lydia (loverofinformation) | 596 comments Nina, Avery and Mel are each points of a triangle, that has given the strength to endure most anything. Until the day Nina leaves for a summer pre-college program and has a long distance boyfriend, while Avery and Mel engage in a lesbian relationship. Somehow, their relationships threaten the end of the Bermudez Triangle. Their friends, school mates, lovers and distance seems to be tearing not just the relationship they have had since middle school, but any future relationships they might have.

This novel seems to be almost "too full". There are several characters of mixed race; lesbian relationships; boy-as-friend; tolerant parents; intolerant parents. It just seems like you name issues in adolescent relationships and you will them represented in some way, shape or form in this novel. Meanwhile, while I do appreciate the focus on lesbian relationships, as opposed to the LGBT novels that focus on male-to-male relationships; the question becomes what is the real focus of this novel? What particular theme did the author mean to put forth?

Is this a romance? An LGBT novel? A contemporary novel? Plus, I find the characters difficult to differentiate from each other. Avery is originally portrayed as the reticent shy one, but she is pretty strong by the end of the novel. Mel who is supposed to be a boy-magnet never comes across that way. Several times I found myself going back to previous chapters and consulting the back cover page to keep track of which character was which.

Perhaps those adolescents who are into contemporary "girl-pack" styles will find this enjoyable. As a critical reader of YA, I did not find this totally enjoyable.


message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy I have it on my to be read list. So would you say it was worth the read?


message 3: by Lydia (new)

Lydia (loverofinformation) | 596 comments Well, Amy, I'm quite conflicted about that. I do think it should be read and discussed. I'm curious what others would say.


Angela Sunshine (angelasunshine) I read it, too. I enjoyed it overall. I do agree that there was A LOT going on. Maureen Johnson definitely tried to cover multiple scenarios in her book, all of which need to be covered. Maybe not all in the same novel, though...

I liked that The Bermudez Triangle allowed the characters to change their minds. It's OKAY to not know definitively how you feel. Whether you like guys or girls or both.

Was it my favorite book? No. But it was written in a way that I think kids will enjoy and ultimately, they are the target audience, and the ones who need to read acceptance.


message 5: by Lydia (new)

Lydia (loverofinformation) | 596 comments I agree Angela


message 6: by Charlizechat (new)

Charlizechat | 30 comments I'm a big fan of this book. --I agree there's a lot going on in it. But it's an ambitious book that's moving through a period of great messiness in the three heroines' lives. Personally I didn't think the book ever 'lost the thread' or became incoherent as an artistic whole. It ends on some unresolved notes but with a sense of optimism. The friends have grown significantly and they're still friends. The multiple romantic entanglements all have a kind of urgency and realism I find enthralling.

Johnson is one of the wittiest and most energetic YA writers, in my view. I actually find her hugely popular "13 Little Blue Envelopes" much less polished than this; but even so, she always has an elan about her that many well-meaning YA authors lack. For me, "The Bermudez Triangle" is a peak achievement.


message 7: by Lydia (new)

Lydia (loverofinformation) | 596 comments Very interesting, Char. I am thinking about the idea that the characters grew so much and it ended on a note of optimism.


message 8: by Kellee (last edited Sep 09, 2011 09:36PM) (new)

Kellee Moye (kelleemoye) I agree Charlize- Normally I hate when books don't have a clear resolution, but the optimism at the end of the book makes me know that everything will be okay thus allowing me to make my own conclusions. Usually when books don't resolve, they don't feel whole; however this one did.

Angela & Lydia- I never felt that it was too full; I just think that it was realistic. If you think back to senior year of high school, much of what was happening in the book is what actually happened to many- questioning the future, loving and losing, figuring out your identity, etc.

I really enjoyed how the narrative switches between point of views so you can see how each is dealing (though I wish the switches were marked better... Sometimes it was hard to figure out for a second). I also wish that more of Avery's POV had been included because she did a couple things that I still don't understand (though teenagers tend to do things that no one, even themselves, understand). Lastly, I just loved the way that Maureen dealt with sexuality- so truthfully.


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