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The Bermudez Triangle: 04/19/13

cover art

The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson is about the on going challenges of an evolving friendship. While Nina, the ersatz leader of a trio of friends, is away at Stanford for leadership camp, friends Mel and Avery become more than just BFFs. Nina returns to find her friends acting different towards her, each other and their classmates. When she finds out why she had to deal with her own conflicted feelings.

Nina, Avery and Mel all take turns (more or less). The story is told through first person point of view and emails. The jumps from character to character seem forced at times. As Avery and Mel work at the same awful Irish themed restaurant / bar, early on I got confused over which was which. They melded into one character — except that one's a lesbian and one isn't sure, except that she knows she's attracted to her long time friend in a compelling way that she can't explain.

Johnson does a good job of avoiding the usual stereotypes and cliched high-drama parental confrontation scenes. But I still had trouble connecting with Nina — the loudest voice in the group, and Mel, the one who is confident in her sexual orientation. Avery — the confused / conflicted member of the group was by far the most interesting and I wish she had been better developed both as a character and in her character arc. Her sense of conflict seemed mostly there just to isolate Mel and Nina.

Three stars

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