The Bermudez Triangle

cover image for The Bermudez TriangleJohnson, Maureen. (2004). The Bermudez Triangle. New York, NY: Razorbill.

Plot Summary:

While Nina is off at pre-college for the summer – taking leadership classes, falling in love, and dealing with an off-kilter roommate –  her two best friends, Mel and Avery, serve up meals in their town’s kitschy Irish-themed restaurant and fall in love themselves – with each other.  As the start of their senior year inches ever closer, the friends look forward to being reunited.  Only, how will they ever tell Nina what’s happened?

Critical Evaluation:

The drama and complexity of Johnson’s tale comes not just from the interlocking triangles of friendship and love, but from the girls’ varying degrees of certainty and doubt about not only their feelings but their sexuality as well.  Taking the story beyond simply one of grudging or newly found tolerance, Nina worries that “people would assume she was gay as well.  Not that there was anything wrong with it – but she wasn’t,”  Avery resists being labeled, and Mel’s experiences with intolerance manage to be memorable while staying safely away from after school special territory.  The girls’ reactions ring clear and true, however muddled they may feel at the time, and will be instantly recognizable to a great many readers.

This is not Johnson’s best work and it drags a bit at times, but it is a quick read that offers a more nuanced exploration of sexual identity than is usually presented to teens.

Reader’s Annotation:

Falling in love with your best friend is what everyone wants, right?

Author Information:

http://www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com/blog/

@maureenjohnson

Genre:

Sexuality and Gender

Booktalking Ideas:

Reading Level/Target Age:

5ht grade/13-19

Potential Controversy:

Girls kissing.  And fooling around.  As if it was perfectly ok for them to do so!  Yes, this is one of Johnson’s most frequently challenged books.  It will be difficult, but not impossible, to convince adults that believe homosexuality is a sin that (other parent’s kids) have a right to read such stories if they wish to.

Reasons for Choosing This Title:

I chose this because I was deliberately looking for a book about homosexuality and girls, not boys, and – despite Annie on My Mind being a classic, there are not as many out there.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: