February 9, 2017 by Zoë
“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. But it’s only the beginning of a sometimes painful, sometimes funny, always gripping journey as three girls discover who they are and what they really want.
I picked up The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson many, many years ago because it looked like a quick, fun read. And it was. And I thought I’d never read it again. But then I checked it out from the library a few months later. I thought that would definitely be the last time. Several re-reads later, I finally broke down and bought a copy because I realized this is one book that I just keep coming back to.
Each re-read, there’s a different aspect that drew me back to the book. Either it’s the Avery’s confusion about her sexuality, or Nina’s struggles with a long distance relationship, or Avery’s music school application process, or Nina being biracial, or Mel’s cute relationship with her father. Or it’s just because Maureen Johnson’s writing style is such fun to read: full of little diversions and interesting descriptions.
Plus, despite being full of romantic relationship drama, this book is ultimately about friendship, which makes a nice break from all the romance you find in YA books. This is a realistic portrayal of friendships falling apart and coming back together. The characters are well-developed, the secondary characters are just as interesting as the three main characters, and it’s all feels very real.
Even the romantic relationship drama feels real and believable, especially between Mel and Avery. Being a teenager is about being confused and about trying to figure things out and making mistakes. One of the things that stands out the most to me every single time I read this book is how easy it is to empathize with Avery even as she hurts her friends and wallows in confusion.
This book, really, is just great. There’s something in this book for everyone, and there’s something in this book for every mood, which is why I always end up circling back to it at least once or twice a year.