In case you couldn’t tell from Tuesday’s post, I’m still reeling. It’s made me want to read something fluffy and LGBTQ related. Maureen Johnson’s The Bermudez Triangle (also called On the Count of Three) was the only one I had on hand.
Despite how I usually feel about her work, I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it.
Like in all her books, the characters are real, with all the strengths and flaws that come with it. The girls were the heart and soul of this book and the reason I kept reading when it got hard. I needed to know what happened to Mel and Nina. Even Avery, with all her mistakes, had me rooting for her in the end.
Mel’s storyline was the best part. There’s no other word for it: she blossoms. In the beginning, she’s timid and unsure. But once she comes to terms with the fact that she’s gay, she begins to mature and open up. She even learns to stand up for herself – in her own way, of course.
The characters’ reactions are just as authentic as the characters themselves. Nina’s shock and fear are explored before she settles into her role as best friend and comforter. Mel’s divorced parents argue until her dad tells her everything will be okay. Parker’s initial disappointment that she doesn’t return his feelings is evident, but he moves on and becomes her confidante. No one reacts perfectly, but most of them do their best. And Mel has enough support to deal with the ones who don’t.
So what’s the problem? I guess I’m just tired of people treating other people like crap and getting away with it. There’s a point where Nina says, “Sometimes you have to let people say they’re sorry.” That’s great and all, but how does she trust those people again? How does she know they really are sorry when they haven’t done anything different? It’s not quite the message of self-care and healthy relationships I was looking for.
Though the characters have grown, the end shows all the relationships have gone back to normal without anyone working for it. Maybe they can sometimes, but after everything else that happened, this “perfect ending” felt hollow.