I had been following Maureen Johnson’s tweets for several weeks before I found this book at the library bookstore. She has a great charm and wit about her, and I was curious to see how that would translate into her writing.
I was not disappointed. Even though they are seniors in high school, I related on some level with all three of the members of “the Bermudez Triangle”: Nina, the studious, hyper-involved overachiever with a huge heart; Avery, the musically gifted and impulsive rebel; and Mel, the sweet, shy friend who must grow up very quickly once she embraces who she really is.*
One of my favorite things about the book was Johnson’s treatment of the girls’ sexualities. One is definitely straight, another definitely gay, and another definitely confused. She doesn’t automatically equate “confused” with “bi” (although that is addressed quite eloquently somewhere in the dialogue) and did not romanticize the character’s fluid sexuality. The character was truly CONFUSED, with all the good and bad that comes along with it.
I have more to say but my reflections are rife with spoilers. The bottom line is that this is something I’d want my daughter/niece to read when she gets into high school. Of course, by the time this happens, my daughter/niece might relate to Nina, Avery, and Mel in the same way that I relate to Nancy Drew. But I will persevere in my quest!
*I don’t necessarily relate on these levels. For descriptive purposes only.