Nov 20, Minutes Young Adult Buy. Nov 20, Minutes Young Adult. Grade 9 Up—Johnson begins this exceptional novel in a lightweight fashion but quickly segues into more serious issues that affect the three young women who make up the Bermudez Triangle. It is the summer before their senior year in Saratoga Springs, NY. At first, organized, serious Nina has trouble adjusting to her leadership workshop at Stanford University.

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The summer before senior year of high school, Mel and Avery become a couple. Mel identifies as a lesbian, while Avery refuses to pick any label. The path of their relationship—from friends, to swooning girlfriends, to enemies, back to friends—involves Nina, too, and also their new friend Parker. Meanwhile Nina has an up-and-down, long-distance romance with an environmentalist, while Parker goes from unattainable crush to unattainable crush.

Class issues come up sometimes, race almost never despite Nina being interracial while everyone else is white. Sprinkled-in pop-culture references range from spot-on to easily dated, but the characterizations of love—different kinds—are tender even when painful. An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments. Korean-American Lara Jean is finally settled into a nice, complication-free relationship with her white boyfriend, Peter.

The whirlwind of a wedding, college visits, prom, and the last few months of senior year provides an excellent backdrop for this final book about Lara Jean.

The characters ping from event to event with emotions always at the forefront. Han further develops her cast, pushing them to new maturity and leaving few stones unturned. This knowing subversion is frustratingly absent from the novel's denouement. Many teen novels touch on similar themes, but few do it so memorably.

Two struggling teens develop an unlikely relationship in a moving exploration of grief, suicide and young love. Violet, a writer and member of the popular crowd, has withdrawn from her friends and from school activities since her sister died in a car accident nine months earlier. Finch, known to his classmates as "Theodore Freak," is famously impulsive and eccentric. Following their meeting in the school bell tower, Finch makes it his mission to re-engage Violet with the world, partially through a school project that sends them to offbeat Indiana landmarks and partially through simple persistence.

Violet and Finch live, fortunately for all involved, in the sort of romantic universe where his throwing rocks at her window in the middle of the night comes off more charming than stalker-esque. The teens alternate narration chapter by chapter, each in a unique and well-realized voice. Finch's self-destructive streak and suicidal impulses are never far from the surface, and the chapters he narrates are interspersed with facts about suicide methods and quotations from Virginia Woolf and poet Cesare Pavese.

When the story inevitably turns tragic, a cast of carefully drawn side characters brings to life both the pain of loss and the possibility of moving forward, though some notes of hope are more believable than others. Already have an account? Log in. Trouble signing in? Retrieve credentials. Sign Up. Pub Date: Oct. No Comments Yet. More by Maureen Johnson. Lara Jean prepares for college and a wedding. Show all comments. More by Jenny Han. Google Rating.

New York Times Bestseller. Pub Date: Jan. Page Count: Publisher: Knopf. Review Posted Online: Oct. More by Jennifer Niven. More About This Book. Please sign up to continue. Almost there! Reader Writer Industry Professional. Send me weekly book recommendations and inside scoop. Keep me logged in. Sign in using your Kirkus account Sign in Keep me logged in. Need Help? Contact us: or email customercare kirkus. Please select an existing bookshelf OR Create a new bookshelf Continue.



This was a nice change to the usual stuff I read. Highschool students. University antics. I like how it was split between the lives of the three main characters. You get everyones I didn't like 13 Little Blue Envelopes because I didn't like the writing, and I didn't like the writing here much better. The characters seemed curiously flat and pretty broadly drawn.


The Bermudez Triangle

During the summer before their senior year, Nina heads cross-country to attend a summer program on Stanford's campus, while her two pals waitress at a local restaurant. One morning after Avery has spent the night at Mel's house, the two share a kiss on the lips. Some readers will find the descriptions of the duo's involvement overwrought or trite e. In a scenario totally lacking in subtlety, Nina just back from her program, at which she fell madly in love with a male student walks in on Avery and Mel while they are kissing in a store dressing room. Curiously, the novel's most sympathetic character is a supporting player, Parker, a funny and deep-feeling fellow who aspires—futilely—to date both Mel and Nina. Though the novel becomes more credible as it unfolds, for some readers, Johnson's tale may tread too close to soap opera turf, with its attendant stalled pace. Ages up.

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