Warm, humorous, and smoothly readable story of three girls who’ve been friends forever. Nina, Avery, and Mel are the “Bermudez Triangle”. THE BERMUDEZ TRIANGLE. Maureen Johnson, Author. Penguin/Razorbill $ (p) ISBN Biphobia and The Bermudez Triangle: An Open Letter to Maureen Johnson jcatgrl: “ Dear Maureen, When my mother got me The Bermudez.
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I even tweeted you about it. I had read books with queer characters before, of course for a bisexual bibliophile, there is no better path beemudez self-discoverybut I had never owned any for myself. I could not wait to begin reading it. Life interfered, however, and a week and a half passed before I could find the time to get more than a couple pages in.
I loved it dearly, and you must trust me when I say that I have exacting standards honed by large quantities of novel-length slashfic. I am very difficult to please. But you met those standards, just as you did in The Name of the Star, which was the first of your books I read. Well, one gets used to such deptictions in the media, so I made a displeased face and moved on.
That one stung me. More, it was like a kick to the shin: I realize that the views of a character are not necessarily the views of the author, but that line muareen enough that I had to put the book down for some time.
Thank you for bermdez letter. I take this extremely seriously, and it saddened me deeply that anything I wrote might make you feel lesser about your bisexuality. Whatever you TOOK from the book is valid, but it does sadden me deeply that that is what you got. I reply because you asked and wrote such a nice letter and I wanted to tell you a little mauteen what I was doing, or trying to do.
I can only tell you that this was not my intention. I went into that book only wanting to make something good. I wanted to paint the picture complexly, warts and all. Bermkdez I wanted to do, more than anything, was to make teenagers that were real. I did a series of interviews with lesbian and bisexual women, asking them quite specifically about their experiences coming out in high school. As you can imagine, I got a wildly differing set of replies. I asked what book they would have wanted to see as teenagers—what kind of book would have spoken to a young lesbian or bisexual girl, and the answer I got was really just—ones with them in it.
Ones with an actual story and a romance and real stuff.
THE BERMUDEZ TRIANGLE
That was the key. Avery is moving around not because she is bi, but because she is seventeen. She only dates two people in the book—Mel and Gaz. Wanting to make out with two different people when you are seventeen or really, any age is not sex addition. The same thing happens to Nina.
Gay, straight, bisexual, anywhere on the spectrum—age seventeen is going to throw you some curveballs. Most people have no idea what they want at seventeen.
There are a lot of options out there. Of course she can settle down! None of them are. At its heart, Bermudez is jlhnson story about friendship, and what you do with friendship when some of the friends begin to date.
The romance part of this story had a full arc—it was about a getting together, a being together, and a breaking up. One person in this book had to be the breaker-upper jonson one person the dumpee.
Biphobia and The Bermudez Triangle: An Open Letter |
Breakups are always bad. Breakups make weird crap go through our heads, bermuxez matter what side we are on. Because we currently live in a goofy, hetronormative world that falsely assumes everyone is cisgendered—we get problems when normal, healthy kids start to come into their sexual natures and smack up against this wall of garbage.
Avery, griangle, has this in her head. But then, she realizes that she also likes guys. They used to spend a bazillion hours a day together, but that can be super-weird when you date. They have to cross the friend-girlfriend divide, and not everyone survives the crossing.
This is totally normal. And when you realize you might break up with someone you really have deep feelings for, the confusion and the self-loathing come up. Avery basically asks herself—what the hell is wrong with me?
This is something almost every person asks themselves one time or another, for a million different reasons. We tell ourselves we should be better or smarter or faster or nicer or berudez or more productive or blahblahblahblahblah. Anything but what we are. But, still, she is breaking jognson.
Because people break up. And Avery, who does not pull punches, turns on herself as the person doing the breaking. She does use commentary that comes from the world at large, commentary that happens to be bullshit. People do break up. Avery feels deeply responsible and guilty about what she feels tiangle must do. It just sucks so bad. Had Avery managed the breakup and never felt bad, she would have been kind of a monster. What you are saying is totally understandable.
The Bermudez Triangle : Maureen Johnson :
On the whole, I think Avery is, because she often has the most accurate take on a situation. Except when mxureen comes to herself. Avery is a grouch, and I happen to love msureen. I see triangoe wrong with her grouchiness. The roiling feelings she has now will mellow with experience. We now reach the part where I consider talking about all the people who write and talk about how Bermudez helped them in a good way and was exactly the book they needed. I will accomplish that in the previous, rather awkward sentence.
It reached some people. And I DO understand. I might do it differently now, as I now know more about the general sweep of YA lit. And things have changed in the last ten years. I might keep grumpy Avery just as grumpy as ever, and I might have her say the same things to herself, as people do say these kinds of things to themselves. And some books will hit with some people and miss with others. And maybe I screwed the tringle thing up, but I certainly tried.
Never doubt that I tried.
So, okay, now you have my thought process in the creation of this part of the story. Does it make ANY difference? There will bermudeez be a gulf between the writing of the book and how it reaches the reader. After that, it is your book. And I will tell you how extremely happy it makes me that there are happy and out bisexual girls out there. More of this, please. Because, ten years out from the writing of that book, this is what I was hoping we would have more of. Maurern more and more until every one of these walls of garbage comes down.
I will also tell you that Johnzon will tighten my thinking cap when it comes to my bisexual characters. There is much in the commentary for me to think about.
I only want to be better in this regard. Also, I am thrilled to pieces for your personally for coming out in an atmosphere that was homophobic. You win, you win, you win. Take me to task any time you like. I may reply, but I reply thinking you are awesome. The name was changed because Penguin suggested giving it a new title to give it a new lease on life in a re-release.
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