02 December 2013

Review: On The Count Of Tree by Maureen Johnson

On the Count of Three
On the Count of Three by Maureen Johnson

Genres: Young adult, glbt, romance, contemporary, realistic fiction

What happens when your two best friends fall in love...with each other?

"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've mentioned it in a previous post, but I've been wanting to read a Maureen Johnson book ever since I was introduced to her writing in Let It Snow. Fortunately, On The Count Of Tree (also titled The Bermudez Triangle) did not disappoint. It was not as hilarious as Johnson's short story in Let It Snow, but I liked it just the same. The characters are all realistic and lovable, and the emotional scenes tug at your heartstrings. I actually teared up once. It's unlike some novels which try too hard to make you feel for the characters. This one was a good read and it built up their issues well to the point that you can understand what they're going through. It's got comedy, romance, friendship, and battles with the self. 

Really, my own qualm was that the ending left me wondering, 'that was it?'. Nina, one of the three main characters, suddenly solved her problems and made a major decision without any explanation or build up. There was just mention of it in the last chapter. Just... okay, there could have been more to it. 

 Despite that, I loved the book. Maureen Johnson is now a favorite author. 

 Rating: 4/5


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