The second book I read on vacation was The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson.
Now, this book brought into focus some of what Looking for Alaska started. This book centers on a group of three high school friends. One goes away for part of the summer only to return to find that her other two friends are now a couple (that's not a huge spoiler, it happens fast). Suddenly the shape of the triangle of their friendship has changed a lot.
I read this book in probably a day. I liked it a lot. There is a good balance of time spent with each character so you have a good sense of each of the three and what each is dealing with as their friendships change. I thought Johnson does a good job with the gay character talking about her sexuality. It resonated with me in ways that other books have not (and from her book bio Johnson is married to a man so I give her extra credit for capturing the lesbian's perspective in a way that felt right to me).
Is this book inherently better than Looking for Alaska? Nope. But I liked it a lot more. Why? I think it's because the main characters are girls and there is a lesbian romance. I'm slightly horrified to admit that because I want to be the person who says girls should read stories about boys and boys should read stories about girls because not reading for a reason as trivial as it's not about a boy/girl, is just stupid. However, I also can't pretend I don't connect to female protagonists and gay love stories more.
I've been mulling this over since it hit me last week. I don't really know what to do with it. I'll chat a bit more about it tomorrow. Until then, this book is good. It's a quick read and since I am doing a story now that involves a change in the way friends deal with each other/feel about each other due to a romantic relationship, I thin it counted as research. Johnson does a good job of dealing the realities of friendships changing. So even if all I got out of it was the research it would have been worth it. If you like YA, it's worth tracking down at your library.