TRIANGLE by Jon Ripslinger


Age Range: 12 & up
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 The serious ramifications of a pool accident that left one of three longtime friends paralyzed is the theme of Ripslinger's first novel. Darin's confinement to a wheelchair has made him demanding and abusive to girlfriend Joy and best friend Jeremy, who drives him around and keeps him supplied with beer from his mother's tavern. Joy, a star softball pitcher, is seeking a college scholarship but is pressured by guilt to attend Iowa State, where Darin is to begin his freshman year. Jeremy has decided to join the navy, but his secret love for Joy has led to her pregnancy. These and many other complications, including the shocking discovery of his own family history, are narrated in Jeremy's voice, which convincingly conveys the emotional turmoil of a young man with more than he can handle. The story is laced with softball terminology and description, an effective counterpoint to the personal events that drive the plot. Ultimately, Joy and Jeremy reveal their secret to Darin, precipitating his suicide attempt and their decision to stand by him and work out a life together for themselves and their child. Readers will identify with Joy and Jeremy but, surprisingly, not with Darin, who's almost as unlikable as his manipulative mother. The uncertainty of the future they face only adds realism to the characters' experiences; if too much seems to be happening here, it's probably because--for many teenagers--too much is. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-15-200048-8
Page count: 278pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1994