4 out of 4 stars
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Triplicity by J Mercer is an engrossing YA novel that follows the accounts of its three main characters on an unforgettable cruise full of adventure, misadventure, self-reflection, and self-discovery. On the seven-day trip, readers experience drama, romance, mystery, a bit of humor, and the teenage characters desperation and anxiety surrounding the events in their lives and the situations they find themselves in.
During a vacation on an Alaskan cruise, things begin to fall apart when a concatenation of thievery aboard the ship lands three teenagers in hot water. To absolve themselves from the suspicions surrounding them, they weave a web of lies, but unfortunately for them, these lies only tangle them deeper into the mess on the ship. Under the ever-growing scrutiny of the officers’ aboard the ship, will the teenagers stick together to the very end, or will they turn on each other?
Instead of chapters, this book is divided into eight sections, each of which representing a different day of the trip (from the day of embarkation all the way to debarkation). Each of the three main characters (Navy, Jesse, and Isaiah) narrate their story from their point of view and share their perceptions of the other characters as well. This gave me a broad perspective of the characters and the alternating viewpoints enlivened the narrative. The characters not only came across as believable but also extremely relatable in some instances. The cast of supporting characters with strong and varying personalities added so much life to the story. In addition, the dynamic relationships and interactions between the characters felt real—the ups and downs, lies, and secrets had me intrigued all the way to the end.
I loved the gripping mystery that grew in intensity as the narrative progressed. The announcements made aboard the ship regarding the theft made me feel anxious as I got pulled in deeper into the characters’ dilemma, desperately wanting to figure out who the perpetrators were. I also appreciated the romance and adventure that built a sense of anticipation of what would happen next.
Another plus for this novel is the animated description of characters and their environment. The main characters’ growing pains added depth to the overall story. As a result, there was much to reflect on and empathize with, which makes this novel a memorable read for me. I’m happy to recommend Triplicity to young adults and those who love a good dose of mystery and romance in their fiction.
Later on in the story, I did end up figuring out who the thief was before the characters did. And just when I thought I had it all figured out and that there wasn’t much left to be revealed, I was in for a shock when several twists and turns I hadn’t imagined were skillfully weaved in the narrative.
Triplicity appeared to be professionally edited—I only noticed very few errors. The error that stood out to me the most was when a character broke his first-person narration and spoke of himself in the third person while in the presence of a group. Because this was the only major error I encountered, I will not let it affect my rating. Without further ado, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
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