Triangles: A Novel Hardcover – Oct 18 2011
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“Hopkins delivers a raw and riveting tale of love and forgiveness that will captivate readers." —Publisher's Weekly
“Though Hopkins is known mostly for her young-adult novels, her latest is an absorbing grown-up story, told in beautiful blank verse, about three friends with messy family and romantic lives.” —EW.com, "Must List" pick
About the Author
Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven young adult novels, as well as the adult novels Triangles, Collateral, and Love Lies Beneath. She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada, where she has founded Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit youth housing and resource initiative. Visit her at EllenHopkins.com and on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter at @EllenHopkinsLit. For more information on Ventana Sierra, go to VentanaSierra.org.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Although I'm in my 20s and really enjoyed the book, I would especially recommend it to married woman, especially those who might be having some trouble with your relationship. The book really makes you realize you could have it worse!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I had read a little bit of Hopkins's work before: I started Crank (When I say started I mean read the first few pages) and loved it, but I was busy and never got the chance to get into it. But I got an ARC of Triangles, so I sat down and read it--and after one page I was hooked.
If you've been reading my blog at all, you know I'm not a person who likes stories about love gone wrong and marriages failing and extramarital sex etc. because I'm a Christian, and a romantic, and a softie (read 'wimp'). But I went ahead and dove into this book, because I knew Hopkins is a good writer.
It surpassed my expectations. I should have expected her to be this awesome, since obviously she's pretty famous and everyone else figured it out before I did, but I really am blown away. Not only by her blunt yet graceful storytelling, but by her nerve to tackle the stories nobody wants to tell: a dying child, a gay son, a pregnant teen, sexual disease, threesomes, a woman sleeping with her best friend's husband... it's all in here. Yet, it's not plot overkill. She made it work. Somehow.
Though, be warned. Since she does say it like it is, this book is not for the easily offended. But if you're willing to look past the content, there's a gem waiting for you about forgiveness, hope, and what love really means.
Content/recommendation: explicit sexual content, swearing. Ages 18+
This was my first verse novel and just... wow. The stanzas, the poem-like writing worried me at first. I didn't want to read a book of poems. I discovered that verse novels are not like that by any means. Far from it, actually. Triangles read just like a prose novel. The words were simply... beautiful. This will definitely not be the only verse novel I will read.
I know that Ellen Hopkins' other books are all YA. I read how Ellen hopes Triangles, her first adult novel, will appeal to the people who grew up reading her YA novels are now adults. Even though this is the first novel I've read by her, I can't help but feel comforted that she thought of her readers like that... how she wanted her writing to transcend genres with us. I will definitely have to dive into her YA novels now!
As she turns forty, there is, Holly, who longs to be different, even though her marriage to a successful attorney has brought her the luxury of being a stay-at-home mother. Now, she seeks direction--she wants to explore her own ambitions--she wants to be noticed as more than a mere mother. She wants to be a provocative woman sought by men. In exploiting her sexuality, she loses sight of the very family she had raised. Her love and that of her husband grow increasingly distant.
In Triangles, there is single-mother, Andrea, who has lived what she feels is a high quality, yet lonely, life caring for an only child. She abhors the life of her voluptuous friend, Holly, yet at the same time, much like her friend, Andrea also seeks the admiration and closeness of a male sex partner. Unfortunately, in her loneliness, Andrea crawls into the vacant spot in Holly's sensual bed.
And finally, because she is so devoted to a daughter with a terminally debilitating condition, Marissa becomes a slave to her child's care. Marissa's husband shucks off his responsibility toward the sure-to-die child. He spends more and more evenings in his office and in Triangles, he too, establishes a long adulterous affair. In addition, he cannot warm to his maturing gay son who claims to be in love with another gay youth, possibly HIV positive.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed the prose-like way Author Ellen Hopkins penned her book, following the dismal lives of three unsettled women, reminded me too much of a plod through The Valley of Tears. Am I the one missing the reality of women in mid-life crisis? Are there really that many married women who, at forty, discover their lives so deplete that they and their husbands seek extra-marital affairs?
What will happen to Holly, Andrea, and Marissa? Will their lives change? Triangles will offer some hope that once again, its characters become adjusted--contented. How? The answers to these questions I will leave to the reader of Triangles. I have no doubt that there will be readers who praise this tale because it shadows the plight of their own lives.
But I would hope there are far more women who are happy to be alive; women who are proud to have raised normally adjusted children; women who, after raising their family, decide that now is the time to begin a promising career and they seek a second rewarding life without desecrating their first one. On page 351 of Triangles, Author Ellen Hopkins alludes to this hope with her poem: A STAR RISES.
______A star rises.
______Pale. Frail, A stitch
______Of embroidered light
______Upon the dark forever
______Fabric of space
I would recommend Triangles to readers who like tales crammed with emotion, betrayal, angst, and hope. It is a moving tale; more because of the beauty of its prose, than it's distressing story.
This review was written by Regis Schilken, author of TEARS OF DECEIT.
This book was sent to me unsolicited by the publisher. I like that sometime because it challenges me to read books outside the lines of my normal reading. This book DEFINITELY falls in that category. This is not anything that I ever would have picked up for myself to read. One reason for that is because of the story, but we'll discuss that in a moment.
But first we have to talk about the way that this book is written. The ENTIRE book is written in poetic, stanza-like prose. It's incredibly creative and interesting. Straight up, I am NOT a poetry person, so I wasn't sure if I was even going to be able to read this book, but it worked. I found it a really interesting way to read the book and absolutely would like to read another book written like this (as long as the story was a completely different story.)
The story is about three women: Holly, Marisa, and Andrea. The story changes to each of their point of views on a regular basis. The way the book is arranged is they each have around 6-8 poems each time it is their section. The first 5-7 of those are straight up telling the story, albeit in ever changing poetic style verse. Then the final poem is a true poetic poem (i.e. lots of symbolism...by the end of the book, I wasn't even reading the last poem in each section anymore. I told you, I am NOT a poetry person.)
I could have really liked this book, but the story just wasn't the type that I enjoy. I had a pretty good idea of that going in. I am a romance reader. I like books that overall leave me with a happy feeling. This is not one of those books. These three women have incredibly messed up lives and their focus on sexual matters when it comes to every aspect of their lives means that things aren't going to change for them. There are no happy endings here. Quite honestly, I don't even feel like the book resolved anything in these three women's lives. You follow them and hope that things are going to get better after the book ends, but I have my doubts. That being said, though, it is thought-provoking. I'm at the same place as these women...41, with a teenager and a 20 year marriage. There were definitely aspects of the story that resonated with me, but only enough to terrify me...LOL!
Overall, it wasn't a book for me, but I could see how it would appeal to a lot of other people. I see this as an Oprah book club kind of book. Don't let the poetic slant put you off if the story appeals. I think you'll find that you like that aspect of it.
I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I had heard about Ellen Hopkins YA books and wasn't sure if I'd be able to handle the harshness of the subjects that she writes about and if her YA books were harsh I wasn't quite sure what to expect from her adult novel. I picked it up one morning when I had some time to kill and was completely blown away. This woman is an amazing writer.
'Falling to pieces. That's how my life feels. Fractured. Crushed. Disintegrating. And the weird thing is, it's all because of that stupid little word: love. I've fallen in love with *name omitted*, and it's tinting everything normal about me with shades of insanity.'
I could go into the storyline and what it's all about, but the summary of the book pretty much says it all. The storyline wasn't what made this book amazing though, it was the writing. The author also did the most amazing thing with the formatting of each page that really added something spectacular. I'm not often a fan of POV changes, and this book switches the POV often between the three main characters, but it totally worked in this situation. She also used a different font to differentiate between the characters which I thought was a brilliant touch.
As many of you already know, this author writes in verse, and I was not expecting to fall in love with that style of writing as I have. She would write in verse and then often between POV changes she would insert a poem... which was simply remarkable.
This was my favorite piece of hers:
Spilling a Secret
What its size,
will have varying
consequences. It's not
possible to predict
what will happen
open the gunnysack,
let the cat escape.
A liberated feline
might purr on your lap,
or it might scratch
your eyes out. You can't
until you loosen the knot.
Do you chance losing
a friendship, if that
only be preserved
by betraying sworn-to
silence trust? Once
the seam is ripped, can
And if that proves
impossible, will you be
when it all falls to pieces?