Tag: Ellen Hopkins

Guest Review: Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

Posted November 16, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Mary’s review of TRIANGLES by Ellen Hopkins

THREE FEMALE FRIENDS FACE MIDLIFE CRISES IN A NO-HOLDS-BARRED EXPLORATION OF SEX, MARRIAGE, AND THE FRAGILITY OF LIFE.

Holly: Filled with regret for being a stay-at-home mom, she sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Will it bring the fulfillment she is searching for?

Andrea: A single mom and avowed celibate, she watches her friend Holly’s meltdown with a mixture of concern and contempt. Holly is throwing away what Andrea has spent her whole life searching for—a committed relationship with a decent guy. So what if Andrea picks up Holly’s castaway husband?

Marissa: She has more than her fair share of challenges—a gay, rebellious teenage son, a terminally ill daughter, and a husband who buries himself in his work rather than face the facts.

As one woman’s marriage unravels, another’s rekindles. As one woman’s family comes apart at the seams, another’s reconfigures into something bigger and better. In this story of connections and disconnections, one woman’s up is another one’s down, and all of them will learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness.

Unflinchingly honest, emotionally powerful, surprisingly erotic, Triangles is the ultimate page-turner. Hopkins’s gorgeous, expertly honed poetic verse perfectly captures the inner lives of her characters. Sometimes it happens like that. Sometimes you just get lost.

I have to be honest, this book wasn’t at all what I expected. And actually, that’s a really good thing. While Ellen Hopkins is a strong young adult author, willing to tackle issues many in the YA world might shy away from, it’s not always possible for authors to make the jump from one genre to another and still really connect with their audience.

But Ellen Hopkins does. And she does so effortlessly. (Okay, it only seems that way. I am very familiar with the hard work, pain, and soul that goes into each and every book.) TRIANGLES is a gorgeously written story of three women whose lives aren’t quite what they expected. They’ve been married long enough that the spark is gone. Their kids are moving on with their lives, growing up way too fast. Their love lives all need a serious kick-start.

It’s easy to feel compassion for each and every one of these ladies — and to want to shake them at the same time. Holly, for example, has an easy life, a great husband and kids but she becomes obsessed with her appearance and the power she wields because of it. Bored with her same old routine, she loses sight of what she has and fixates on the exotic, erotic, and the unattainable. At times, I really wanted to smack her upside the head and ask her what the hell she was doing.

Andrea also has a pretty good life, albeit boring. No man, since the last one betrayed her, but a good life nonetheless. She’s pretty judgmental, though, unable to put herself in others’ shoes and see what they’re going through. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, however, and she’s always had a thing for her best friend’s husband, which only grows as his marriage falls apart.

Marissa has the saddest story, I thought. Her baby daughter is terminally ill and Marissa’s become practically a shut-in because of it. Her husband drinks too much and, when he’s not downing Scotch, he’s working or traveling for work. No one visits because they don’t know what to say. She’s so focused on her daughter, she can’t see beyond the sickroom. Her son was my favorite in her family–he was a compassionate soul who loved his mother and little sister.

Written in verse, each poem captures a moment in time, filling it with passion and grace, pain and love, desire and hate. Each chapter weaves each woman’s tale, intertwining the threads that connect her to her friends and family. Beautifully rendered, TRIANGLES delves into the heart of human emotions and interactions.

Rating: 3.75/5.0

This book is available from Atria Books. You can buy it here or here in e-format.