Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

TrianglesTriangles by Ellen Hopkins
Published by Atria, an imprint of Simon and Schuster
Review copy provided by the publicist

Three women find themselves at crossroads in their lives. Holly has recently lost a lot of weight and no longer feels a connection with her husband, so she gets involved with another man, hoping that this extramarital sex will be the fulfillment she is looking for. Holly’s best friend, Andrea, is a single mom and can’t understand why Holly would act with such disrespect for her marriage when Andrea would do just about anything to have that for herself. And Marissa, Andrea’s sister, is dealing with stress in her own marriage as her husband spends more and more time at work while she cares for their severely disabled young daughter. As these three women navigate their lives, new relationships are formed, friendships are tested, and ultimately each must decide what is best for themselves as individuals.

I have read several other books by Ellen Hopkins, all YA written in verse. Triangles is also written in verse, but do not mistake this for a young adult book. This is clearly a book aimed at mature audiences only. These women have a lot going on in their lives and engage in some majorly, ahem, adult behavior. However, I enjoyed Triangles quite a bit due to the fact that Hopkins’ signature style is present in this novel in full force. She has an amazing ability to write beautiful novels in verse, novels that draw me in and keep me captivated and engaged with the characters throughout. That was definitely the case with this book, even though I didn’t love all of these ladies’ choices, I was invested in their stories from the very beginning and completely hooked on the novel from start to finish.

I can’t pick one of the three women specifically that spoke to me over the other two, but if I had to say which woman I had the most compassion for, it would be Marissa. She was so completely devoted to her daughter and her husband couldn’t have cared less about her or their family. It was heartbreaking to read how desperately Marissa wanted their family back where it should be, but was unable to figure out how she could make that happen. Holly’s actions angered me and disgusted me, to be honest, but at the same time, I almost understood her. She was so far into her own issues that she couldn’t see how what she was doing was hurting other people. It was incredibly sad and even though I didn’t like how she chose to express herself or act on her pain, I did feel for her. Andrea is probably the character I connected to the least, but I still did like her a lot. I think I just personally couldn’t relate to her situation, especially towards the end with some of the choices she made. However, I did enjoy getting to know her over the course of the novel.

If you are a fan of Ellen Hopkins, and/or novels written in verse, and OK with reading about more mature subject matter, definitely pick up Triangles. I have a feeling people might not feel as strongly as myself about this one, but I personally flew through this novel and adored every minute I spent with these messed-up characters.

11 thoughts on “Triangles by Ellen Hopkins”

    1. That’s hilarious that your 85 year old mom loved this one! There is a LOT of sex and other inappropriateness in this book, that seriously cracks me up. I actually liked it a lot (as you know LOL) but I can see why it wouldn’t work for some.

  1. I loved “Perfect”, and on audio, you couldn’t even tell it was verse. In that story, the characters weren’t very likable either, but the plot and listening was completely compulsive. I’ll see if the library has this one on audio.

    1. Yes this one would probably be just as good on audio. Especially if, like Perfect, there were different narrators for each of the three women. Let me know if you have any luck!

  2. Ellen Hopkins is one of my favorite YA authors! I heard about this novel before now, but I don’t think its for me. However, I will trying to get my hands on a copy of the YA novel that is supposed to be a companion to this one; it’s called Tilt and is supposedly coming out this year.

  3. I’ve never read a novel in verse, though I’ve read poetry. How does it change the reading experience? It must be a testament to the author’s talent if she can convey her ideas so clearly in that form.

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