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From the New York Times bestselling author of the sizzling romantic suspense Love Lies Beneath

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.

Get lost in the world of Triangles, where the lives of three unforgettable women intersect, and where there are no easy answers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781461820307
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date: 10/18/2011
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.50(h) x 5.00(d)

About the Author

Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of fourteen 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 and on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter at @EllenHopkinsLit.

Read an Excerpt


Scientists say every action

initiates an equal and opposite

reaction. I say that’s just the start.

I say

every action initiates a most

unequal and unpredictable

chain reaction, that


filament of living becomes

part of a larger weave, while

remaining identifiable. That each


of latitude requires several

stripes of longitude to obtain

meaning. That every universe

is part

of a bigger heaven, a heaven

of rhythm and geometry,

where a heartbeat is the apex

of a triangle.

© 2011 Ellen Hopkins

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Triangles includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


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

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Describe your experience of reading Triangles, a novel in verse. How was the reading experience unique, and how was it similar to reading a regular novel? Did it go more slowly or more quickly than you expected? Did it inspire you to try out poetry-writing yourself? Why or why not??

2. Near the beginning and at the very end of Triangles, Holly and Andrea have the same thought, "about / how, while parallel lines may not / intersect, parallel lives too often do." (pages 7 and 528) How do Holly, Andrea, and Marissa’s lives intersect? How many love triangles can you name within Triangles??

3. The novel rotates among three narrators: Holly, Andrea, and Marissa. Which narrator do you relate to the most? Whose point of view do you have trouble relating to, and why??

Holly believes "That love and sex can, in fact, remain / independent of one another." (p. 36) What would Marissa and Andrea say about Holly’s statement? Do love and sex go together for Andrea and Marissa, or can they have satisfying sex without love, and satisfying love without sex??

4. All the mothers in Triangles struggle with their teenaged children’s relationships: Marissa tries to accept Shane’s homosexuality and choice of an HIV-positive partner; Holly finds out that Mikayla is pregnant; and Andrea tries to help Harley through the disappointments of her first crush. How do these moms approach parenting and sex in their households? Which mom is the most permissive, and which is the most strict? What examples do Marissa, Holly, and Andrea set for their children?

5. Discuss how each character uses technology as way to guard or invade privacy. Why does Christian keep a secret cell phone? Why do you think Holly opts for an old-fashioned journal instead of a secure computer document for her erotica? Do you think technology makes our lives more or less private today? Explain your answer.?

6. Compare Holly’s search for her birth parents to Andrea’s discovery of her "murky paternity." How do Holly and Andrea each deal with the uncertainties of their origins? How does Holly react when she finally meets her birth mother?

7. Chart the stages of Marissa and Christian’s marriage. How do they interact at the beginning of the novel, during Shelby’s decline and Shane’s teenage rebellions? What shocking discoveries drive them apart, and what incidents bring them closer together? Does it seem that their marriage will last? Why or why not??

8. After Harley and Brianna fight over Chad, Harley’s crush, a poem called "A Friend" provides a definition: "A friend is never / so unclear about the definition / of friendship as to straddle its / boundaries." (p. 211) How does this definition of friendship apply to Harley and Brianna as well as to their mothers, Andrea and Holly? Who crosses the line in each of these friendships, and how do they manage to remain friends??

9. While accepting a foot massage in a hotel room after a male strip show, Holly thinks, "It comes to me that there are different / degrees of infidelity. And while an extramarital / foot rub isn’t exactly right, it really isn’t so wrong." (p. 250) What are some of the "degrees of infidelity" in Triangles? Do you agree with Holly that some "degrees" are more wrong than others, or are all types of infidelity equally wrong? Explain your answer.?

10. Discuss the brief affair between Andrea and Jace. How does Andrea justify sleeping with her best friend’s husband? Why does she eventually break off their romance? Were you surprised that Andrea keeps silent and stays friends with Holly? Why or why not??

11. After Shelby’s death, Marissa tells Shane, "Shelby is the essence of love. / And so maybe the reason for / her short time here is to show / us how to might love better." (p. 496) How does Shelby set an example of love for each member of the family: Marissa, Christian, and Shane?

12. There are plenty of unanswered questions at the end of Triangles: Holly’s marriage and writing career, Andrea’s romantic future, and Mikayla’s teenage pregnancy. How do you think these characters’ careers, friendships, and romances will turn out? Does each character get what he or she deserves? Why or why not?

Enhance Your Book Club

1. Try your hand at free verse! Take one of the poems at the end of a section as a model—"Turn-ons" on page 151 and "Spilling a Secret" on page 391 are good examples—and write your own poem beginning with that title. Share your poem with your book club, and voilà, you’re a poet!?

2. Serve Holly’s favorite cocktail at your book club meeting—a mojito! Find an easy drink recipe here:

3. While jogging on her fortieth birthday, Holly makes a "bucket list" of goals to accomplish: run a marathon, try out extreme activities, face her birth mother, and make herself available to new relationships. (p. 337) Create your own bucket list of goals to accomplish. Have each member share one item from their bucket list with the group?

4. Research Spinal Muscular atrophy (SMA), Shelby’s condition in Triangles. For some ways to get involved—from making a charitable donation to lobbying for federal funding for research—visit the SMA Foundation’s website:

5. In the poem "All It Takes," Andrea thinks about how her friends’ and family’s zodiac signs reflect their personalities. (p. 173) Find out what the stars say about you by looking up your sign here:

6. Get inspired by the Nevada setting of the novel and turn your book club night into a casino night. Set up an easy game of poker, blackjack, or Bingo. Whoever wins the first round gets to choose your next book club selection!

Customer Reviews

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Triangles 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 118 reviews.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Three females are hovering around the dreaded age of forty, and each and every one of them seems to be falling apart in as many ways as humanly possible. Holly is about to turn forty and has a devoted husband who loves her and is a good provider; three healthy children; a VERY financially stable life; doesn't have to work a day, and.she hates everything about it. So Holly began to work out, run five miles a day, and become a beautiful "goddess-like" woman. When she heads out to the bars with her friends, she soaks up the fact that all the men's eyes are directly focused on her. Between her brief affairs and outlandish flirting, Holly is also thinking of writing erotic fiction to make some cash of her own, and find something that will save her from the absolute boredom of her life. Marissa has a "crap life, lousy children, a troubled marriage, and, quite frankly, thinks God must be laughing himself silly over the life he gave to her." Her son, Shane is gay; her husband sleeps in another room and drinks more than anything else; and, her poor little daughter, Shelby, was born with a debilitating disease which makes Marissa's life a living hell. She even says, many times, that she wishes she'd never had Shelby in the first place. Maybe then, she'd have a life. Andrea is a single parent and best friend to Holly. However, Andrea is really sick of listening to Holly whine about absolutely everything - considering the woman has everything. Andrea is raising a thirteen-year-old daughter, and trying to rise in her career at the DMV. She deals with many issues besides her moronic girlfriend, including dealing with her ex, and trying desperately to find something that makes her feel good in life. Each and every woman crosses paths and finds themselves with serious midlife crises. From children to sex to marriage to pain to death.the whole rainbow of emotions are making them each a little crazy. Sometimes they want to explore new heights, while other times they want to "run away" from everything and start their lives all over again. This author writes, once again, in her signature poetic verse style, but definitely steps away from the 'YA' category as she takes on the tough subjects of forgiveness, betrayal, hate, and friendship. This book is not for, shall we say, the "weak" of heart. When it comes to risqué, Triangles is that and more. And, the writing is so well done, that most of the time readers will absolutely hate the women they're reading about. The depression, the greed, the ridiculousness they feel for their families, their constant whining, and the type of somewhat slimy thoughts and emotions they represent will have readers voicing their opinions and heading to opposite sides of the fence for an all out debate. Quill Says: The plotline is intense, but does have brief moments of happiness and light that leak through the bitterness and anger that these women possess.
ninja2011 More than 1 year ago
For the review that said the book was terrible, maybe your just not able to understand her writing style. The book was great for her first adult novel. Every book she writes is written like poetry and most of her books focuses on different in each chapter. The book was great, just like all of her others. It sad and depressing in some parts, but all of her books depict real life situations, maybe you can't relate to it, but in my experience, I always learn something new from her books, whether its about a health condition, experiencing prostitution, or religion. Every book has given my insight to an aspect of life that I hadn't thought much about before. She is a great author.
MoonlightGleam More than 1 year ago
The emotions and daily lives of Holly, Marissa, and Andrea are the focus of the novel. These women are all connected to each other, one even directly affecting another's life within the novel, thus making Triangles an appropriate title for this novel. These three women give strength to each other, while at the same time; some must lie to avoid destroying their friendship. Triangles deals with many heavy issues such as commitment, betrayal, adultery, and alcoholism. These three women learn that every choice they make will bring consequences that connect to these issues in some way. With alternating narrators, readers will be sucked into this powerful read, and will experience the many issues present in today's society through the eyes of these women. From the very first page, Triangles will take you on an emotional rollercoaster that will last right to the very end. My favorite aspect of this novel is that Ellen Hopkins writes about relatable adult issues, that many women and families go through. I also appreciate that the secondary as well as the main characters are realistically portrayed. The alternating narration was brilliantly pieced together and is yet another aspect of the novel that I appreciated, as it gives the opportunity to readers to feel the thoughts and emotions each character experiences. Ellen Hopkins is an incredible writer with a wonderful way with words and that has a unique writing style. For those who are not familiar with Ellen Hopkins' writing, she writes in poetic verse, and is definitely one of my favorite authors. Ellen Hopkins takes a bold stand with this remarkable adult novel Triangles, presenting many lessons readers should consider and can easily relate to. Ellen Hopkins' novels are the kind that will leave you thinking about the issues presented, long after reading the novels, Triangles is no exception. I recommend this novel to those who enjoy Adult Fiction with emotional depth. For readers who enjoy YA, you should definitely consider picking up Ellen Hopkins' previous novels, you will not be disappointed! 5/5 MUST READ, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good but sad. Ellen hopkins is one of my favorites. Its a little different from her teen series but not by too much.
Regis_Schilken More than 1 year ago
Triangles is a tale that is on the one hand psychologically disturbing and on the other hand quite beautifully written. I say disturbing because the three main women in this tale all have very troubled marital and familial relationships that appear to be the product of troubled, misguided pasts and/or learned prejudice. The alleged impetus for such disturbing affairs is implied, if not stated as, mid-life crises. 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 husband and their love 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, but at the same time, Andrea, too, seeks the admiration and closeness of a male sex partner. Unfortunately, in her loneliness, Andrea crawls into the empty 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 care. Marissa's husband shucks off his responsibility to 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 of pleasure 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 favor 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 start 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 this book to readers who like tales crammed with emotion, betrayal, angst, and recompense. It is a moving tale. More because of the beauty of its prose, not because of it's distressing story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book shows three women all in very different points in there lifes. I loved every second! Ellen Hopkins is so talented!!
SmittenWithReading More than 1 year ago
My Review: 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 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.
Owlmanafanatic16 More than 1 year ago
I've read all of her YA novels and when I heard about Triangles, I knew I had to get it. By the time I was done with it, I was speachless. It's like her other novels... just in adult format. She is the most amazing author who ever lived! ROCK ON ELLEN!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have always loved ellen hopkins books and have to say i was again not disappointed! For her first adult novel id say it was very very good. I could not put it down! I even read a few lines to my husband and he wanted to read it. I always struggled with poetry but ive never had trouble getting into one of her books! Trust me when i say you will not regret reading this book! So excited for her next adult novel coming out Nov 2012
Hubert7 More than 1 year ago
Very clever writing of Hopkins in this book. Her experiment with the poetry format, the three different perspectives, the different fonts all make for a perspective on the lives of three women that has more dimensions than an ordinary novel. The characters of the three women are well defined, broad and deep, and give an insight in the lives of women who we would call 'ordinary', but turn out to have deep motives for what they do or not do. The story keeps a tension, problems are solved at some point, yet the lives of the three characters will go on when the book is finished, the book is a glimpse in three lives, unfinished and satisfactory at the same time.
ChelseaW More than 1 year ago
Three women struggle to keep their family and sanity together when all they want to do is fall apart. Holly joins a writing group as a way to escape her rebelling daughter and a husband who is no longer fulfilling her needs. Marissa is dealing with a gay son, a daughter requiring extreme special care, and a husband who distances himself more with each passing day. Andrea is a single mother with not much on her plate except loneliness and watching her daughter Harley grow up too fast, but when her best friend's husband presents an alluring opportunity, she takes it. Whether they are family or friends, these women experience their lives shatter in both similar and different ways, and pull from themselves and each other as life continues to move on. Whoo boy. Be warned: emotions run high in this book! Though the constant onslaught on heavy emotions weren't always happy, they did an amazing job in building desires and actions for the characters. With unhappiness running so rampant, the women will have a wide appeal to readers. The misery and longing to escape will resonate with audiences from all backgrounds, even if the situations do not. I typically stay far away from novels written in verse, but was strangely drawn to this book. Perhaps because it is a well-known YA writer's first venture into adult fiction. Whatever it was that made me pick up this book, I am very glad I did. There was a staggering amount of stunning beauty in the simple poems at the end of the chapters. And the sheer emotion almost tipped me over the edge a few times. I barely paused to look up from this book while reading it, and will definitely be picking up more from Ellen Hopkins.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Triangles by Ellen Hopkins is an emotional page-turner that holds you in its grasp till the last page with it's powerful character. As Holly loses herself in the world of extramarital sex, Andrea finds herself searching for love and dealing with the fact her teenager daughter is growing up. Marissa comes to face the truth her daughter is terminal, her son is gay, and she's losing her husband. Ellen Hopkins first adult novel was a great read and a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SPOILER I loved this book! I thought it was great! I always learn something from reading books written by Ellen Hopkins. I enjoy seeing how she uses verse-style writing and I enjoy the poems in between that segue from one character to the next. She looks at different issues that maybe I have never had to deal with. In Triangles we see three different women (Holly, Marissa and Andrea) trying to keep their lives together as they slowly unravel, one of the main joining features is infidelity. And at some points the women are so closed up in their world that they hardly realize what is going on with their husbands, children and friends. T Holly is too busy writing her erotica novellas and trying to escape the mundane routine that is her life to realize her daughter is pregnant by the end of the summer. It isn't until Andrea calls Holly with the information that she becomes aware. Marissa is too preoccupied being the main caregiver to her terminally ill four year old daughter that she barely has time for her son Shane who happens to be gay. Marissa makes it out that God is punishing her with a terminally ill daughter and a gay son, I don't think she should see her gay son as punishment, but that's just me. Andrea (who is Marissa's sister and Holly's best friend) is wrapped up in Holly could be stepping out on her wonderful husband, her sister's terminally child and dating to really talk with her daughter. A few moments Andrea finds time to bond with her daughter, but they don't approach many big subjects with the exception of teen pregnancy when Holly's daughter gets pregnant (one of Holly's other children is best friends with Andrea's daughter). I really enjoyed reading this book. Watching as the women's lives shattered around them and how they have to pick up the pieces and move forward. It is not easy and that is demonstrated here. I am really looking forward to when Tilt becomes available because that book follows Holly's daughter, Marissa's son and Andrea's daughter.
rach4mu More than 1 year ago
Ellen Hopkins has always been one of my favorite authors since she wrote Crank so I expected this book to be just as amazing as all of her other ones. She definitely proved me right! Instead of following teenagers dealing with drugs, we now have adult women dealing with their own problems like adultery and lust. Anybody who loves Hopkins books should buy this one ASAP!!!
dayzd89 More than 1 year ago
This is my first time reading a book by Ellen Hopkins. I've always heard amazing things about her work, and I can clearly see why she has so many fans. I love Ellen's writing style and amazing characterization. While I was reading the book, I found myself enraptured in the convoluted stories of Holly, Andrea, and Marissa. I love the switch of first person point of view between the three main characters, followed by a poem that signaled the end of their narratives. In the beginning, I really didn't like some of the characters, such as Holly. Now I see that she has a lot of personal demons that influenced her decisions. What she did was wrong, but at the same time we are all human and make mistakes. The problem is the aftermath. Holly is a perfect example of when we let our fantasies take control of our lives. Is it really worth it in the end? What I really like about this novel is that it shows how life is not black and white. It is always much more complex than that. I find this to be true in Marissa's case. It's horrible what happens to her in regard to her relationship, but she doesn't take the popular route. There is no right or wrong decision because everyone is different in regard to forgiveness. I think that's the biggest message about this novel. It's so easy to preach about what is right and wrong, but in real life, it is much more complicated than that. Another thing I admire about this novel is the way it outlines friendship, especially the friendships between females and how powerful they can be. I feel like society is always portraying female friendships as shallow and driven by jealousy. While jealousy may occur sometimes, it doesn't mean that it's the end of the friendship. I like how Ellen challenges the definition of friendship, especially with Andrea and Holly. All of the characters in this novel are very realistic; they all have their achievements and failures. They have positive traits and negative ones, just like everyone else. Personally, the biggest problem many of these characters have is lack of communication. Perhaps Ellen is trying to show how problems arise when issues are not discussed. They become a bigger problem and in the end hurt others, too. I highly recommend this novel to both fiction and poetry lovers alike. There are some intense graphic scenes here, so I wouldn't feel comfortable recommending it to younger readers. However, everyone's maturity level is different so it depends on the reader. I know that Ellen Hopkins is considered a young adult author but this novel is definitely meant for an older audience. Five stars.
CScarlett More than 1 year ago
‘Triangles’ is the first adult novel that Ellen Hopkins has written and I think it was absolutely brilliant. ‘Triangles’ was the story of three women whose lives connect in multiple ways, some of those ways being through friendship, tragedy, and family. As these stories unfolded I really got pulled into their worlds and I couldn’t get enough. Each individual story is amazing in its own way. Marissa’s story broke my heart but I think it was beautifully written and it touched me on many levels. I couldn’t imagine going through what her family had to and I realize so many families out there do, which is just so devastating. It’s a real eye opener and I hope more people will read this book if simply for that reason. I feel for Andrea, she is a very strong woman who continues to get dealt a bad hand. However throughout it all she knows her daughter is all that matters, even when she stumbles into some really bad habits involving a friend’s husband. Holly however is a bit of a wild child still and if I want to be completely honest there was a few times I wanted to smack her but her story was still very entertaining and sometimes bordered on being raunchy. Overall this book was brilliant; the writing took some amazing talent and I was addicted to it. I finished it in two days. I literally couldn’t put down. Ellen Hopkins has done it again, if you haven’t read any of her books, you don’t know what you are missing. These will one day be considered classics as far as I am concerned. So if you haven’t read her work, do it now, trust me you won’t be disappointed. ‘Triangles’ was an amazing novel and I would recommend it to everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stays up top with her other books
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Let me start this review by saying that I was very skeptical for a book in verse. I hadn't experienced one yet and am not much of the poetry fan, so I started this book with some apprehension. After saying that, this is a must read. Although the topics are controversial and the subject matter can be hard to read at times, the fact that it is written in verse worked so well. I was given enough details to feel like I was reading a full book, but not too much, so I could use my imagination. Blown away. Told from the perspectives of three women who are right around that mid-life crisis point and all are second guessing the decisions they made that lead them to the life they are in currently. I thoroughly enjoyed how Hopkins broke up a few poems for each character and it was all labeled, so I could easily dip back into that characters mind and life and wasn't confused as to who was talking. I experienced every emotion reading this book, from laughing to crying, and even anger towards these women who were making decisions that affected them and their families. The reality of the situations the characters were put in made the verse personal and enabled the story to hit me deeper than I thought it would. This book can be read by those who love poems and verse AND for those who are a little unsure of this whole different reading experience. I am going now to find her YA books and see how they compare to this adult novel.
BookSakeBlogspot More than 1 year ago
I'm so glad that I requested this book! I've only read two other books by Ellen Hopkins (Crank and Impulse), but after reading Triangles, I remembered why I love her writing so much. Hopkins' style is incredibly unique and refreshing. She often utilizes techniques such as emphasis, indentation, or text shape to convey an underlying meaning or reinforce the significance of a particular verse. I've never read anything comparable to it before. Triangles is essentially the adult version of her other books, describing the lives and struggles of three women who each believe the grass is greener on the other side. Hopkins tells their stories unflinchingly - the good, the bad, and the ugly (generally the latter two) - and covers controversial topics, spanning from homosexuality to infidelity. I think Marissa was my favorite of the three. Her story is so heartbreaking and honest, while the others (although still interesting) seem somewhat superficial at times. With that said, don't pick up this book expecting to read about every minute detail of the characters' lives because you won't find that here. Since Triangles is just a compilation of intertwined poems, Hopkins mainly delves into the most intriguing and pressing issues in these women's lives and leaves out the fluff that simply wouldn't make for a fascinating poem. The end result is a fast-paced novel that you can't put down. There's really not much to critique about Triangles. I'm always impressed by this author's non-traditional and multifaceted approach to poetry. I would recommend checking out this book even if you aren't a fan of poetry because, frankly, I can't stand it, but Ellen Hopkins is my exception. Reviewed by Brittany for Book Sake.
BookHounds More than 1 year ago
For three these three women, getting older mean contemplating you life and figuring out what you are missing and whether or not it needs to be obtained. This type of midlife crisis story has been well documented in women's fiction, but here the words make all of the difference in how that story is conveyed. The story centers around: Andrea - single and with a teenage daughter, sister of Marissa. She wonders why love passed her by and even though she is barely getting by, she knows she should be thankful for what she has. She is the one I rooted for the most. Marissa - married with a gay teenage son and a terminally ill daughter. She wonders why God is punishing her with such a hard life which she approaches with much grace and fortitude. I connected with her struggles the most. Marissa's son Shane is a breathe of fresh air and shows that his mother is trying to raise him right. Holly - Andrea's best friend with the *perfect* life of a wealthy husband and three kids but now wants *more*. The least likable character since she seems to ignore her family in pursuit of pleasure and Marissa and Andrea are a bit jealous of her. She decides she want to be an erotic author and uses this as an excuse to have extramarital affairs. These three characters and their stories overlap through interactions with each other and their children in a typical fashion with catty remarks that are actually the truth about what is bothering them in their own lives. In her own unique way, Hopkins cuts right to truth about what makes these women tick. Their heartache is poured out on to each page in a very honest fashion. These are very believable characters and their actions credible since you can easily imagine them involved in the PTA at your children's school. For some reason, I didn't expect Hopkins novel for adults to be written in verse, it just didn't occur to me that she would write her first adult novel in this form. I am so glad she did since this style of writing is truly one of my favorite. I am amazed by authors who can pull this off since the craft seems much more difficult than traditional story forms. Every word needs to count and in this story every word counts double. I found myself quickly reading this one and then savoring certain passages. I truly enjoyed the recap poems at each chapter. This is a much needed breathe of fresh air to women's fiction. If you want to try other verse books, check out Lisa Schroeder and Sarah Tregay.
Coreena More than 1 year ago
Triangles is about three women whose lives intersect cleverly, written in poetry, with a play on triangles and parallel and intersecting lives. Each of the three women is dealing with a midlife crisis: there is stay at home mom Holly who, outwardly, is living the perfect life with a big house, two kids and a loving husband but who secretly is very bored and dissatisfied and wants to experiment sexually; Andrea, Holly's friend, is a single mom who has given up on men and thinks Holly is crazy for taking what she has for granted; and Marissa, Andrea's sister, who is in a bad marriage, has a gay teenaged son and spends her days looking after her terminally ill daughter. The three main characters are real feeling and full of flaws. We are seeing them at very difficult times in their lives and watching them act out, in many ways. Through her poetry, Hopkins is able to intimately connect the reader with the character. She takes turns with the point of view of each of the main characters thoughout the book, so we have a chance to get into the heads of each of the women. I really felt for them in some cases and was horrified by them in others - Hopkins was able to create a deep, provocative connection with the characters, whether I liked them or not. The poetry in the book is interesting and beautiful at times, as well as being quite readable. I loved how Hopkins played with words and themes for each section of the book, and even how she placed the words on the page. At times the form echoed the meaning of the words. Each section ended with a word or phrase that became the theme of the poem for the the next section, which created a poetic continuity to the book. This was masterful and thoughtful. I also enjoyed how sparce the words were sometimes and how not everything was layed out. There were a lot of details left to the imagination, like we stepped into the middle of these women's lives with an expectation that we understand their background. This added to the intimacy of the book. Part of what Hopkins does in this novel is to push the characters and this sometimes manifests in explicit scenes. There are so many interesting themes in this book, primarily sex, marriage and love, but also betrayal, jealousy and friendship amongst others. I would recommend this book for those who like women's liturature or who are looking for something different or who wants to try reading a novel written in poetry.
MoonlightGleam on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Triangles centers in on the lives of three women, two sisters, Marissa and Andrea, and Andrea¿s friend Holly and alternating narrators every few pages amongst these three women.The story begins with Holly, a woman who has everything she could ever dream of. She is athletic, has a successful and attractive husband who gives her everything, and has three lovely children who all live in a dream house. Of course, behind all what seems to be the perfect life, not everything is as it seems. Holly continuously feels as though she is missing something more in her life. One of her daughters is rebellious, and her husband Jace is the only parent who enforces parental discipline. Perhaps Holly¿s emptiness comes from being an adopted child, biological parents unknown, and being married at such a young age in college. Just before her fortieth birthday, Holly begins to stray from her husband, trying to find something or someone to fill the void she has¿The story then continues with Marissa who is in her mid-forties. She is a stay at home mother, who must dedicate every minute of her day to watch and take care of her terminally ill daughter, Shelby. Shelby has SMA and is not expected to live past the age of four. Marissa also must deal with her sixteen year old son Shane, who has recently come out of the closet, hangs out with the wrong type of crowd, and smokes up to escape. Her successful husband Christian is never around, and whenever he makes an appearance, he is usually drunk. When he comes home from various business trips, or from late meetings at the office, Christian never sleeps in the same bed as his wife and some nights, does not even come home at all. Marissa cannot help but feel that Christian is trying to escape his life at home by loading himself with work. Marissa also suspects that something is wrong¿ Could Christian be hiding something from her?Next comes Andrea, Marissa¿s younger sister. Andrea is divorced and has a fourteen year old daughter named Harley, and rarely gets any help from her ex-husband. Unfortunately, Andrea gets involved with the wrong men, alcoholics, cheaters, and liars, leading to many dead end relationships. Andrea just wishes that for once she can find a man who is successful, handsome, and who will love her back, she wants that her best friend always takes for granted; she wants everything that Holly has¿The emotions and daily lives of Holly, Marissa, and Andrea are the focus of the novel. These women are all connected to each other, one even directly affecting another¿s life within the novel, thus making Triangles an appropriate title for this novel. These three women give strength to each other, while at the same time; some must lie to avoid destroying their friendship. Triangles deals with many heavy issues such as commitment, betrayal, adultery, and alcoholism. These three women learn that every choice they make will bring consequences that connect to these issues in some way. With alternating narrators, readers will be sucked into this powerful read, and will experience the many issues present in today¿s society through the eyes of these women. From the very first page, Triangles will take you on an emotional rollercoaster that will last right to the very end.My favorite aspect of this novel is that Ellen Hopkins writes about relatable adult issues, that many women and families go through. I also appreciate that the secondary as well as the main characters are realistically portrayed. The alternating narration was brilliantly pieced together and is yet another aspect of the novel that I appreciated, as it gives the opportunity to readers to feel the thoughts and emotions each character experiences.Ellen Hopkins is an incredible writer with a wonderful way with words and that has a unique writing style. For those who are not familiar with Ellen Hopkins¿ writing, she writes in poetic verse, and is definitely one of my favorite authors. Ellen Hopkins takes a bold stand with this remarkable adult nov
joannefi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. I love the writing style of Ellen Hopkins. She is truly an amazing author who can weave the story, relationships, joys, sadness and life lessons taught by the various family members into an enjoyable novel.