Triangles by Ellen Hopkins
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 529 (hardback)
Publication: October 2011
Goodreads Summary: 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-athome 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.
Review: I have to start by telling everyone that before Triangles I was an Ellen Hopkins virgin. I avoided her YA books because they are written in verse, and I was positive that they just were not for me. I was wrong. Triangles is wonderfully written and unique story to me, and that is because of it being told in verse.
Triangles is the story of three very different women told from each woman’s point of view. Their stories weave together to tell a tale of suburban life and the joys and heartaches that go with it.
Holly is on the cusp turning the BIG 40 and on the brink of, if not already in, a midlife crisis. She has a new, slim body that she worked hard for which she flaunts to no end, a dream of writing erotica which her husband frowns upon, and a goal of finding her biological family. She has a wonderful family and an adoring husband but yearns for something more exciting, particularly in the bedroom.
Andrea is Holly’s best friend and a divorced mother who longs for a relationship like the one that Holly has with her husband. Andrea is down to earth and searching for a connection that she just cannot seem to find.
Marissa is Andrea’s sister and has been dealt the worst hand of the three women. She has a daughter who is disabled and who is suffering from an illness which could take her at anytime, a gay teenage son who smokes pot, and a husband that has mentally checked out of the family and finds solace in the bottom of a bottle whenever he decides to be at home.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. I knew that it would be different because of being told in verse, but after a couple of sections I was flowing with the verse pattern and fully emerged in these women lives. I found myself connecting with Marissa and her family the most and enjoying her story the best. I have a cousin with Muscular Dystrophy and have seen the struggles first hand, so I related the most with this family. I did actually enjoy the other two women, though I disliked Holly 99% of the time. I was amazed how each verse (or poem) put the pieces of this story together with very little actual dialogue. I also liked how each change of character was connected with the theme of the last character's section.
This is the part were I fess up. I cried. I didn’t want to, but there is a point toward the end of the book that the story hit home and tears welled up and I cried. Not a very manly thing, but it happens. It actually made me enjoy the book more because of how real Ellen made the characters and events feel. I am glad that I took a chance on this book and decided to read it when it was offered to me. It was well written, the characters came alive on the page, and it was a completely engrossing story.
Rating: 4 stars