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Monday, October 10, 2011

My Thoughts: Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

In this emotionally powerful novel, three women face the age-old midlife question: If I’m halfway to death, is this all I’ve got to show for it? Holly, filled with regret for being a stay-at-home mom, sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Andrea, a single mom and avowed celibate, 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? Then there’s Marissa. She has more than her fair share of challenges—a gay 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 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 learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness before it is through.

ARC received from Simon and Schuster.

After reading Tricks earlier this year I am a little nervous when it comes to reading anything by Ellen Hopkins. Not because it was bad, but because it was so good that it left me feeling a little sick with how real and unnerving it was. Hopkins does that on a regular basis, her young adult stories leave you reeling with emotions. She doesn't sugar coat situations and make them seem better than they are. She tells the honest truth, the gory truth. This skill has put her, and her books on the banned list more then once. But they are amazing, I have only read two of her young adult fiction, and I have been shaken to the core by the story she tells. In saying that, when I heard that Ellen Hopkins was writing a novel geared towards adults I was excited and totally freaked out.  After Tricks and Identical, how much worse could it be? It was that question that freaked me out, but I couldn't stay away.

I was glad to realise that Triangles was not full of drug abuse, child molestation or prostitution. What it did involve was three women in their forties; one with a sick child and a failing marriage, another- a mother of three, facing her fortieth birthday with a brand new image, and the third- a single mother with a teenage daughter, who has been having a bit of a dry spell when it comes to men. They are all intertwined in one way or another and they are all dealing with similar issues. Three women, whose responsibilities have gotten in the way of what they really want? Writing about the lives of women may not be the most original topic in the world to write about, when Hopkins takes something on, it's bound to be epic, and Triangles was epic.

If you've read Hopkins before you will not be disappointed with Triangles, if you've never read Hopkins, welcome to the beauty of her writing. The lives of the women in her novels are not perfect, but neither are they so terrible. That's what makes this book so good. I've said it before, Hopkins writes about real life, not just the bad stuff. Her traditional style of writing in verse adds to the beauty of this story. The real life situations that are presented in Triangles are complex and sometimes hard to read, but they won't leave you cringing. They will have you thinking about what it is like to be an adult, and be unsatisfied with your life. They will have you questioning about what is right and wrong, and what's worth sacrificing. Triangles tells the story of three women, of commitment and of friendship. 

Overall, this was another Ellen Hopkins masterpiece. It's not aggressively disturbing, but it still tells a tale that doesn't lie, and reveals human imperfection in all it's wondrous glory.

12 comments:

  1. I have been so excited to read this since I heard she was doing an Adult Verse Novel. Your review is my first to read, yaaaaay, so glad it was great, she knows how throw a punch. I have only read Crank which I enjoyed.

    I have Triangles on my post today, waiting patiently for release date.

    Glad to see your review.

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  2. I am really excited about this book! I'd seen the cover on a few other blogs, but this is the first time I realized it was an Adult verse novel by Ellen Hopkins. I am really looking forward to it!

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  3. Um.. I kind of don't want to read this one. I've never read Hopkins because . much as I hear she's brilliant - I'm not all the interested in her subject matter.

    This seems kind of all complicated with all the plots and the deception. I don't think I would enjoy it as I'm a romance novel girl at heart.

    But thanks for the through review.

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  4. Great review, so passionate. I did have a hard time reading parts of this book myself, but not necessarily in a bad way.

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  5. This sounds like a very subtly powerful book. I haven't read anything by Hopkins yet...I have a bunch of her books. I think I'm avoiding the emotions that come with it.

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  6. I'm going to need to check out one of her books sometimes - just to see what the fuss about the writing is all about. Maybe this one would be better to start with because of the less serious subject matter.

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  7. Great review! I haven't read this book yet, but it sounds great!

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  8. Rebecca HipworthJuly 19, 2012 at 7:24 AM

    Thanks for the review, I might give this one a go. I hope they have it at the library.

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  9. hmm. don't know about this one.. But it's worth checking out after reading your review. Thanks!

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  10. Uh not my type of a book. I'll maybe read it in years to come, but not right now.

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  11. A great review. It sounds like an excellent book. Just not one I would want to read. I like romance and satisfactory endings. I suppose I'm just too shallow for this one.

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  12. Even though the majority of books I read are YA, I do love to read adult books especially if it involves very flawed characters and the synposis of this book pulled me in. I've been meaning to read a book by Ellen Hopkins but I'll be honest, something about this book unnerves me. I don't know but I'll check it out.

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