Sunday, September 11, 2011

Review: Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

By: Ellen Hopkins
Pub. Date: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Atria (an Imprint of Simon & Schuster)
Pages: 544
Source: S&S GalleyGrab
In this first adult novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the unforgettable Crank trilogy, three female friends face midlife crises in a no holds-barred exploration of sex, marriage, and the fragility of life.

Ellen Hopkins has made her mark as the wildly popular author of several novels for young adults—every one of them a New York Times bestseller, and every one a hard-hitting exploration of tough-to-tackle topics. Now, in Triangles, Hopkins brings her storytelling mastery and fearlessness to take on the challenges of adult dramas.

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.

I think this summons up pretty well what I felt about Triangles:

I tweeted this right after I finished Triangles, and then went all fan girl when THE Ellen Hopkins responded back to me!

As an obvious huge fan of Hopkins work, I was skeptical of her writing an adult book and did not plan on reading Triangles. I didn’t think that I would be able to relate to the characters, and I’ll be honest, I didn’t relate to them, but Hopkins did such a wonderful job writing them, that it was hard to not at least feel for the characters. Out of the 3 main women, only one of them I would have felt for even if Hopkins was a horrible writer, because her story was just so sad. When this month’s GalleyGrab appeared in my inbox and I saw Triangles, I figured I had nothing to lose and I am so glad that I read it!

Triangles tells the story of three women- Holly, Marissa and Andrea. Holly and Andrea are best friends, and Marissa is Andrea’s sister. All three women are dealing with their own issues and each of them deals with them in their own way. Holly feels trapped in her marriage and with raising three children, she needs something more, thus beginning her extramarital affairs. Andrea, is single and lonely and taking care of her teenage daughter alone, leaving her to make choices that she would never think she was capable of. Then there is Marissa, my favorite of the group. Her five year old daughter is dying from a Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Marissa has to take care of her all by herself while her husband is traveling the world and cheating on her. She is also raising a gay son, who that same asshole husband won’t acknowledge is gay. I really loved her son, Shane. He really jumped off the page for me. I really admired his character and loved the scenes that he was in.

Holly was my least favorite of the group and I found her really annoying. Andrea didn’t bother me but I completely felt for Marissa. Her entire situation was so sad, but I loved the way she carried herself and how unselfish she was.

Even though I couldn’t relate to the characters because of my age, I really enjoyed Triangles. Hopkins writes verse so wonderfully, that it is hard to not enjoy anything that she writes.

Hopkins next YA book after Perfect will be based on Triangles, but through the eyes of the children of the women. I am super excited for this, and I really hope that Shane is included in that because I can not wait to learn more about him! 


  1. Hey Kristina!

    This is the first review I've read on this! So glad to hear it's positive, I wondered how Ellen would do making the transition---sounds as if it pretty awesome!

    Great review! New follower and so glad I met you! You have a beautiful blog!

  2. This story follows three women, Holly, and sisters Marissa and Andrea, all woman who are struggling with a certain aspect of their lives. Holly has it all a husband and three beautiful children, and a house that many people can only dream of, But Holly starts to feel like she needs more and starts experimenting sexually on the side seperate from her husband, and her teen daughter comes to her with a secret that she's pregnant. Marissa is dealing with a cheating husband, a daughter who is terminally ill and a son who comes out of the closet and who's partner is HIV-positive. Andrea is trying to find a man to treat her right, but she falls in the same trap everytime with men who are alcoholics, and abusive, etc.

    This story is powerful and if your a true young adult, I would say to hold off on this book until your older because it is very sexual in nature. The story has very serious issues that the main characters are dealing with. But for all of us adults out there this book was a great, dramatic story and I loved it, but honestly i've never read an Ellen Hopkins book that I didn't enjoy! Can't wait to see if Ellen continues on the road of writing adult fiction as well as young adult!


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