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VINE VOICEon October 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The thing about Ellen Hopkins is she writes about the stuff that everyone knows happens, but nobody is willing to admit to. She gives emotion and reason to why people make the choices we do, and what they feel like in the middle of a messy hurtful situation. She is the opposite of happyland syndrome. She tells it how it is.

I had read a little bit of Hopkins's work before: I started Crank (When I say started I mean read the first few pages) and loved it, but I was busy and never got the chance to get into it. But I got an ARC of Triangles, so I sat down and read it--and after one page I was hooked.

If you've been reading my blog at all, you know I'm not a person who likes stories about love gone wrong and marriages failing and extramarital sex etc. because I'm a Christian, and a romantic, and a softie (read 'wimp'). But I went ahead and dove into this book, because I knew Hopkins is a good writer.

It surpassed my expectations. I should have expected her to be this awesome, since obviously she's pretty famous and everyone else figured it out before I did, but I really am blown away. Not only by her blunt yet graceful storytelling, but by her nerve to tackle the stories nobody wants to tell: a dying child, a gay son, a pregnant teen, sexual disease, threesomes, a woman sleeping with her best friend's husband... it's all in here. Yet, it's not plot overkill. She made it work. Somehow.

Though, be warned. Since she does say it like it is, this book is not for the easily offended. But if you're willing to look past the content, there's a gem waiting for you about forgiveness, hope, and what love really means.

Content/recommendation: explicit sexual content, swearing. Ages 18+
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on February 12, 2012
I have a steadfast love/hate relationship with this book. I hated how some of the women cheated. No one condones cheating, but this was a part of what the book was about. It was hard for me at first to feel for the women who had cheated. I'll admit, I was prejudiced towards them completely. I did what every reader does and related the characters to myself and for me, it just did not compute. But then my eyes started to open. These women suffered. They bore the grief of their families and tried so hard to numb the pain. Someone doesn't just wake up one day and say, "Hey! I'm going to cheat on my husband!" At least these women didn't. I'm sure there are plenty of people in the world who do wake up and think that, but that's a whole other discussion. I believe it takes small steps that eventually lead a normal person with morality to cheat. Once again, I do not think cheating is ok by any means at all, but after reading Triangles, I can see how small things in life can lead a person to cheat.

This was my first verse novel and just... wow. The stanzas, the poem-like writing worried me at first. I didn't want to read a book of poems. I discovered that verse novels are not like that by any means. Far from it, actually. Triangles read just like a prose novel. The words were simply... beautiful. This will definitely not be the only verse novel I will read.

I know that Ellen Hopkins' other books are all YA. I read how Ellen hopes Triangles, her first adult novel, will appeal to the people who grew up reading her YA novels are now adults. Even though this is the first novel I've read by her, I can't help but feel comforted that she thought of her readers like that... how she wanted her writing to transcend genres with us. I will definitely have to dive into her YA novels now!
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on October 26, 2011
Triangles: A Novel is a tale that is on the one hand psychologically disturbing, and on the other hand a story 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 female 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 love and that of her husband 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, yet at the same time, much like her friend, Andrea also seeks the admiration and closeness of a male sex partner. Unfortunately, in her loneliness, Andrea crawls into the vacant 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 child's care. Marissa's husband shucks off his responsibility toward 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 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 praise 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 they seek 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 Triangles to readers who like tales crammed with emotion, betrayal, angst, and hope. It is a moving tale; more because of the beauty of its prose, than it's distressing story.

This review was written by Regis Schilken, author of TEARS OF DECEIT.
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on June 18, 2012
`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.
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on June 24, 2016
The sheer poetic format of this book makes it a wonder to read. Add three women's lives and love or search for love...and sex as their situations challenge them to make changes, and you have a startling revelation of a read. It is so good, so filled with thoughtful, poetic, sometimes poignant reflections that I must read it again both to savor the brilliance and to reflect upon the reflections. Explore life with Missy, Andrea, and Holly, their spouses, children and lovers and delve into your own challenges, desires, and dreams.
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on May 9, 2014
I was not sure how I wanted to rate this book. Even though this was not one of my faves it was still very well written. We see a whole new side to Hopkins with this book, but still it felt so honestly written. Maybe I did not like it as much because it was not one of her YA books, something I have been used to. One thing for sure though is that her poetic side is just as prominent in this book as in all the others.

Our characters in this book are still very real and very much believable. We look into the lives of three women. Holly, who know longer feels the desire for her husband or her life as she knows it as it teeters on regret, and goes on a extramarital sex binge. Andrea, who wishes she had the life that her friend Holly so desperately runs from, and Marissa who has a life devoted to her family full of overwhelming challenges such as her terminally ill daughter and her gay son. Her husband seems to have checked out and throws himself into his work. All very real situations as Hopkins rights it with no holds barred.

I think I enjoyed Marissa's story the most. It was so open and honest, happy and sad. I felt the most emotion with her tale, I felt like I was there feeling everything Marissa was feeling. I also enjoyed how we could see each of the women's lives through the eyes of the other women. Put a whole new spin on each story being told, new perspectives.

I gotta say at first I was kinda shocked at what Hopkins was writing, but as I got into the story it made me realize that these things happen all the time. Hopkins was able to tell it very well, so much so that the readers could almost imagine that it could have been part of her own life that was being told. She writes it so that we, her readers, can feel every hurt, every happiness, every sadness and every tear.

So all you can do is read it for yourself and form your own opinion as to what you read within these pages. For me, I think a 3.5 star is fair and I am glad I got to read one of her adult books. Still written very well, very poetic and very honest. Even though it did not seem as dramatic as her YA novels are, it was still very enjoyable.
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on January 29, 2016
I've read a few of Hopkins YA novels and really liked them. Not every one loves the poem/prose style, but I think it's quite refreshing. However, as an "adult" novelist... meh, I don't know. The story here felt really forced, like she was trying too hard to make it "sexy" and "adult". I would read another one of her YA novels before I'd pick up an adult one.
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on July 14, 2015
I actually did not finish reading this book and that is unlike me. This book goes from character to character which is fine, but it isn't even formated in Ebook form. It gets very tiresome page after page of things out of order, no titles for chapters, etc. This author needs someone to help her get her work in order. I'm sure I would like the story, if it were put together better.
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on September 25, 2013
*4.5*
i really enjoyed this book. a lot of the reviews seemed negative about the few explicit sex scenes or just that character in general but i felt that all three characters were great portrayals of the real frustrations that people have in life and yes some of the seemingly inappropriate ways that some people deal with that. it was just such a real and visceral feeling book and i just love the way that hopkins makes the verse style of writing really work. after one YA and then this book by her i'm definitely going to go back and read more. her writing just amazes me, especially the way she can make the characters come alive each in their own unique ways and again the verse style just adds to that. i definitely consider myself a fan now. and even though obviously most of the subjects written about can be hard to read you're just so drawn in that you have to keep reading even if you feel uncomfortable. just an amazing author!!
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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 symbolism...by 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.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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