Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

Title: Triangles

Author: Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Atria
Format: ARC
Publication Date: October 18th, 2011
Overall: 5/5 
Source: From publisher for review.
Synopsis: 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 (Source).

 My Review:
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 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!
**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.**
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