Triangles, by Ellen Hopkins

bmgoodyear's review against another edition

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Thank you Simon & Schuster for allowing me to read this early! I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to read this.

’Two lines that never intersect are parallel. Two lines that intersect forming ninety-degree angles, are perpendicular. Perpendicular lines cross each other. Crossing lines. Today I’m thinking about how easy it is to be perpendicular. And about how, while parallel lines may not intersect, parallel lives too often do.’

I got this off of Galley Grab and it went on my list of ‘I might read… maybe’. Truth is I had heard about Ellen Hopkins YA books and wasn’t sure if I’d be able to handle the harshness of the subjects that she writes about and if her YA books were harsh I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from her adult novel. I picked it up one morning when I had some time to kill and was completely blown away. This woman is an amazing writer.

’Falling to pieces. That’s how my life feels. Fractured. Crushed. Disintegrating. And the weird thing is, it’s all because of that stupid little word: love. I’ve fallen in love with *name omitted*, and it’s tinting everything normal about me with shades of insanity.’

I could go into the storyline and what it’s all about, but the summary of the book pretty much says it all. The storyline wasn’t what made this book amazing though, it was the writing. The author also did the most amazing thing with the formatting of each page that really added something spectacular. I’m not often a fan of POV changes, and this book switches the POV often between the three main characters, but it totally worked in this situation. She also used a different font to differentiate between the characters which I thought was a brilliant touch.

As many of you already know, this author writes in verse, and I was not expecting to fall in love with that style of writing as I have. She would write in verse and then often between POV changes she would insert a poem… which was simply remarkable.

This was my favorite piece of hers:

Spilling a Secret
What its size,
will have varying
consequences. It’s not
possible to predict
what will happen
if you
open the gunnysack,
let the cat escape.
A liberated feline
might purr on your lap,
or it might scratch
your eyes out. You can’t
until you loosen the knot.
Do you chance losing
a friendship, if that
friend’s well-being
only be preserved
by betraying sworn-to
silence trust? Once
the seam is ripped, can
it be
mended again?
And if that proves
impossible, will you be
when it all falls to pieces?

amuncy's review

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Meh. I prefer Hopkins' YA books as opposed to a story about women cheating.

alyssalujan420's review against another edition

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Ellen Hopkins is my favorite author and I am sad to say I was disappointed with this book. I felt it was extremely cliche and all the women besides marissa had very annoying personality’s and both acted like children. I skipped over a lot of the book and mainly read marissas POV because I could not handle the others. Forced myself to finish it

bibliofiendlm's review

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Full review:


I loved this alternate perspective to "Tilt" - engaging and haunting.

leslie_kent's review

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Well I broke my book slump. But w an absolutely terrible book. Guess I thought I'd read this since I'd always looked at her young adult series and wondered. I will wonder no more. Not sure what the people are smoking that are rating this so highly that it's averaging 3.94. Anyway...can't really say anything else except it seems like yet another case of a writer who perhaps should have stayed in the ya section.

couchnest's review

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Have a box of tissues ready. I absolutely love listening to Ellen Hopkins' books. I have a hard time reading them in print because of the layout of the text, but when you listen to them being read, you don't get that aspect of the book and, for me, I can focus on the story more and less on the words on the page. Maybe that only makes sense to me. Either way, I enjoyed this book because the characters were in my age range and the entire flow of the story worked. Definitely not a teen/YA book.

claudiaswisher's review

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Definitely NOT YAL! Hopkins is very up-front about that, and I will continue to make the point when I talk about this book.

This DOES prove her cross-over power. The same format of multiple voices, connected characters, chapters in verse, and her own two-column poems, works wonderfully well.

These are characters I can, as a woman of a certain age, identify with. They're all turning 40-ish, and I've long since passed that milestone, but...Hopkins captures the conflicting emotions of Holly and Andrea and Marissa with clarity.

Holly has what appears to be a perfect life: good provider husband, a wonderful house, bright kids...but she's not satisfied. Of all three women, she's the one who has the farthest to fall, and fall she does.

Sisters Andrea and Marissa struggle in other ways. Andrea's husband is long out of the picture and she's raising her daughter alone. She is so alone.

Marissa's life was changed forever with the birth of her daughter Shelby, born with a debilitating, terminal condition. She and her husband are drifting apart and neither Shelby her daughter nor Shane, her older son who's recently 'come out' to his parents are making their lives any easier. Christian, Marissa's husband is an absent and angry father, and sometimes the household moves more smoothly without him.

Ex-husbands, a teen pregnancy, infidelity, loneliness, children's illnesses and's all here. So is that yearning for more...but more what? Will Holly's search for her birth mother satisfy her? Will Andrea find the peace and balance she craves? Will a trustworthy man enter her life? And Marissa...will we watch her shatter under all the pressures?

Hopkins' writing here is especially beautiful -- metaphors and images startle you as you recognize a truth you'd never noticed before.

Geometry: lines, parallel and intersecting, are part of the symbolism...triangles of lives, tragedies of parallels, possibilities of intersecting lives and lines.

As she always does, Hopkins broke my heart but I feel like lives will be stronger.

My girls have something to look forward to when they get enough years on them to read and appreciate this one.

Favorite lines:

A daughter is a rainbow -- a curve of light
Time has stolen more than sonnets
Regrets are like molecules -- we're all made up of a lot
For every pain-infused minute we shared twenty saturated with joy
Damaged love is like injured skin -- sometimes the wound will heal completely. Other times it leaves a scar.
Genetics is Got and God gets pissed when you misspend love
Sometimes you have to close your eyes to forecast the weather.

akuhlma03's review

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She really is one of my favorite authors. Her books suck me right in and I find them difficult to put down.

socialpsysteph's review

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Love this prose style. Great story!

juliahope's review

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Beautifully written but not what I was expecting. Maybe I'm comparing it too much to her YA books but there was both too much and not enough going on in these three stories. Also, the amount of cheating bordered on ridiculous and is enough to make any reader suddenly suspicious of their own relationship!