Triangles | book review


Title: Triangles
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: October 2011
Rating: 2.5 stars

I’ve read my fair share of Hopkins novels, including her Crank series and her fantastic standalone novel, Identical. Everything I’ve read of hers, though, has been YA, until I finally got my hands on Triangles — her first attempt at adult fiction. I had been on the waiting list for this book for about a year (I believe I was number 30-something on the ODL hold list), so obviously I was very excited when, as soon as I finished American Sniper, I was finally taken off the hold list and able to download Triangles. I had high hopes for this novel, but unfortunately, they crashed and burned. I would have probably stopped reading very early on if not for my personal rule of finishing every book I start. Honestly, if I would have had to go to work earlier than 7pm today, I most likely would have taken a few extra days to finish this.

Triangles is about three middle-aged women, all approaching that age of the midlife crisis. Being nineteen, this wasn’t the most relatable novel for me, but I was able to try and place myself in these women’s shoes and picture myself in the future. So, let’s introduce the characters: Marissa’s life is a rollercoaster ride, and not exactly an enjoyable one. Her husband spends the majority of his time at work, and when he’s at home, drinks himself to sleep in the guest room. Her teenage son is gay, and her young daughter disabled and destined to die long before ever reaching double-digits. Then there’s her sister, Andrea. Andrea has a teenage daughter and an ex-husband who she wants nothing to do with. She hasn’t had sex in over six months, and is getting very antsy. Unfortunately, she’s got a thing for her friend Holly’s husband. So finally, there’s Holly, the lady with the picture-perfect life: gorgeous looks, a successful husband to pay all the bills, and three beautiful teenage children. But what happens when her marriage goes stale after nineteen years? Holly begins to look for others to please her sexual desires, and pulls on new experiences as inspiration for her new-found hobby of writing erotica. All three women are connected to each other, and although they’re approaching the halfway point of their lives, there is no shortage of drama in store for them.

With a summary like that, I was hooked and immediately placed a hold on this book. Like I said, when it finally became available to me, I raced to claim it and begin. Unfortunately, I was let down. The summary made it seem like it would be a delicious, sexy novel with scandal after scandal, but I was really disappointed. Oftentimes I would find myself bored and pushing on only because I had nothing better to do with my day. Hopkins always writes in verse, and this novel is no exception. For some reason, though, that aspect of it just annoyed me. I feel like this would have been better written as a typical novel – more details, more dialogue, especially with the erotic scenes, which fell short, in my opinion. I know this book isn’t an erotica, but still, I felt like those scenes lacked detail and therefore failed to entice me. Each chapter was told in the perspective of one of the three characters. Like most of Hopkins’ multiple perspective novels, it was very hard for me to keep track of each character – which lady was Andrea? Who had the dying daughter? Which one went on runs all the time? It took about 3/4 of the book for me to actually keep them all straight.

The story was interesting, but the delivery was lacking. It was a little too boring for me. Although the end half was better than the first half, it still just didn’t interest me enough to keep me entertained. I do applaud Hopkins on her approach of taboo subjects, which is very typical of her and something I admire. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into this one. Maybe I’ll try another of her adult novels. We’ll see. I have to say, though, I loved the cover art — absolutely stunning!

Favorite Quote: “What good is tomorrow void of hope?”

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