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Three female friends face midlife crises in a no-holds-barred exploration of sex, marriage, and the fragility of life.

Holly: Filled with regret for being a stay-at-home mom, she sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Will it bring the fulfillment she is searching for?

Andrea: A single mom and avowed celibate, she 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?

Marissa: She has more than her fair share of challenges - a gay, rebellious 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's rekindles. As one woman's family comes apart at the seams, another's reconfigures into something bigger and better. In this story of connections and disconnections, one woman's up is another one's down, and all of them will learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness.

Unflinchingly honest, emotionally powerful, surprisingly erotic, Triangles is the ultimate page-turner. Hopkins's gorgeous, expertly honed poetic verse perfectly captures the inner lives of her characters.

Sometimes it happens like that. Sometimes you just get lost. Get lost in the world of Triangles, where the lives of three unforgettable women intersect, and where there are no easy answers.

529 pages, Hardcover

First published October 18, 2011

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About the author

Ellen Hopkins

58 books17.3k followers
Ellen Hopkins is the New York Times bestselling author of Crank, Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, Tricks, Fallout, Perfect, Triangles, Tilt, and Collateral. She lives in Carson City, Nevada, with her husband and son. Hopkin's Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest pages get thousands of hits from teens who claim Hopkins is the "only one who understands me", and she can be visited at ellenhopkins.com.

Like most of you here, books are my life. Reading is a passion, but writing is the biggest part of me. Balance is my greatest challenge, as I love my family, friends, animals and home, but also love traveling to meet my readers. Hope I meet many of you soon!

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 845 reviews
Profile Image for Megs ♥.
160 reviews1,283 followers
February 12, 2012
So, Triangles. I've recently read a few of Ellen Hopkins' YA books and really enjoyed them. Since she usually does YA work I decided to try her first adult book.

She's known for tackling taboo subjects in her YA books, and she does so just as much in Triangles. A few things discussed are affairs, threesomes, swinging and much more. The story is told from the perspectives of three women who live parallel lives. I really enjoyed the story and was so into it in the beginning. Then it kinda became a huge story about him cheating and her cheating and everyone cheating on their husbands and wives and it was just like...really? Enough cheating. That's a pet peeve of mine though so if it doesn't bother you then okay maybe you will like this one more.

The only other complaint I had was that there was just too much going on for such a quick read. As I mentioned the story is told from the three women. Each of those women has a family life, as well as their own struggles. Maybe if this book had two characters it wouldn't have felt so cluttered, but then it wouldn't be able to have the title Triangles. If she really wanted to include so much in this story as well as her little separate poems at the beginning of each chapter I think this book should have been a little longer.

Scientists say every action

initiates an equal and opposite

reaction. I say that’s just the start.

I say

every action initiates a most

unequal and unpredictable

chain reaction, that


filament of living becomes

part of a larger weave, while

remaining identifiable. That each


of latitude requires several

stripes of longitude to obtain

meaning. That every universe

is part

of a bigger heaven, a heaven

of rhythm and geometry,

where a heartbeat is the apex

of a triangle

The book is well written ,though, as are all of the things I've read from her. When I read her books I do expect a good quality of writing. The story is very intense and captures bitterness that could only be felt so strongly by a woman scorned. As far as Hopkins goes I think she's a fabulous writer and I will definitely check out her other books.
Profile Image for Tara Hall.
Author 1 book15 followers
October 9, 2011
I was lucky enough to pick up an ARC of this three days ago. Every free moment has been devoted to reading it since.

I should say something as a word of warning. While many authors that started out in YA fiction have been making the jump to adult literature recently, many of their books could still be read by their teen fans. This is NOT one of those books. In fact I doubt it appeals to many people under 30. I find it highly unlikely that they would get it (as evidenced by the some of the other reviews posted here, particularly the people that like Hopkins' other books). Nevermind the fact that it has some pretty explicit sex scenes.

This novel is nothing short of gorgeous. It's rich, dark, erotic, emotional, and in the end, heart-wrenching. But it is none of these things any moreso than real life can be. It is not over-dramatized, over-fictionalized. Instead Hopkins goes for utterly believable and honest to a fault, raw emotion dripping off each page.

Triangles is a sliver sliced out of the lives of three middle-aged women, their lives circling every kind of love and uncertain in each of them. All three of them parents, all of their children with their own problems and their own amazing wisdoms. They are also lovers, to a number of people, and finally coming to a point in their lives where they understand what that role means. Each of them is flawed, each of them makes her share of mistakes. And in their mistakes we see our own, those committed or only imagined.

Each woman has also reached a point of evaluation in her life where she looks around and wonders if this is all there is to life. When you've reached that point in your own life, pick this book up.
Profile Image for Bonnie.
1,376 reviews928 followers
April 8, 2017
Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!

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?
Profile Image for Crystal.
449 reviews92 followers
July 13, 2011
I always find rating Ms. Hopkins novels extremely hard. I mean really how can one person "like" the stories that she creates?? They are all so dark and ugly and honestly they always make me feel uncomfortable. I decided to give this book three stars and I can't believe that I am saying this but it just wasn't ugly enough for me. I have read a few of her previous YA books so I just knew going into this, being it is her first adult fiction book, that I was in for a rough few days. I even had a stack of happy books to follow this one to help me recover, but I don't need them. Yes it was dark, but I just really expected more dirt.
The three stories included in this novel are all linked together just like her previous books. You have three women who for one reason or another are unhappy with their lives. Holly wants more out of her marriage even though things are essentially perfect. Andrea is a struggling single mom trying to raise a 13 year old daughter and trying to find the love of her life. She has been burned many times in the past and she feels like maybe men are just not in the cards for her. Her best friend is Holly and she envies the life that Holly has, a wonderful husband, three kids, and a great home. Andrea would do anything to have that life. Marissa is married with two kids and also Andreas sister. Her son Shane is gay and that she accepts, her daughter Shelby has Spinal Muscular Atrophy and that she has to accept even though she doesn't want to. Her husband works far too much and leaves her home to take care of their daughter by herself and to watch as her son tries to find his way through high school. Marissa is tired and when she starts wondering why her husband isn't home more she actually doesn't have the energy to care.
The only storyline that I felt was a true Hopkins was Holly. That one was icky and made me realize that there are all kinds of people in the world. The other two touched me in different ways and they were so much more real than Holly's. I am surprised at a few things that happened but overall I guessed most of the twists. I think this is a strong book, but just beware that this is not as strong as her YA novels. I keep wondering why I feel this way and the only thing that comes to mind is that this book was about adults and not teenagers.
I say that if you like Hopkins you will probably like this book, I will continue reading her stories.
Profile Image for Merary.
232 reviews199 followers
June 14, 2012

Hmm, difficult . . . very difficult . . .

I have mixed reactions towards Triangles.
I have never read any Ellen Hopkins book. Until now. I'm well familiar with her Crank trilogy, but I just never got the time to read them. I have heard wonderful things about them: the verse is beautiful;
Hopkins creates well narrators, etc.
So, when I picked this book up--knowing that it was targeted to adults--I took it as a change to finally explore what everyone has been talking about. The plot sounded intriguing and deliciously seductive. Who doesn't like reading about women in their midlife crisis? The premise promised adultery, eroticism, backstabbing, and marriages coming apart.
The result: A nonsensical mess.

Let me introduce our three main characters . . .


She is in her 40s, she has a husband who really loves her, a teenage daughter, and she doesn't realize how good her life is and throws it away with adultery. Seriously, I hated Holly. So much. Guess what was her excuse for cheating? So she could use it as material for her erotica. I'm not kidding. I have many things that I want to say to Holly, but those wouldn't be enough to describe how a big of a parasite she is. Her situation could have been easily resolved (She didn't have a situation in the first place!): Communication is the key for a stable relationship. If I was her, I could have told my husband that his sex isn't satisfactory anymore. But, not to worry, there are some ideas to spice up the marriage. And, TA-DA!! Problem solved. Then, write erotica at the end.
But, she didn't use common sense!! She decided to fuck everything that moved so she could find "the perfect orgasm". And it wasn't only men. Ho, ho no. She also slept with women and got involved in public orgies.
Then, she met a guy named Bryan, whom she fell in love with. Problem is, he is married. And she thinks it isn't fair that he spends more time with his wife than with her!

UGH. Where's my Jungle Red nails??!

And when she gets caught, she thinks it isn't fair, AGAIN.
And then her teenage daughter gets pregnant. Oh boy.
I just never had sympathy for her. Not even when I was supposed to. I just can't stand parasites, you know?


She is a single mom and she has the worse luck with men. You know, since her ex-husband decided to abandon her with another woman. And she's disgusted by the way Holly acts. Andrea had a lot of problems that I expected her to exploded and exclaim to strangers:

I think she did somewhere, I just don't remember. Also, she covets Holly's husband, Jace. At some points, she started fantasizing about him. Then it stopped for a while. The premise tells you that she sleeps with Jace. That was probably the number one reason I wanted to read this. It sounded so juicy and exciting. I kept reading just to see how it happened, and the action finally began . . . at page 420.

I might have forgiven the fact that it took so long to get there, until I read how Jace and Andrea exactly get to the point of no return. After Jace finds out about Holly's cheating, he goes to Andrea to have a shoulder to cry on. Then, they suddenly kiss passionately. The sudden change of point of view made me think that they immediately have sex afterwards. It was discovered later on that they stopped their horny horses and decided to drink some wine. I suddenly thought: "Oooh, so they will have drunk sex. Nice." It never happened. Where is the revenge sex? After they sleep in different bedrooms to calm their drunkenness, Jace finally comes to Andrea's bedroom . . . and finally have sex. Several times.

I am supposed to believe that Jace slept with Andrea by his own account, and not because he was driven by revenge, lust, or anger? Shit, Hopkins made this cheating scene . . . romantic. Cheating is never supposed to be romantic. Never. I was hoping that Holly find out about it, just to have more drama and shit. But, no. After their little escapades, Andrea finally ends things with Jace, and he comes back with Holly at the end. And, oh yeah, she finally meets a random guy and lives happily ever after. UGH. She wasn't much worse than Holly. That little hypocrite.


She is married, has a young daughter with SMA disease, and a gay teenage son. I liked Marissa. She was the only character I was looking forward to read. At first, I thought she was whiny bitch, but once I got to read more, I realized how strong and complex her character really is. Unlike Holly and her sister, Andrea, she doesn't do dumb decisions and her problems are real. She discovers that her husband has been having an affair with a woman named Skye for five years. If that wasn't sad enough, her son is engaging sexual relations with a guy who has HIV. And also, her only daughter is in danger of not living. She was the only character I had sympathy with and root for. I didn't want anything bad happen to her, unlike the others. When Shelby died, I started crying. That was the saddest part of the book.

When I imagine a little girl dying . . . I just can't control my feelings, you know? Poor, poor, little Shelby . . .
Marissa sometimes questioned why God let bad things happen to her. It was noticeable that religion roots her and was dependent of it. Another reason why I like her.

The first part of the book was extremely boring. When I finally reached the second half, it advanced more quickly. The verses of the novel were beautiful. Then, it started getting awkward and annoying.
Despite all the cheating and betrayal,

I want to say so badly that it doesn't have a plot, but it does. I guess this book wasn't for me.
And what about the erotic parts you may ask? Well, dear readers, it was something like this:

If that image disturbed you for life, I'll give you the non-metaphorical version:

This is another book that didn't need a happily-ever-after-ending. With all these situations, I was expecting someone to get caught (besides Holly, of course), pay for all the damage they caused, and some suffering. It was as if nothing ever happened. Everything's back to normal.
Here's some wise words from Virginia Weidler about what I feel about this:


Then again, maybe this book wasn't for me.
January 5, 2012
This was my first book by this author as I'm not a huge fan of YA. Since I listened to it on audio book, her verse type writing style didn't really come across. The characters were extremely engrossing and I found myself caught up in the lives of these 3 women instantly. Although it wouldn't take a literary genius to figure out which way the storylines where headed, I truly enjoyed the ride. The emotional punch of several parts of this story left me breathless. Other parts made me angry. One poignant scene in particular made me cry - I rarely cry when reading, but it was extremely powerful.

My main criticism of the book was the poetry type chapters which bridged the women's chapters. I felt they were totally unnecessary and impeded the flow of the book. The only ones I felt truly worked were the first and last one. The rest were simply annoying and useless. This is the reason I can not give the book a 5.

By the end of the book I was so immersed in these characters lives, I was disappointed that the author did not offer more definitive closure for them. However with that said, I can appreciate that she did not make the ending clichéd with happily ever afters for all involved. She made it realistic. The magnitude of the midlife issues and family drama all of these women were facing could not simply end with a nice neat epilogue - not if the complexity of the entire book is to be taken seriously. Still, I'd love to revisit Holly, Marissa, and Andrea a year or two later to see what happened.
Profile Image for Annie .
203 reviews26 followers
November 16, 2011
I won a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads.

Let me just start with the cover. The cover is beautiful. Now the cover does not make the book, but having a pretty one certainly does not hurt. The book is set up more like an epic poem or string of poems than a traditional novel. With that being said it is not the kind of poems that require you to figure out that because she said “it was storming out” that it meant she was an emotional wreck. Everything is spelled out. At the end of each section there is a poem that kind of sums up everything that person was feeling at the moment and those are somewhat symbolic in some places.

Each of these women have their own struggles; Holly the unhappy and sexually frustrated housewife, Marissa has a worthless husband, handicap daughter, and a gay son, and Andrea is struggling with being a single parent to her teenage daughter. I know people who would fit into each of these women’s lives. It is uncanny how close to home these women’s situations have hit. For that I give that author points for writing believable and relatable characters. All the characters are dealing with problems of there own. They each want love, romance, and family. How each of them go about it is the difference.

You often look at people and wonder how that got themselves in the mess they are in. This book puts you smack in the middle of the lives and feelings of these three women and you see why some people make the choices they do. They suddenly do not seem so crazy anymore, but just normal and trying to survive.

I am not the type who does a plot summary in their review. There is a synopsis by the author that does a very good job of telling you what the book is about, go read that. I will tell you that despite the fact that I am in my 20s and these women were in there 40s the book still completely captivated me. The emotions she conveyed were very real and towards the end of the book I even cried a little. I would have never known this was Hopkins first attempt at a novel geared towards adults. I hope she writes more. She is a truly talented author.
Profile Image for Sea Carlson.
39 reviews3 followers
January 28, 2021
I read Tilt, and after being pretty unhappy with it - I didn't think it would get any worse. I can't stand this book. I may not finish it. I'm not that far from doing so but I don't think I can push myself through the last of it. It's not written in a compelling way, I find myself speed-reading through the pages instead of taking it in like I usually do. The weird throw in of explicit sex split up by beyond depressing marriage lives and the single mom in the book mixes to be a disgusting mess.

When I first saw this book I was interested to see how these relationships played out from the parents' standpoint, but it only left me nauseous and unhappy.

Also, what the actual fuck is the deal with pushing diet and workout so hard? "Diet and exercise really does work" and a handful of other comments about forgoing a food to be one size smaller or maintain their size feels more than just an off hand comment. Eating healthy and being fit are great things, but obsessing over it, like how this book points it out constantly, is how eating disorders and dysmorphia develop. Unfortunately, yes, I would know. A lot of people know.

Forgiving your partner for cheating even when you admit the connection has fizzled? For what? Why is this so common in books, television, movies, and why is it normalized in real life?

And out of nowhere showing love to your kid who you abandoned years ago emotionally, just because you were caught cheating? What the actual fuck? It's insincere, and it's not recognized that way.

1/10. I'll finish it because I have to.

Profile Image for Michael Araujo.
64 reviews46 followers
September 10, 2014
We all know what it feels like to be a teenager. Most of us are still going through that awkward moment. The moment where we get our first kiss, our first love, our first drink, our first everything for the rest of our lives. But what happens when our teenage years are over; when we finally leave our teenage years behind. What happens when you find yourself a middle-aged person with kids and a cheating spouse? With a child you know won’t make it past the age of four. With a son who is experiencing his firsts. What happens when you can’t take it anymore? Do you allow yourself to collapse?

Triangles follows the lives of three middle-aged women as they go through their day-to-day life. Holly is a stay at home mom and wife who wants to experience a new life. Marissa is a mother of two who has to take care of her daughter with SMA and deal with her husband being at work all day, everyday. Andrea is a single mother who ties the two together and handles everyone’s problems but her own. With the lives of these three women, we get to experience how different situations affect different people and just how hard they take it. We get to see their reactions and have our hearts broken at the same time as theirs. We get to see how life is after the fun.

This is the first adult novel by Ellen Hopkins, famous author of the Crank Trilogy and many other Young Adult novels about teens. I didn’t quite know what to expect from this to be honest. I was a bit afraid that it wouldn’t match up to her other novels that have such power in them to make a person cry with a single phrase. I was scared that because it was about middle-aged women, I wouldn’t connect and that I would drop the book at only a few pages. I was excited when I received the book for review, but the fear didn‘t go away. It lingered on around my mind.

I immediately dropped the book I was reading at the time just to read this and I am beyond glad that I did. Not only did I connect with the characters, I loved them. In this one book, I became the imaginary son of these three women and saw their lives unfold before my eyes. It was a bit uncomfortable seeing their pain as if I were seeing my own mother in pain. I’m the type of person who is very reserved about my feelings around my family. I tend to keep them inside of me and not let them out. Why? I don’t exactly know, but I just do. Whether it’s a death or sadness or pain, I don’t show it. But when I read this book, I showed my emotions with ease. When a character cried, yes I felt awkward but I cried along with them. When they were happy, I smiled from ear to ear. And by the end of the novel, my eyes were red and puffy from all the tears I shed. By the end of the novel, I opened myself up to these characters. I became comfortable.

You might think that it helped me open up to my family in real life and made me realize that I‘m missing out on a big happy family, but it didn’t. That’s not the point of the book. It showed me that what I’ve been doing is normal and could even be the right thing for one to do. Your family can be your best of friend, but they can also be your worst enemy. But this isn’t about my feelings, it’s about the three ladies. I gained so much respect for women, more than I already had, now that I got to see their inside lives and secrets. I was able to go into their heads and see how they have this connection with us, their kids, and how they actually feel for us despite what they show on the outside. We might think they love us, but they do more than love. There is no word to describe the higher power. It’s just there.

But while I did gain respect for women, I lost some for others. While women have the power to do more than love, they also have the power to do more than destroy. Women are what hold everything together. They are these powerful people who can pick you up and bring you down in the snap of a finger. Triangles showed that they can destroy not only a person, but a whole entire family. It left me broken-hearted and afraid that one woman can destroy everything. It made me think that the symbol of purity and peacefulness and gentleness and everything else that I can think of that makes them who they are, wasn’t something that should be broken. As harsh as it sounds, I was disgusted by the actions of one particular woman in Triangles.

But many might be wondering how this novel is compared to Hopkins’ Young Adult novels. The truth is, it is the Young Adult novels but for adults. I love them equally and would not be able to choose between the two. Perhaps the Young Adult novels since I’m still connected to my teenage years. But beware. While Triangles is for adults and can be read by Young Adults who are over 18 or close, it is a bit raw and shouldn’t be read by those who can’t take mature situations. And no I don’t mean all of the emotions part. I mean all of the sex parts which are more like Erotica at times. I won’t be a man about it and say, “Yea! Sex!” But I will say that it makes one fan themselves.
Profile Image for Greta is Erikasbuddy.
851 reviews28 followers
November 16, 2011
Wow! This book was awesome, confusing, shocking, sad, happy, and totally woman.

Sounds like a mood-swing, right?

Triangles is a book about three middle-aged women who all link up in one way or another. Kind of like a love triangle but without Switzerland, and the wooing, and you know... sparkles. I'm guessing that's why it's called TRIANGLES. My husband looked at the cover and thought it was referring to boobs.

I found it really confusing as we went through each woman's pov. Each one done in 1st person. That really screwed me up. After about 100 pages or so, I came up with the idea of writing each name down on a post-it and moving the correct name to the front of each section when the pov changed. This helped out a lot. If you are having trouble keeping up I highly recommend doing that.


Husband: Jace
Kids: Mikayla
Best Friend: Andrea
Main thought about her: Wants to spice things up but really doesn't want her husband involved. In my opinion, kind of a slut. Ok.... totally a slut.

Husband: Divorced
Kids: Harley
Sister: Marissa
Main thought about her: Kind of wishy washy in the beginning but really finds her voice near the end. I believe she would be a loyal friend even if she does make some mistakes.

Husband: Christian
Kids: Shane
Sister: Andrea
Main thought about her: A trapped woman in a living hell as she watches her life go down the toilet and there isn't anything she can do about it.


Holly is in a funk. She decides that she'd like to try her hand at writing. She'd like to write an erotic novel. After joining a writing group she discovers that infidelity is a spice of life she has yet to sample. But one has to wonder, is the new partner(s) or maybe the rush she gets from keeping it her own little secret.

Andrea is the voice of reason in the book. She kind of reminded me of Jackie off "Roseanne". In the beginning she seems to do whatever anyone asks of her but by the end she is making choices that benefit her.

Marissa's daughter is dying at only four years old and there's nothing that can be done to stop it. Her husband sleeps in a separate bedroom and her gay son isn't helping matters. Feeling trapped in a loveless marriage what is a woman to do when there isn't anything that can be done?

In the first 100 to 200 pages it is hard to see how on earth the characters link up, but once you get past the introductions then watch out because you are going to feel like you are reading a soap opera. THE GOOD KIND! I couldn't wait to hear what so and so thought about that and what so and so was going to do about that. It will all make sense but you do have to give it time. If you have a little patience then you'll understand what I mean.

I'm guessing that all Ellen Hopkins books are done in verse. There are a couple of poetic parts and each POV ends in a poem which is very neatly done because the moral of it stands out. But I guess I just don't get how you consider such simple writing VERSE. Is it because of the way the words are designed? Does Ellen Hopkins arrange them or does she have someone do that for her? I guess what I'm saying is, if this book was just written in straight lines it still would have made just as much sense.

The ladies in the story are all either close to 40 or over. I don't think that anyone uner 30 would enjoy this book. It's defiantly a book for Moms with teenagers.

I don't think that I would buy this book, but I would recommend it. It's well written, the story is very interesting, and as long as you do the post-it method of have a killer memory then I'm pretty sure you will enjoy it.
Profile Image for Nancy.
1,103 reviews410 followers
July 7, 2011
Ellen Hopkins has a way of connecting with her readers in a way that seems almost intimate and a little voyeuristic. Her novels are written in poetic verse - some more artistic than my non-artistic mind can wrap around - but the story is always touching on some level.

Be forewarned Hopkins is not a tiptoeing author. Her previous novels, written for young adults, tackles difficult subjects head on. This one is much more graphic than her previous books. Hopkins tackles the difficult stage of the middle age woman, using three women whose lives constantly intersect, like a triangle.

Marissa is stretching towards her mid-forties. She is a stay-at-home mother who is bitter with the cards she has been dealt. Marrying later in life than her contemporaries, she was a stewardess who fell for a passenger, married him, and settled in Reno, Nevada. She is the mother of two children; Shane, her 16 year old gay son and Shelby who is terminally ill and expected to live only months into her fourth year. Christian, her husband, is often absent and Marissa is filled with resentment as her life is completely engulfed in caring for Shelby and dealing with her gay son on her own. When her husband makes an appearance, he is usually drunk.

Andrea is a divorced mother of a 14 year old daughter, Harley. Her specialty is dead-end relationships. Although she craves companionship she knows her tastes tend toward the unavailable - her last relationship being with Geoff, a man who forgot to tell her he was still married. He was also an ugly drunk. Andrea is also the younger sister of Marissa. Both girls are the result of a marriage born of free love hippies. One of the girls may not be the daughter of her identified father. Andrea is a passive player who lacks backbone, at least in the beginning of the book. Andrea covets what Holly has.

Holly is a friend of Andrea's. She is the discontented housewife hiding behind the perfect, successful husband and three lovely children. Adopted as a baby, Holly sought security early in her college career which she cut short. Holly and Jace have the suburban dream. Now Holly is reaching her fortieth birthday and she wonders how life would look if she was not married or a mother. Holly begins a hedonistic second adolescence beginning with innocent flirting at a bar and littered with lies and ideas for her writing career in Erotica.

Although the story is about sex and love, it is also about commitment, friendship and acceptance. It's a difficult book to read for so many reasons. There is loss, betrayal, one character who pursues hedonistic sex. There are also subjects that the middle age woman doesn't want to admit - different figure, lines and sags, existential questions, life defining moments of, "So this is it?" Redefinition of love and marriage, reasons for staying, choices of leaving and all of fascinating in a sociological way at a distance, a personal way closer to the age of forty or so.

If I were to be perfectly honest, I would admit that I identified with each of the characters at least to some extent. Questioning the social mores, religious morality, purpose of life, home, God's will and chance are all part of adult stages of life. Some of these issues were definitely taken to the extreme by some of the characters in the book. And yet I am glad Hopkins went that direction for the reader's benefit. It was a strangely discomfiting yet satisfying read.
Profile Image for Jay G.
1,281 reviews460 followers
February 3, 2019
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3.5/5 Stars

This follows three middle aged woman and the relationships they have in their lives. Holly is unhappy in her marriage and decides to look elsewhere for her sexual desires. Andrea is a single mother who is struggling with her dating life but is lusting over her friends husband. Marissa's family life is falling apart, her daughter is dying, her son is gay and rebelling and her husband works in order to avoid coming home to his family.

I love how Ellen Hopkins books focus on so many topics in one. This explores affairs, threesomes, teenage pregnancy, adoption and so much more. None of the characters in this book are particularly likeable in any way. I was frustrated with a lot of the actions they chose to partake in but I still wanted to read on to figure out what was going to happen next. I like how all the stories interwove at some point, as all Hopkins books do. This wasn't my favourite of her books, but it wasn't my least favourite either.
Profile Image for Cyndi Becker.
1,361 reviews9 followers
September 9, 2016
5++ stars!
One of the most uniquely written womens fiction/contemporary romance books I've read. The style is just OUT OF THIS WORLD. It's poetic and delivers the message in a subtle and clever way. Some people might balk at the style but once you get use to it, it's pure magic!

I loved the characters - Marissa's story, her family, her heart - my favorite!

Looking forward to reading the entire body of work by this author.
Profile Image for Cornmaven.
1,641 reviews
October 30, 2011
I received this Good Reads giveaway and was eagerly awaiting Hopkins’ first foray into adult fiction. She brings her well established YA novel-in-verse format to this story of 3 women and their rather trouble-laden lives. Unfortunately, I felt that Hopkins missed the mark with this effort. But full disclosure here: this qualifies as somber chick lit, and I like very few chick lit novels.

The book is set up with sort of chaptered vignettes with each woman narrating. They each have kids, two have husbands. Any particular section concludes with a free verse poem which tries to encapsulate the thematic contents of the narration. A couple of those were fairly well done, but most did not work for me. They felt sophomoric and unnecessary, and by the end I was just passing them by. I kept thinking, Hopkins, you really can't write poetry because these are just awful.

Only Marissa’s character held any appeal to me; Holly and Andrea were clearly stuck in high school – their actions and choices were so adolescent it was embarrassing. Holly, as a sexual outlier, never captured my empathy, sympathy, or even pity. Hard to do that when her reaction to her husband treating her as a possession equates to joining swing groups where she’s a mere object of other men and people. But these are two women who can't control their impulses.

In fact, there are only two male characters who are respectable in this book – Marissa’s longtime friend, Drew, and her son, Shane, who by the way is gay. And Hopkins takes full advantage of that fact to preach about homophobia.

Marissa herself has been forced to grow up because of her daughter Shelby. The rest of them, well, their lives are train wrecks of their own making. I do understand Holly’s lifelong search for self as an adoptee, but I don’t think most adoptees pursue that search in such a manner. I felt a lot of the explicit sexual encounters were totally unnecessary, and diminished whatever power her story might have had. Those parts of the narrative felt to me as if Hopkins were aiming at titillation and controversy, bordering on soft porn, and not the mark of a great writer. Perhaps Hopkins was trying to show that Holly had no talent for writing, although I am not an expert on the erotica genre. Those parts just felt pointless, when one can often create more lasting impressions with less explicit words.

Many times, especially at the end, I think Hopkins started in on preaching. She didn’t really need to do that; could have let the story show the lessons. The relationship lessons that Andrea’s and Marissa’s hippie/free love parents try to impart felt accurate. But I am not really sure what her whole point was anyway – I think it was something about love, but what, really? There were clearly triangular relationships throughout the novel, although the one triangle I was expecting – where all 3 women are connected in a triangle – never happened. Andrea is actually the center between Holly and Marissa, not a triangle.

All in all a very disappointing book. I do, however, appreciate the giveaway from Simon and Schuster!! Perhaps the next one will warrant a better review.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Abish.
177 reviews
September 7, 2011
Ellen Hopkins is a popular teen writer and this is her first adult novel. I have not read any of her books previous to this one and was not impressed. Her books are written in verse and at first I found it interesting and quick to read. After a while, the novelty wore off and it just got annoying. Throughout the book, the story would be interrupted by an actual poem about what just happened. The extra poetry slowed down the story when I already wanted it to be over. I knew the book was covering dark subject matter which wasn't the problem. The problem was that there was so much going on at the same time that it didn't really show the characters dealing with any problem in particular. Read my summary and you'll understand. The book concluded with the characters figuratively shrugging their shoulders and moving on with their lives, even after life altering situations. I didn't find any of her characters particularly likable or well fleshed out.

The book follows three women. Holly, Andrea and Marissa. Holly is a woman about to turn 40 and looks outside of her marriage to spice up her life. She starts writing erotica and has an affair with a man in her writers group. He introduces her to a club for swingers and she ends up falling in love with him. At the same time, she is searching for her birth parents and her teenaged daughter gets pregnant. Andrea is Holly's single friend who watches Holly flirt with guys when they go out and envies her perfect husband. Even though she judges Holly for being adulterous, she doesn't think twice about having an affair with Holly's husband when he comes crying after he discovers Holly's infidelity. Andrea is also dealing with a dead beat ex husband and a young daughter who develops a crush on her ex husband's girlfriend's son. She also seems to have a problem coming to terms with her hippie parents' communal lifestyle and how her dad might not be her biological dad. Marissa is Andrea's sister who has a terminally ill child who is dying and a gay teenaged son. She also finds out her husband has been cheating on her for the past 5 years. Does this all sound like too much? It was. Have you ever heard of "too much of a good thing"? This was too much of a bad thing.
Profile Image for Jen .
366 reviews137 followers
September 19, 2011
I thought this book was absolutely delicious. I knew from just reading the synopsis that I would enjoy it but I didn't know I would enjoy it as much as I did! It was a book about women and how their lives intertwine, but also how different each one is. It is a story about families, love, life, hardships and trust.

I felt that Ellen Hopkins wrote a beautiful story with so many different elements. She is a gifted writer whose story can all at one make you laugh, cry, mad and happy. I felt like I knew these women and their families and wanted to know more about them when the book was over. There is actually nothing in this book that disappointed me, I enjoyed every single part of it including the poetry written to describe the emotions the characters were feeling at a particular time.

I did not want to put this book down, every spare moment I could find I was reading this. I took this book on vacation with me and even when waiting in lines for rides there I was reading it. Hopkins is a brilliant writer who makes the story flow and keeps you wanting more!
Profile Image for Jodie.
202 reviews150 followers
October 16, 2011
Triangles is nothing shy of marvelous. Ellen Hopkins has created a most wonderful piece looking into the lives of three very different women tied together in some way or another. You'll laugh, you'll cry. You may even connect with them.

As you peek into the lives of three women, each connected together either by friendship or family, you'll find their lives are really quite different, yet each woman struggles with their own battles and hardships of their life. Mainly their husband and the unhappiness or lack of a husband and family life.
Each woman, be it, Marissa, Holly, or Andrea find different ways to try and find ways to make their life content. If you're not happy with something though, are you really just ok with things being content, or do you want to be happy? None of them are happy. And nobody wants to be judged. Especially if you break up your family. So how do you keep your family together and be happy? All three of them struggle with this.
What's a girl to do?
What are all three girls to do?
Profile Image for Beth Knight.
305 reviews5 followers
May 6, 2014
3.5 stars. I've read a lot of the YA books Ellen Hopkins has written and loved all of them. She's not afraid to tackle controversial, gritty topics, such as drug addiction. Triangles is an adult book dealing mostly with sexual relationships. This is another book that I suppose can be labeled "controversial " since there are some characters in here who commit adultery. I enjoyed this book but not as much as I enjoyed her YA books. I think it was more my frame of mind or mood that made it difficult for me to fully enjoy this book. For some reason, I didn't really connect with, or feel much for, any of the characters. I felt a little empathy for one of the characters and her young daughter and it's because of their story that I added an extra half star. I would have liked to heard more about them than Holly, who kind of disgusted me because she did some things that were so "out there." I'm no prude but one of the things she did was seriously abhorrent, and knowing that there are probably people who do such things is frightening!

Profile Image for Sterlingcindysu.
1,392 reviews52 followers
January 7, 2012
Thanks to Atria Books for an ARC! My husband will lllloooooovvvvvvveee this cover.

1-7-12 Hopkins writes this in poetry so it's quite different in the way it's read--slower to read the poems that are written down two sides of the page and there's more of an emotional feel. The cover should tip you off to how steamy it is! It's been a long time since I've read a "bodice ripper" (and this book doesn't fall under that category) but depending on your imagination it could really rate an XXX! The story wasn't half bad, Hopkins juggles alot of characters and storylines. When I first flipped through it, I thought, look at those wide margins--even at over 500 pages it'll be a quick read. It *is* a quick read, but not as quick as I was thinking. I feel sorry for the typesetter! All the different fonts and lines.
March 14, 2023
This book was better than I originally expected. The story lines were compelling. But I didn’t think the author used a different voice for each protagonist. They all spoke the same. Even the supporting characters. There were no defining emotions or quirks or things that made me remember who’s story was being told when I picked the book back up after a pause. The deeper connections/crossovers amongst the girls were definitely something that were interesting to analyze. But a lot of the stories were left hanging. Unfinished. No real answers to how their lives would end up. It was a lot of reading to just be left hanging and I think that looking for their endings, happy or otherwise, was what kept me going.
Profile Image for Janie Johnson.
899 reviews134 followers
January 16, 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.
Profile Image for Jessica at Book Sake.
643 reviews74 followers
October 16, 2011
Book Review
I’m so glad that I requested this book! I’ve only read two other books by Ellen Hopkins (Crank and Impulse), but after reading Triangles, I remembered why I love her writing so much. Hopkins’ style is incredibly unique and refreshing. She often utilizes techniques such as emphasis, indentation, or text shape to convey an underlying meaning or reinforce the significance of a particular verse. I’ve never read anything comparable to it before.

Triangles is essentially the adult version of her other books, describing the lives and struggles of three women who each believe the grass is greener on the other side. Hopkins tells their stories unflinchingly – the good, the bad, and the ugly (generally the latter two) – and covers controversial topics, spanning from homosexuality to infidelity. I think Marissa was my favorite of the three. Her story is so heartbreaking and honest, while the others (although still interesting) seem somewhat superficial at times. With that said, don’t pick up this book expecting to read about every minute detail of the characters’ lives because you won’t find that here. Since Triangles is just a compilation of intertwined poems, Hopkins mainly delves into the most intriguing and pressing issues in these women’s lives and leaves out the fluff that simply wouldn’t make for a fascinating poem. The end result is a fast-paced novel that you can’t put down.

There’s really not much to critique about Triangles. I’m always impressed by this author’s non-traditional and multifaceted approach to poetry. I would recommend checking out this book even if you aren’t a fan of poetry because, frankly, I can’t stand it, but Ellen Hopkins is my exception.

Reviewed by Brittany for Book Sake.
Profile Image for Dr..
25 reviews4 followers
October 10, 2011
Odd. I have read a few of Ms. Hopkins books. They are all brutally honest. They are all very dark and shocking. I have a doctorte in Psychology and I specialize in addiction(all kinds....sex,drugs,gambling,food,etc.)I have heard many tales from clients in the past that were "sick"(for lack of a better term). So when it coes to sex I am rarely shocked.
I think Ms.Hopkin's writing will offend many, but in reality---this type of behavior happens all the time by our neighbors---we just don't realize it.
The book wasn't as horrific and dark as I had expected. I was actually wishing it was a bit darker and rougher. I wanted to be shocked,scared and left gasping. I wasn't. It was just okay.
It is well written---the story just wasn't as deep and dark as I had hoped. Maybe I am used to hearing this type of behavior so it wasn't very shocking to me.
If you are embarrassed by sexual reads,erotica, or anything pornographic---don't read this book. You will turn red and never finish it.
If you don't mind reading erotica, then read this book and get into the minds of why som people get into certain sexual lifestyles. This book can be educational for those who don't know much about deviant sex.
Profile Image for Sarah.
3,318 reviews41 followers
October 18, 2011
I was pumped to get a copy of Hopkins' adult debut at ALA this summer. I'm a big fan of her YA work and I was very interested to see how her style would translate to adult fiction. This tells the story of three interconnected women and how their lives are changing as they approach middle age. I actually found this book to be less risque than her YA books - the main focus of this is sex and it's not all that unusual sex (for the most part). I think what Hopkins really tried to do here was explore more complex relationships than she may have in her previous work - these women have complicated lives and families and their actions, sexually or otherwise, affect others. I was instantly drawn into each of these character's lives and wanted to know what happened next. I really liked the character and plot development of this novel. I think reader's of what may be called "women's lit" will be intrigued by Hopkins' book; my only worry is that the verse format will scare away potential readers (I think of adults as more set in their preferences). I will be interested to see how this novel does; I expect many of her teen readers to pick it up.

Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy, though I would note that mine was missing about 30 pages in the middle of the novel.
Profile Image for Cecily Kyle.
1,771 reviews21 followers
August 1, 2017

I love Ellen Hopkins and I have read her Crank series as well as Perfect but this was different and way more adult. Not that the others weren't heavy on the issues and important but this was different and I have had this on my bookshelf for a while. I am glad I finally finished! I will not stop until I have read all of Ellen Hopkins work. I love books in verse!
I can't wait to read the next one, this one hit a little close to home and broke my heart but it was just really well done. Love the multiple POVs as well.
Great Read!!
Profile Image for Beverly J..
518 reviews27 followers
December 11, 2011
Incredibly fantastic. This book affected my life. How many books can anyone say that about? I am now a HUGE fan of this author, she blows me away with not only her quality of writng but her style. She rocks!!
Profile Image for Mary Elizabeth.
Author 18 books1,703 followers
June 24, 2013
What an amazing book! Three lives, all connected, but so different. Any woman in any stage of her life can relate to what this book is!!

I laughed, I got mad, and I cried. A lot.

Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful.
Profile Image for Kim.
230 reviews30 followers
November 8, 2015
I really like this author but this book was just okay for me. Could have been about a couple of hundred pages shorter! Was boring in a lot of places. Just kinda well fell flat for me. 3 stars.
Profile Image for Yan.
348 reviews75 followers
January 6, 2012
A triangle is a three-sided polygon. There’s obtuse, acute, and, ever so perfect, equilateral triangle. My geometry teacher would be so proud knowing that I remember that. Triangles, however, is a novel about 3 women dealing with life’s hiccups (or in this case, backhanded slaps). All 3 women are connected by blood and by friendship.

Holly: tied down in her own home; she wants to escape.
Andrea: looking for a relationship like what Holly has with her husband, Jace.
Marissa: dealing a terminally ill daughter, a rebellious gay son, and a husband that’s never home (and continuously hitting up that alcohol).

Having never read any of Hopkins work, but heard the great praise I was eager to start Triangles. As I hit midway through the story I realize maybe it wasn’t for the best that Triangles was my first Hopkins novel.

First off with the audiobook you lose her style of writing. Her verse prose comes across as regular paragraph writing. I’ve read sections of Triangles (from the physical book) and when it’s laid out it has more life. There are mini-breaks in-between chapters, which has two poems in one: one where you can read left to right from up to down; and there’s this single phrase from the title straight down on the left-hand side that is beautiful. With the audiobook you can’t experience the different ways how Hopkins chose to write Triangles; you can’t see the creativity and the work that was put in. You can only listen.

Secondly, with the voice narration I had trouble finding a definite distinction between Marissa and Holly. I went by context as to who was who rather than just listening and immediately knowing. With Andrea’s narrator, she didn’t change her tone often enough for me. She sounded indifferent and slightly exasperated (with a whiny pitch) throughout most of the CDs and by the words coming out her mouth, I expected something else. The narration for the inbetween sections that try to connect the different character chapters (but it’s not really needed) I thought was the best. It gave me the right tone with a loud voice.

Overall I didn’t have much trouble with the audiobook. Every word came out crystal clear, no static, no murmuring.

My third problem with Triangles was the characters. Will you find these girls and guys in real life? Probably. Will you want to immediately punch most of them in the face once they tell you their story? I would.

Holly is my least favorite character out of all 3. In fact she’s the only character whom I really hated. Let’s play pretend:

If you and your partner were having issues in the bed since nothing is doing it for you, would you:
a) communicate and try to spice things up
b) you know what you like so just finish it off by yourself, hint hint
c) start writing erotica, join a critique group, have sex with 2 of the 4 (5?) people in your critique group. Eventually end up having a foursome with your NOT husband in public.

If you say C, congratulations you are a Holly and you officially suck. (And by suck I mean that in the most nonsexual connotation.)

But seriously it’s like me doing badly on an exam. Instead of getting a tutor or talking to the teacher for help, I run away from home and join a circus for the rest of my life. Jumping the gun aren’t we? And how does no one know or question!?

Holly’s sections are the most sexually explicit scenes. She has sexapades and experimentations that are not made from public reading (or listening), which is why I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone under the age of 18. (Even then I wonder how young are the kids when they are mature to read about sex. It seems as though there’s plenty of teenage pregnancies.) Here’s a snippet of what I’m talking about:

‘“Now that you’re wet, I’m going to do something I’ve always wanted to.” He slips one finger inside me. Two. Three. At four, the pressure becomes terrific. But when I squirm, he gives my arms a warning tug. “No. Hold still.”

I do and he works his entire hand into that narrow place. And, over the flashing silver pain, I shudder orgasm. “That’s my girl.”’

Holly was the most difficult to like because quite frankly I just wanted to hit her. Did she try to communicate to anyone? No. Hardly anyone in Triangles tried to talk to other people to help with their problems and eventually it became this giant ball of yarn: entangled and never-ending. Victims do not have to stay as victims. Am I encouraging people to who have been cheated on to have revenge sex with someone else? Of course not, but there other ways to get your point across.

Andrea and Marissa are not the strongest characters I’ve come across. Andrea has an unfortunate string of bad luck with men, but her life isn’t disastrously horrible. For me, it was Marissa’s story that stole the limelight. It was powerful, raw, and something you worry about in the future. Shelby is the angel in her eye, but at age 4 she doesn’t have much longer to live. It’s tragic. Your emotions cannot help but pour out. On top of that, she’s dealing with a teenage gay son whose father isn’t the most accepting of his sexual preference. And he’s doing drugs.

And a character was raped. And someone is HIV positive. And there’s a teenage pregnancy. And there are abandonment issues. And cheating. There are lots and lots of cheating with emotional and physical acts of adultery. (Revenge cheating definitely makes everything so much better.)

My fourth reason why I wasn’t a huge fan of the book: Ellen Hopkins shoves too many problems in a not-so-tiny book. Really, let’s stick a son/daughter who’s a solider in the war against Afghanistan then we’ll have everything. Eventually you wonder if this is the most ill-fortuned group of people you’ve ever read in a book. (Answer: It’s pretty darn close.) I understand that Hopkins is leading the charge of writing books outside of the comfort zone, but there is a limit. No need to hit the reader with a mallet to get your point across—life sucks, deal with it. I get it. A girl can get lost and frustrated with a book like this.

The ending did nothing for me. Three of the couples needed marriage counseling or just break up. But they most likely won’t. Because no one really talks in this book. The person who Andrea ends up with came from nowhere.

Let’s end this review in a positive note. Triangles is filled with flawed characters who would a dynamic episode of Jerry Springer. There’s enough heart wrenching scenes to make me think about my life. It’s a powerful tale.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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