Author: Ellen Hopkins
Rating: O for Outstanding
Review: 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.