Monday, October 10, 2011
My Thoughts: Triangles by Ellen Hopkins
ARC received from Simon and Schuster.
After reading Tricks earlier this year I am a little nervous when it comes to reading anything by Ellen Hopkins. Not because it was bad, but because it was so good that it left me feeling a little sick with how real and unnerving it was. Hopkins does that on a regular basis, her young adult stories leave you reeling with emotions. She doesn't sugar coat situations and make them seem better than they are. She tells the honest truth, the gory truth. This skill has put her, and her books on the banned list more then once. But they are amazing, I have only read two of her young adult fiction, and I have been shaken to the core by the story she tells. In saying that, when I heard that Ellen Hopkins was writing a novel geared towards adults I was excited and totally freaked out. After Tricks and Identical, how much worse could it be? It was that question that freaked me out, but I couldn't stay away.
I was glad to realise that Triangles was not full of drug abuse, child molestation or prostitution. What it did involve was three women in their forties; one with a sick child and a failing marriage, another- a mother of three, facing her fortieth birthday with a brand new image, and the third- a single mother with a teenage daughter, who has been having a bit of a dry spell when it comes to men. They are all intertwined in one way or another and they are all dealing with similar issues. Three women, whose responsibilities have gotten in the way of what they really want? Writing about the lives of women may not be the most original topic in the world to write about, when Hopkins takes something on, it's bound to be epic, and Triangles was epic.
If you've read Hopkins before you will not be disappointed with Triangles, if you've never read Hopkins, welcome to the beauty of her writing. The lives of the women in her novels are not perfect, but neither are they so terrible. That's what makes this book so good. I've said it before, Hopkins writes about real life, not just the bad stuff. Her traditional style of writing in verse adds to the beauty of this story. The real life situations that are presented in Triangles are complex and sometimes hard to read, but they won't leave you cringing. They will have you thinking about what it is like to be an adult, and be unsatisfied with your life. They will have you questioning about what is right and wrong, and what's worth sacrificing. Triangles tells the story of three women, of commitment and of friendship.
Overall, this was another Ellen Hopkins masterpiece. It's not aggressively disturbing, but it still tells a tale that doesn't lie, and reveals human imperfection in all it's wondrous glory.