Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

Summary:
Holly is filled with regret after eighteen years at home with her three children. She sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Andrea is a single mom watching 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. So what is she picks up Holly’s castaway husband? Marissa 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.
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, told in gorgeous, expertly honed poetic verse that perfectly captured the inner lives of Hopkin’s unforgettable characters.

triangles
Review:
Have you ever read anything written by Ellen Hopkins? No? Then don’t bother finishing this review. Stop what you’re doing and go get one of her books right now and read it. Everything written by this author is absolutely incredible. She’s for sure one of my favorite authors out there. The way she writes is just mind blowing.
Triangles is the first of her adult novels that I have read and I didn’t realize that it was going to be written the same way her young adult novels are. Hopkins writes her stories in poetic verse. She’s telling us the story that we’re reading, but within that story there are poems that reflect what’s going on within the story or tells of things to come. If you haven’t read one of her books you won’t know what I mean, so go read one of her books and then come back and read this review. After I finished this book all I could think was how difficult it must be to come up with stories like these and then write them in the form that she does. To find the right words to reflect what the story is telling. It’s honestly so amazing and I’m in awe of her talent and creativity.
As for the story, it was interesting as her stories always are. Also like usual, this book was about many different hard topics. Hopkins isn’t one to shy away from those controversial or difficult subjects. She’s honest and powerful and real about things that need to be said. Things like cheating on your spouse, from random hookups to actual affairs, teenage pregnancy from the parents perspective, having a child who comes out to you as gay and seeing the two different sides of accepting parent and the disdainful parent, parents that have disabled or ill children. This story was honestly hard for me to read because I’m eight months pregnant and thinking about my child dealing with heartbreak or illness or the struggles within these pages had me tearing up quite a bit. This is a book that will no doubt make you feel all the emotions and think about these hard topics that you may not have thought about before.
I’m not going to go into detail about any of the characters specifically because I don’t think I can do it without spoiling because of some of my thoughts about certain characters. So instead I will talk about the overall of the book. I think it was so fascinating to see these three women have their lives connect and slowly intertwine between their choices and their children and such. Three women, so very different from one another, going through their own struggles and dealing with said struggles in their own way, it was so interesting to see the three hugely different personalities dealing with their life issues in their own ways (even if I didn’t agree with some of those ways, it was still a little fun to watch them crash and burn). Three women who, from an outside perspective, have the world and still aren’t happy with it.
Overall this story was emotional and powerful, sexy and exciting, dramatic and entertaining. It had characters you can love and characters you can love to hate. I’m not surprised in the least that I loved this story. I think Ellen Hopkins did an excellent job with this adult novel, just like she always does with her young adult ones.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Antonia’s July Book Haul

Amanda, terrible influence that she is, recently introduced me to the site Book Outlet which sells really cheap books. The only problem is it’s a little random what books they have in stock and they’re usually in very limited quantities. Amanda got a gorgeous boxed set that was gone by the time I looked for it that I’m a little disappointed about but I still went a little crazy and bought twelve books. I won’t make this post too long but here’s my beautiful new treasures:

 

I was lucky enough to find two full series (it can be kind of hit or miss with Book Outlet). Both of these I initially looked at because of the pretty covers.

The Everneath series by Brodi Ashton sounded like a cool Hades/ Persephone retelling though looking at reviews now that part is a little misleading. Most people are saying it’s a little more like Orpheus/ Eurydice which I certainly don’t mind.

The Revenants series by Amy Plum caught me with the revenants idea. The summary doesn’t exactly explain everything so I’m really excited to see exactly what kind of supernatural creature they are.

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The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica by James A. Owen is a series I keep going back to since I first saw it years ago but I never got around to actually getting it. Recently I’ve seen a few reviews that convinced me to finally get into them. Unfortunately the website lied to me so I got books 1, 3 and 4. Hopefully I find the second book soon.

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The Girl With the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn I got because Quinn’s always been an auto-buy author of mine. I love regency romances and Quinn’s are always laugh out loud funny.

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones is a story of a girl and a goblin king; a bit like the movie Labyrinth, though I’ve been assured by other reviews that the differences outweigh the similarities. I’m extremely excited for this one even though I couldn’t get the second book.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Amanda’s been talking about this one for so long that I had to get it. It seems like a really cool concept and I just have to know what all the hype is about over the Darkling.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. I thought the good vs. evil and how to decide which one you’ll be was really interesting. Amanda highly recommended this author as well so I have high hopes for this one.

Well that’s all my new babies. Have you read any of these books? Any suggestions for other new books I should get? Leave your thoughts in the comments and thanks for reading.

-Antonia


Book Tag – Halsey

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Hi lovelies!

Back at it again with another book tag. I love Halsey so when I saw this book tag done on Downright Dystopian’s page I knew I had to play too! This tag is originally created by Paper Riot. Now, onto the book tag!

castle

Amanda- Aelin Galathynius for sure. She’s from Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series. She’s kickass and doesn’t take anything from anyone. She even has the choice to not become queen and abandon her throne but steps up and shows the world that she’s a force to be reckoned with.

Antonia- Definitely Raisa ana’Marianna from The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. I just loved watching her grow throughout this series.

coming down

Amanda- I’m going to say all of the scenes written by Lynsay Sands. Sexy vampires from Atlantis? Yes please.

Antonia- Hmm… this is a tough one because I read a TON of romance. I’ll say anything by Julia Quinn because her love stories are just the best.

control

Amanda- The Darkling, for sure. He’s from Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy. I don’t know what it is, but momma loves some Darkling.

Antonia- Queen Savilla from The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. She’s the queen of the endarkened (demons) and is simply evil. I just love that she has no redeeming qualities. She’s terrifying and awful and makes a fantastic villain.

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Amanda- This was the hardest one for me out of all of these questions. I’ve decided to go with the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Our main character is forever trapped in a love triangle between the (mostly) marriage material  Joe Morelli and the sexiest man alive, Ranger. I wouldn’t say that there’s a lack of communication, more like a stalemate. They communicate but not enough for Stephanie to be able to actually make a decision between the two. (Though I don’t think I ever want her to actually make that final choice.)

Antonia- Kvothe and Denna from The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. I really enjoy them together and wouldn’t mind seeing them actually get together in the future but they keep so many secrets and they’re both so mysterious that it gets in the way of them ever actually having a relationship.

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Amanda- Tamlin and Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I talk about this in my reviews for this series, linked here. Though I’m sure many people feel this way. This is the couple that popped into my head as soon as I read the question. I loved them so much in the first book and then Tamlin just, ugh.

Antonia- Ember and Riley from The Talon Series by Julie Kagawa. I wanted them to be together for the first couple books so bad then somehow I ended up loving Garret so much that I stopped wanting her to be with Riley. (I still love Riley though.) And me changing my mind about characters that drastically really doesn’t happen often.

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Amanda- This may be biased because of my pregnancy hormones. But when I read the breakup scene in the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova I literally spent a solid hour crying. To the point where my husband wasn’t sure what to do with me and just hugged me while I cried for an hour. I’m pretty sure he thought I was never going to stop.

Antonia- For me, this will always be Lyra and Will’s breakup at the end of The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. I was around twelve when I first read it and cried for days. I still cry hysterically every time I reread it.

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Amanda- Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira. Every once in a while I say to myself, “you know what was a good book, Love Letters to the Dead. I should read that again.” I have recently bought it on my Kindle (I got it from the library the first time.) and I’m planning to reread it soon.

Antonia- All of them. This is actually a huge problem for me because I continue to think about books long after I’ve read them; it actually keeps me up at night. It’s why I reread so many books over and over again.

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Amanda- Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I’m super not sorry about this either. The whole series is being written and released from Christian’s perspective. I have the first two and am waiting for the third to be released. While I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed, I will absolutely be buying and reading the third so I have all six books.

Antonia- Dark Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I actually need to catch up on this one but since I first discovered these books I’ve been a little obsessed with them even though there’s now 29 books in the series and Kenyon’s still writing.

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Amanda- If you read my posts on a regular basis you should already know the answer to this question. Looking for Alaska by John Green. If you haven’t read it read my review here.

Antonia- Beastly by Alex Flinn. This will forever be my favorite Beauty and the Beast adaptation. I reread it at least once a year and it always just gives me this light, happy feeling inside.

is there somewhere

Amanda- Every and all of the couples we find in The Shade of Vampire series by Bella Forrest. This is a 50+ book series that spans over a ridiculous amount of years, several generations, and many worlds. Every couple we meet and read about has to go through some (usually life-threatening) struggle before they get their happy ending.

Antonia- Adrian and Sydney from The Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. One of my favorite book couples but they struggle so much to keep their relationship going when both vampires and humans judge them for it. At one point Sydney’s actually institutionalized by her family for it.

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Amanda- I try not to use the same book over and over when I do these tags, but I can’t help it for this. I would LOVE to be part of the Night Court squad from A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas, reviewed here. It’s from the ACOTAR series, but we don’t get to meet them until the second book, so I’m using that one.

Antonia- The Demigods from The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. Awesome magical powers? Check. Funny and amazing and need to be my best friends? Double check.

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Amanda- Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in our Stars by John Green. See my review here to get a more detailed post of my thoughts on this book. I love Hazel and Gus together because they’re both just kids that had to grow up too fast and spent too much time thinking about death. Then they found each other and had a bright spot in their lives, a reason to live if you will.

Antonia- Amanda and Chris from Beheld by Alex Flinn. I talked about them in my review (here) and I just loved them together so much I think I actually squealed while reading it.

strange love

Amanda- Chaol from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas is a good one for this I think. So many people hate him after certain events in the series. I understand why he did what he did and still love him even though it cost him his relationship with Celaena.

Antonia- Fire from Fire by Kristin Cashore. I’ve read quite a few reviews from people who didn’t like her which kind of astounds me because I adore her.

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Amanda- Rose and Mason from the Rose Gardner Investigations by Denise Grover Swank. I wanted to put them for an OTP with obstacles, but honestly I don’t think they’ll end up together no matter how much I want them to be.

Antonia- None. Toxic relationships are pretty much an instant DNF for me. I’ve read about a lot of flawed relationships (e.g. Quentin and Margo from Paper Towns by John Green) but nothing that I would actually consider toxic. Even with examples like Quentin and Margo, I enjoyed reading about them but still didn’t ship them.

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Amanda- Shadows of the Immortals by Marina Finlayson. This series is a super interesting twist on the Gods (from all different cultures) which is a topic I really like. I couldn’t put this series down once I started it.

Antonia- Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George. This is a retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon and is still one of the most unique fairytale retellings I’ve read.

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Amanda- This one is easy. Lyss and Hal from Cinda Williams Chima’s Shadowcaster (reviewed here) are both totally falling in love (if they’re not already in love) with one another. But neither will admit it.

Antonia- Hazel and Frank from Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. They get together later on in the series but for pretty much this entire book, they both are secretly pining for the other. It was adorable.

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Amanda- Adelina Amouteru from The Young Elites series by Marie Lu, reviewed here. I hate to even say this because I love her but I also really hate her. I guess I love to hate her. Okay, I lied. I don’t hate to say it. She’s totally my favorite destructive character.

Antonia- Edmond Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. He’s so focused on his revenge the entire time that he ignores the chance to make a better life for himself but at the same time, his revenge plot is absolutely insane and amazing at the same time.

 


ABC Book Challenge |C|

It’s that day of the week again bookworms. This week our letter is C. For those of you that are new here, we’re going to talk about our most memorable books with the letter C and books with this letter that are sadly still living on our TBR lists.

This weeks letter – C.

Most Memorable Books

Amanda-

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – This whole series is super memorable to me. I’ve recently purchased all of the books again and plan to start rereading them to get excited for the final book to be released this fall.

Cross Roads by William Paul Young – I’m not a religious person, but this book (and the others by this same author) are such powerful stories.

Antonia-

Cinder by Marissa Meyer – It’s such a unique and wonderful story. I adored the characters especially and this series has become one of my absolute favorites.

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor – This was such a cute little love story which isn’t necessarily special except that it’s one of the only books where I really paid attention to the setting. Friday Harbor was instantly somewhere I wanted to go and now that I live close to the real Friday Harbor I plan to visit soon.

 

Books Still on my TBR List

Amanda-

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman – I’m planning on reading this at some point this month (hopefully). I’ve heard really good things about it.

Collateral by Ellen Hopkins – I read another of her adult novels and really enjoyed it. So I’m hoping this one is good too.

Antonia-

Celtic Magic by Linsey Hall – This is the next book in the Dragon’s Gift: The Druid series and I’m so excited to see where the story takes me next. I’ve loved all her books that I’ve read so far so I have high hopes for this one.

Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts – I surprisingly enough don’t have much on my TBR that start with C so this one’s actually a reread. It’s one of her books that I read years ago and have been thinking of picking up again recently.

 

 

 

These are our picks for this weeks letter. What books are memorable to you that start with C? Any that are still waiting to be picked next from your TBR list?


Tome Topple Challenge – Wrap Up

Hi, bookworms! We’re back again with the Tome Topple Readathon Challenge. This time it’s to give an update about how we did! Tome Topple has officially ended, sadly. It was a fun challenge and great to help us get some of the bigger books on our TBR lists knocked off. While our TBR lists are forever getting longer instead of shorter, this challenge helped us get through a few of the longer books for sure.

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Amanda

I managed to get through three and a half books! I started off with Stormcaster by Cinda Williams Chima (review here.) The third book in the Shattered Realms series was amazing. I can’t wait for the fourth book to be released next year. This book was my ‘tome that’s part of a series’ for the readathon. Next, I picked up Triangles by Ellen Hopkins. My review for this book will be published this upcoming Monday, so keep an eye out if you’d like to read my thoughts on that story. Triangles was my ‘adult tome’ for the readathon. After that, I couldn’t help but pick up the sort of companion novel, Tilt, that focuses on the same story but from the young adult perspective. This wasn’t on my TBR list for this challenge but it’s over 500 pages, so I’m counting it! I’m currently reading The Diviners by Libba Bray but did not finish it in time for it to count for this challenge. So that’s why I said three and a half books.

Antonia

I definitely didn’t do as well as I was hoping to for this challenge. I just started a new full-time shift at work and was there eight days in a row without a break. To top it off, the new shift is 1pm-10pm which is my normal reading time and I had some trouble trying to get into a book first thing in the morning. I managed to finish Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (review here) which fit “tome that’s part of a series” but barely started the second book, Inkspell. I read a couple smaller books in between so I’d still be able to post reviews which you can view here: Institute of Magic and Crime of Magic, both by Linsey Hall.

How did everyone else do with their Tome Topple TBR lists?


One Small Thing by Erin Watt

Summary:
Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems a small thing, just for her.
Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…
Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.
Now Beth has a choice to make—follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again.
one small thingReview:
I received this book from NetGalley as an ARC (though I think the book was released last month). I was super excited to get this book because I read the Royals series also by Erin Watt and I really enjoyed it. The synopsis of this story was really intriguing to me. I really enjoy reading about characters going through some trauma or awful life event and coming out better on the other side. There’s always just really great character development in books like this. One Small Thing was no different.
I knew I was going to like Beth within the first few pages because of one specific line. She’s told by her mother to clean the area for her stuff in their mudroom and while she’s doing so she’s telling us what she has there. One of the things she moves around and cleans is “a stack of Sarah J. Maas books that I’m reading for the eightieth time.” Right there I knew I liked her because I absolutely adore a main character that reads, though this was really the only mention of books, that’s okay. I really enjoyed reading about Beth and her struggle to deal with her feelings of grief and frustration that come with the death of a loved one. It was really interestingly written in a way that she wasn’t really able to properly grieve because she was so upset about so many other things in her life, such as her parents and their suffocating and unbearable rules. Because of her parents’ behavior, she starts to rebel and just finds herself in more and more trouble.
I understand that her parents are grieving the loss of their firstborn daughter and they want to protect the daughter that they do still have left, but I think they went overboard. It was to the point where if I were Beth I would have absolutely run away and stayed somewhere else away from them. I would not have been able to deal with them and just take the crap they were throwing at Beth.
I absolutely adored Chase. I was right alongside Beth falling in love with him even though everyone thought it was wrong. This is a guy that Beth was supposed to hate, but she finds herself attracted to him before she knows who he is. Then after she finds out who she is she deals with the shame and guilt because all of these people are telling her how she should be feeling, but she’s still drawn to him, still attracted to him. Let me just say, I LOVE FORBIDDEN LOVE. In this book, it has more frowned upon love than actually forbidden, but the feels are still the same. I honestly could not get enough of Beth and Chase together. They were just so good for one another even though they both tried to fight it. They were both what the other needed. Chase has no problem telling Beth she was being a spoiled ass brat and she needed to think about her actions and how she was treating people. This really had an effect on Beth. This wasn’t the only thing that Chase set her straight about either. I think that’s why I liked them so much because neither was afraid to tell the other how things really are and they need to get over themselves and do better. They’re just two people that were different parts of a horrible life event that were trying to figure out how to move forward and continue living their best lives. I see no reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to do that together.
There were a few side characters that I just have to mention. Jeff was garbage and I hate him. That’s all I’m going to say about him or else I will rant and I don’t want to do that. Beth’s best friend Scarlett is one that I mostly liked. They fight like typical high school girls and it was sad and horrible and made me really happy that I don’t have to deal with that petty drama anymore. Fighting about boys and not listening to your friends who are almost always right, it was super relatable but also made me mad because I’m out of that phase of life. There were a few members of staff at Beth’s high school that I just really loved. I think the high school did an excellent job of trying to support Beth and checking in with her even though she’s a high schooler that doesn’t want to talk about her feelings with any adults. I think it was a nice touch to the story.
Overall, I was pleased with this book. It was a really interesting read about two characters trying to deal with the same traumatic event where one is the victim and the other caused it. There was such a fascinating dynamic to this story and I loved every second of the forbidden love aspect. I also liked the tie-in with the title of the book. The idea is that you just need ‘one small thing’ to get you through each day. It was a really nice input into the story and it was something that I could really relate to within my own life. The writing wasn’t overly fancy or complicated so it made for an easy read of a story I really enjoyed. I liked most of the characters well enough but adored our two main characters. This was a nice quick read with a great story.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.


Crime of Magic by Linsey Hall

Summary: To solve this crime, I’ll have to risk it all

Training at the Undercover Protectorate’s Academy is kicking my butt. My sister aced it in a few months—but I’m lagging behind like a three-legged poodle at a greyhound race. I don’t want to have to leave my new home in this amazing castle, so I’ve got to get a grip on my magic. Soon.51zcok3fehl

When thieves steal valuable dragon magic, it puts our whole castle is put at risk. Worse, our friends are dying. It’s my destiny to hunt the thieves, but my boss doesn’t get that. When she tells me to stand down, I have to listen. And that means our magic keeps weakening, and our friends are closer to death.

Unless I ignore my boss… 

My home and friends are in danger, so I’m going rogue. Fortunately, I’ve got the sexy shifter mage Lachlan Munroe on my side. Together, we’ll race against time to solve this crime of magic.

Crime of Magic is a fast-paced urban fantasy adventure starring a kick butt heroine, a powerful hero, and magic that will blow your socks off.

Review: I blew through the second book in Hall’s Dragon’s Gift: The Druid series. All of these books are pretty quick reads but I finished this one even faster than I normally do. It was one of my favorites that I’ve read so far of Hall’s books.
I really enjoyed watching Ana finally start to gain a little control over her magic. In the first book she had so many doubts about herself that it was nice to see her start gaining some confidence. As with the first book, she’s trying to get a handle on her newly developing magic while trying to figure out which pantheon she belongs to. (Ana and her sisters are DragonGods, which means they possess the powers of the gods of whichever pantheon they belong to.) We sort of find out Ana’s pantheon at the very end of the book but I still have a ton of questions about what it actually means.
At first I was a little disappointed because this meant there wasn’t really any mythology in this book and that’s one of the things I love about these series. I ended up being really happy with the alternative though. Instead of mythology, Hall used twisted fairytales. Some were from old, lesser-known versions and some she simply put her own twist on but they were all really interesting and fun.
I still don’t know what I think about Lachlan. We don’t know too much about him yet which I hope is remedied in the next books. I like the stuff that I do know about him but, personally, I need more from the male MC. The romantic tension between Ana and Lachlan was done pretty well; enough small details inserted into scenes to show it’s something continually on their minds but not so much that it becomes overbearing and ridiculous.
Overall I absolutely loved this book and can’t wait to see where the rest of the series takes these characters. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys paranormal and urban fantasy though I suggest starting with the first Dragon’s Gift series. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments and thanks for visiting our blog!
-Antonia