Witnessing the fallout from the poor choices their parents make and the lies adults tell themselves, three teens are clinging to the last remnants of the secure and familiar world in which they’ve grown up. But the ground is shifting. What was once clear is now confused. Everything is tilting.
Mikayla is sure she’s found the love her parents seem to have lost, but is suddenly weighing nearly impossible choices in the wake of dashed expectations. Shane has come out, unwilling to lie anymore about who he is, but finds himself struggling to keep it all under control in the face of first love and a horrific loss. Harley, a good girl just seeking new experiences, never expects to hurtle towards self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.
Inspired by teen characters first introduced in her adult novel, Triangles, Ellen Hopkins crafts a wrenching story that explores the ways we each find the strength we need to hold on when our world’s been tilted completely off its axis.
reviews from Publishers Weekly:
In this companion to Hopkins’s adult book, Triangles (2011), the author offers a gripping novel-in-verse about teens whose lives shift dramatically because of sex. High school junior Mikayla is in love, but her relationship with her boyfriend is tested when she gets pregnant. Shane, 16, is dating a boy with HIV and coping with his four-year-old sister’s incurable illness. Harley, a freshman, starts experimenting with drinking and drugs, as an older boy pressures her to have sex. Readers unfamiliar with Triangles may have trouble tracking the characters’ interlinked relationships, but Hopkins’s many fans will find plenty of authenticity, especially in Harley’s story (“I’m Running/ With a fast crowd and I’m not/ sure how I got here... I never expected to go/ this far”), and appreciate the author’s clever touches (the closing words/lines of the three narrators’ sections lead into single-page poems from the POV of other key characters). While these stories are not quite as compelling as those in Hopkins’s previous books, readers will likely move through this installment just as quickly. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Sept) —Publishers Weekly
Completely off its axis the night
I hooked up with Dylan Douglas.
It was New Year’s Eve—five
months ago—so maybe part of that
earth-sway had something to do with
the downers, weed and cheap beer,
a dizzying combo on an empty stomach.
What I know for sure is, when he came
slinking up like a cougar—all tawny
and temperamental—something inside
me shifted. Something elemental.
I, probably the oldest prude in my whole
junior class, transformed into vamp.
When he smiled at me—me!—I knew
I had to make him mine. I would
have done anything. Turned out, all
I had to do was smile back. Just like
that, we belonged to each other.
That much—so much he means
more to you than anything—changes
things. You lose friends, because
you’d rather be with him than with them.
I’ve always been popular. Cheerleader.
Junior class president. Homecoming
princess. All the girls wanted to hang
with me. One was even a stalker.
Now, they still smile and say hello,
but the only ones who I’m really close
to are Audrey and Emily. Both of them
have sleepover boyfriends, at least when
their parents aren’t home. That’s another
thing love changes—your relationship
with your parental units. It becomes
them versus you, as if they’re afraid
of losing you. Jealous of the person
who can make that happen. News flash,
Mom and Dad. I’ll be eighteen in a few
months. You’ve already lost me.:
Should the sun beat
summer too fiercely
through your afternoon
window, you can
the blinds to temper
heat and scatter light,
sifting shadows this way
and that with a
of slats. And if candor
strikes too forcefully,
step back, draw careful
breath and consider the
your words must take
before you open
your mouth, let them leak
out. Because once you
tilt the truth,
it becomes a lie.