Sparrow’s review of Insurgent (Divergent, #2) > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Jason (last edited Aug 19, 2012 03:35PM) (new)

Jason This is a life affirming review.

Also, I think ratings are weird, but I also think I apply them based on the category into which I place them. For example, in terms of crime thriller novels, Dragon Tattoo might be a 4. And in terms of modernist novels, Swann's Way is a 4. But I think most people would recognize that Swann's WayDragon Tattoo, and I also don't think they'd make the mistake of assuming you felt similarly about them.


message 2: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Yeah, but that is why this one messes me up - because Divergent, Insurgent, Graceling, Hunger Games, and Daughter of Smoke and Bone are all in the same category, but I can't separate out my stars for them. And then if you take into account the books I hate in this category, it is even more confusing. Like, I gave Uglies three stars! Ugh! And I don't really want to change it, but also that messes everything up! Because I like this one approximately one million times better than Uglies. And I actually think it is objectively one million times better than Uglies. So, where does that leave us? Back at the total injustice of my star ratings is where.


message 3: by Jason (new)

Jason Is Uglies at least good? Cuz if you actually didn't really care for it, GR says you are supposed to rate it lower. Right?


message 4: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow It is like . . . engaging. And I can't give it lower stars because it is so much better than Pretties and the one where they cut themselves, whatever that is called. Oh Specials. So much better than those.


message 5: by Jason (new)

Jason So it sounds to me like you need half stars, maybe. And that isn't happening anytime soon, I don't think.


message 6: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow I guess. Or I could just keep complaining about my own injustice. I'm kind of enjoying that. O teh pathos!!


message 7: by Sparrow (last edited Aug 19, 2012 05:14PM) (new)

Sparrow Hmm, well, I was probably inarticulate in the way I said that, so I am sorry about that. I do not mean the word selfish to be condemning, even though I definitely understand that it carries that weight. I mean, more, that in my view, a person's choice to live or die is a personal, individual choice, an agreement between that person and him- or herself. To the extent using the word selfish carries a criticism, I do actually think that the decision to commit suicide is a decision to relieve a burden from oneself, but it shifts the burden to somebody else in the form of loneliness and even guilt. There are some circumstances where I can't do anything but think it is fair for someone to make the choice to shift that burden to someone else, and it is not my place to make a judgment about that in relation to anybody. For example, when my mom was dying, I would have supported her in choosing assisted suicide, had she done so, if it would have brought her relief, even though it would have brought sadness and loneliness to the rest of us. I can't speak for anybody else's reactions to that or opinions about that, and my mom was staunchly against assisted suicide, but that is my feeling.

More importantly, what I mean, is that it is my experience that people who feel suicidal often approach it as though they will be doing other people a favor, and I think it is important to be reminded, if a person thinks that, that it is a wrong idea. I think there are times when people need to be selfish, and even should be selfish, but one person's death, in my view, never benefits other people, and so suicide is never a selfless gift to someone else. People's lives are valuable, just as a rule, even in circumstance where other people don't treat them as valuable.

I hope that is more articulate, but I apologize to the extent that what I said could seem disrespectful of friends and loved ones.


message 8: by Jason (last edited Aug 19, 2012 06:07PM) (new)

Jason Growing up, our close friends' father committed suicide. Actually, they were so close to us that we called him Uncle Rick. When Uncle Rick died, there was a lot of anger over his death—anger directed at him—which was unfair because he wasn't around to defend himself, but it was hard at the time (and to an extent, hard still even now, as his kids are having kids of their own) not to feel a sense of abandonment from his decision.

But Brian's right, he (Uncle Rick) is obviously a victim, too, it's just hard when the ones left dealing with the repercussions are the ones still living and breathing.


message 9: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Yeah, I don't really think there are any clear winners with death. At least from this side of the line. With anybody who has died in my life, I have always experienced some anger towards them, which is just a part of grief to which I've reconciled myself. I think it's easy to wrongly direct that anger to actually blaming someone who has committed suicide, and I don't want to encourage that by any means. I think grief can be a really unmanageable companion, though, and if I were to die, I would not begrudge someone feeling angry with me for any reason. But, on the other hand, it is painful to hear a loved one's memory tarnished by blame.

None of that is what I intend to express by using the word selfish, and I certainly don't want to tarnish anyone's memory. For people who are still alive, though, I mean that there are other, better, ways to assert control over our lives than being self-destructive.


message 10: by Lori (Hellian) (new)

Lori (Hellian) Um I'm going back to the rating frustration. 4 is really a difficult one! So is 3. 5 for me is loved so much I must own because I intend to read it again someday. I may not, but when I look at my bookcase and see it, I am instantly transported to that world. I may even let it open to where it will and read some paragraphs. I get lost in the book. 4 is just what it says, I really liked, I may think of it from time to time, but it doesn't reverberate as strongly as a 5. 3 is a book I enjoyed, but after a time I don't remember it, maybe if reminded.

The star situation demands a personal philosophy!

I don't like talking about suicide, because it makes me very sad. That a person is so hopeless. The way I consider it selfish is that one is beyond thinking of the horror for the loved ones, the suicide is so lost in their own world and forget that things do change. Buried in themselves.


message 11: by Jason (new)

Jason Lori wrote: "3 is a book I enjoyed, but after a time I don't remember it, maybe if reminded."

This is mostly the reason I write reviews (even though I think writing a review for a 3-star book is usually harder than for a 1 or 5-star book), because it helps to solidify it in my mind. Maybe I'll be less apt to forget it.


message 12: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Lori wrote: "The way I consider it selfish is that one is beyond thinking of the horror for the loved ones, the suicide is so lost in their own world and forget that things do change. Buried in themselves."

Yes, exactly. It is terrible to be so buried in that monster that you forget that you have power over other people. People need a stern talking to about how we do have control over our own lives, even when we feel we don't, and how we do have power over other people.

Dude, fucking stars. I've given up all hope for justice in my star ratings. I thought I had a philosophy, and it was this:

1 star: Skye O'Malley territory
2 stars: better than Skye O'Malley
3 stars: somewhat indifferent
4 stars: I loved it but it is a flawed and possibly transient love
5 stars: is it too soon to propose marriage?

But, there are so many possible flaws in my love that 4 is really broad, and a ton of things are better than Skye O'Malley. Most things. Maybe even kitty litter and weddings.


message 13: by Jason (new)

Jason Maybe you need to be more vicious in your ratings. I often rate things I like with a "3" and people go, "dude, why didn't you like that book?" But 3 is like!!

I think more things could be a 1, especially if Skye O'Malley is so bad, there could still be things that are theoretically better while still not leaving "1" territory.


message 14: by Jason (new)

Jason My 2's are your 3's. If I'm indifferent, it's a 2.


message 15: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Oh, yeah, well I think with something I feel indifferently about, that is basically an, I liked it territory. Like there were a lot of good things I can appreciate about it if I felt indifferent.

Well, there has to be a place for OMG I HATED THIS SOOOO MUCH, and that is Skye O'Malley territory. Modelland, the Historian, and Wings of the Dove also made it there, so it doesn't belong to only Skye, but Skye is shorthand for OMG I HATE THIS SO MUCH. But there are still books that I really hate, but not in all caps, so 2 stars has to take that place.


message 16: by Lori (Hellian) (new)

Lori (Hellian) 2 is a book that I discard before the middle. 1 is a book I discard almost immediately!


message 17: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow That is very bold.


message 18: by Lori (Hellian) (new)

Lori (Hellian) I only started that when I hit my late 40s and realized life is much too short to waste on books I don't like. :)


message 19: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow It's true. A friend was telling me the other night that she always finishes a book, and I thought how she probably reads too few books. Not worth it.


message 20: by Jason (new)

Jason I'm definitely a finisher. There've been too many books that I didn't like when I've started off that I've ended up really liking. Also, I think I feel like, when I'm done with a book, that I'm glad I've read it. Like I've never thought to myself, I wish I hadn't read that. I'm usually always very glad to have had the experience, even if it wasn't completely a positive one. Maybe I just haven't read enough crap.


message 21: by Jason (new)

Jason Oh, but no, I definitely have read crap and I think I end up loving how much I hate it. It's very cathartic.


message 22: by Sparrow (last edited Aug 21, 2012 05:27PM) (new)

Sparrow Oh, I've regretted finishing so many books. So many. Most notably: Wild at Heart. I caved on that one because of my friends' dad who said (all together now) I couldn't hate it unless I finished it. But, it was fun to fight about it later with him because in that fight he said that God created animals for our pleasure. Such a good one.


message 23: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! Jason wrote: "I'm definitely a finisher."

LGM?


message 24: by Jason (new)

Jason The Eh! Train wrote: "LGM?"

Oh, nice find!


message 25: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Ooh, Mer, can you write a rant about Wild at Heart? Please?


message 26: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Oh, I don't think the character count would be enough for my rant about Wild at Heart. OH MY GOD. Then, I actually read Captivating after that. That was more out of spite, though, so I can't really blame anybody for that read.

But, there is this part in Captivating, where she describes Ruth taking a bubble bath. RUTH. TAKING A BUBBLE BATH. I think she also describes Ruth putting on a bunch of lipstick before bed, which, that just seems like a bad idea. Anyway, she took one of two stories from the Bible that I will die loving and just spit in its face. And for that there is no forgiveness. Otherwise, Captivating is basically just one long block quote from Wild at Heart. I can't even believe that "book" exists.

Most of my rant about Wild at Heart is this: you suck, Wild at Heart. You suck for taking the best guy friends I've ever had and turning them into Louis L'Amour-quoting, tobacco-chewing, anti-women-propaganda-spewing imbeciles. And you can say women love to be barefoot and pregnant all you want, and isn't it precious of those tender creatures, but that won't make it true, you douchebag.

The problem with ranting about Wild at Heart, though, is that in my experience, people who love it, love it defensively. Men love it like, "Thank you for affirming me that it isn't so terrible that I care about freedom and hiking!" So, it only alienates them to point out the evils that type of rhetoric perpetuates (which is obviously unrelated to anything having to do with freedom and hiking). People who are on the defensive are impossible to talk to, and men who run churches are always, as far as I've ever seen, on the defensive. So, if you say, Oh, I, as a woman, actually do not feel the way you described me, what they hear is that you think they are evil, abusive, ugly neanderthals. It is almost impossible to have any type of conversation with people like that.

I was thinking tonight about how, sometimes, when you have a conflict with someone, you know that person is actually concerned with however you feel about the conflict, and other times they are so concerned with their own coolness that they can't care about how you feel. Like, say you feel undervalued in a friendship, and you bring it up to a friend, and that friend validates your feeling and asks about it, but never intended you to feel that way. Then, other times, you have a conflict with someone, and that person clearly couldn't care less about how you feel in the conflict, but obviously only cares about whether your hurt feelings will make him look fat. Conversations with Wild at Heart guys is the latter experience. All too frequently, conflict with men in general is the latter experience, but obviously there are exceptions to that.

There was a phase, though, where I would say to a guy that Wild at Heart was ridiculous, and without fail the guy would respond with some reaction that was basically, "OH MY GOD, WHY DO YOU WANT TO LOCK LITTLE BOYS IN CLOSETS AND TAKE AWAY OUR TOY AIRPLANES????!!!!" Gender is broken.


message 27: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Jason wrote: "So it sounds to me like you need half stars, maybe. And that isn't happening anytime soon, I don't think."

Librarything has half stars! Heh.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, shit, I was so skeered you were talking about Lynch's Wild At Heart - which scarred the shit out me when I saw it at 16 or 17, but is probably objectively awesome, or not - the scarring is too deep for me to see it again.


message 29: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Miriam wrote: "Ooh, Mer, can you write a rant about Wild at Heart? Please?"

Also, this is probably too obvious to note, but they wrote companion books about gender in which the book for men is about men and the book for women is about men. So, thanks, guys.

One other thing that I find to be total bullshit about those books is that you hear this rhetoric around Christian circles all the time about how everyone has to get married because being married, like, chisels you into a better person because someone else is there to point out all of your flaws and help you fix them. That seems like clear bullshit because, what, are other people just running away from anyone who could ever tell them about a flaw? But, also, if that were your purpose, then why are you writing these books about how mens is just mens and wimmins is just wimmins? Maybe the point is that the perfect people we should be chiseled to are Tarzan and Heidi Klum - and that is a really good movie idea, but not a world I want to live in.


message 30: by Sparrow (last edited Aug 21, 2012 09:40PM) (new)

Sparrow Moira wrote: "Jason wrote: "So it sounds to me like you need half stars, maybe. And that isn't happening anytime soon, I don't think."

Librarything has half stars! Heh."


I think I would be dissatisfied with that, too. Ten stars doesn't sound that much more satisfying than five stars. Maybe twice as satisfying (to be exact), but when you're dealing with such small numbers, compared to all of my love and hatred of books, it doesn't seem like that much more.

Ceridwen wrote: "Oh, shit, I was so skeered you were talking about Lynch's Wild At Heart - which scarred the shit out me when I saw it at 16 or 17, but is probably objectively awesome, or not - the scarring is too ..."

Well, I do hate Lynch, so maybe I would have a rant for that, too, but I doubt I will ever watch it. Unless some jerk tells me I can't hate Lynch without watching it. No, just kidding, I probably won't watch it.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

I love Lynch a lot, except for the stuff I don't love, which Wild At Heart might be one of. I don't know. I'm probably never going to watch it again, thank you.


message 32: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell SKYE O'MALLEY RATINGS. HAH.

I think my personal version of that would probably be the terrible novelization of the Coppola Dracula movie I had to read for a class in graduate school. Not that I'm STILL BITTER, or anything. Oh God, so terrible. So so terrible.

Finishing stuff....I pretty much have to finish a book once I'm a certain way in (I think it's usually about 50-100 pages - sometimes 20 pages even), so I just don't pick up a lot of stuff I know I won't like. (FRANZEN.) But then there are books I pushed myself to finish (Anna Karenina, Invisible Man I think, some others) not because they were bad but because they were challenging - it's a little weird to think now that I'm not in school and not usually reading for any purpose, besides sometimes personal research, I can just read WHATEVER I LIKE. (Where I went to college, you could pick what you wanted to read about twice in four years. No, not kidding.) It's awesome but it also makes me lazy.

(And then there's DFW, trekking through Michael Crichton and Mary Higgins Clark and whatever. Bless you, DFW.)


message 33: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Sparrow wrote: "Oh, I don't think the character count would be enough for my rant about Wild at Heart. OH MY GOD"

....................and I was very confused there for a minute because I thought you meant this book. WHOOPS.


message 34: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Ceridwen wrote: "I love Lynch a lot, except for the stuff I don't love, which Wild At Heart might be one of. I don't know. I'm probably never going to watch it again, thank you."

Yeah, so many people do, but not me. But, I realized with me, you have to consciously do A LOT to make up for using rape in stories.


message 35: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Moira wrote: "But then there are books I pushed myself to finish (Anna Karenina, Invisible Man I think, some others) not because they were bad but because they were challenging"

Yeah, I do this. But, I think that's a different situation than a book where you have foreseen the end, and you know you just hate the book more and more, the more you read. That's usually when I put a book down (unless it's a spite read).


message 36: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Ceridwen wrote: "Oh, shit, I was so skeered you were talking about Lynch's Wild At Heart"

HAH YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE

I was such a big Lynch fan at the time I read the book. Which wasn't anywhere near as creepy-awesome as the Lynch film, but then again, what book could be?


message 37: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Sparrow wrote: "you hear this rhetoric around Christian circles all the time about how everyone has to get married because being married, like, chisels you into a better person because someone else is there to point out all of your flaws and help you fix them"

....AAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAH HAHAHAHA. AHAHA.

Moi <--- married 20 years


I mean...that can happen, sure, yeah. But it takes a lot of hard work and devotion and stubbornness and whatever on the parts of both partners. It's not something that happens magically because you get married. (Also usually the Woman is expected to Fix the Man. Not the other way round. Unless he Fixes her by giving her babies, I guess.)


message 38: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Sparrow wrote: "Well, I do hate Lynch, so maybe I would have a rant for that, too, but I doubt I will ever watch it. Unless some jerk tells me I can't hate Lynch without watching it. No, just kidding, I probably won't watch it."

I love Lynch! but ohghod, I would never say that to someone. Watching Lynch if you don't love it is....eeeeessshhh.


message 39: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Ceridwen wrote: "I love Lynch a lot, except for the stuff I don't love, which Wild At Heart might be one of. I don't know. I'm probably never going to watch it again, thank you."

The Willem Dafoe scene was bad, but it was the scene with her mother that freaked me out. (And the ending was bad, but just kind of putrid-bad, not nightmare fuel-bad.)


message 40: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Moira wrote: "It's not something that happens magically because you get married."

Yeah, I feel like I see people, more often, sort of retreat into their own patterns and say, "That's just the way he/she is." And I don't really have a problem with that because I do see how it is nice to have an advocate, but it is annoying to have it shoved down my throat.

Moira wrote: "I love Lynch! but ohghod, I would never say that to someone. Watching Lynch if you don't love it is....eeeeessshhh."

It so is. The first Lynch I watched was Blue Velvet, and I watched it because this guy I had a crush on recommended it to me. He also recommended Dogville. So, there was a pattern.


message 41: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Sparrow wrote: "The first Lynch I watched was Blue Velvet, and I watched it because this guy I had a crush on recommended it to me.

OH DEAR. Well, yeah, that's, that's Lynch for ya. I think that was the second Lynch film I ever saw (first was Eraserhead). No, I lie, first of all I saw Elephant Man, I think, because that was on TV or something. Then there was Dune. I don't think I saw Twin Peaks while it was running - maybe once? THEN I got to college and met up with film buffs and yeah. So it was actually a progress. If someone had just shown BV to me cold I probably wouldn't've ever wanted to see one of his films again, either.

George Lucas, himself a fan of Eraserhead, offered Lynch the opportunity to direct the third film in his Star Wars trilogy, Return of the Jedi

//turns green


He also recommended Dogville. So, there was a pattern."

:-///////


message 42: by Sparrow (last edited Aug 21, 2012 10:22PM) (new)

Sparrow hahahahah. Oh man. A Lynch Return of the Jedi would have been very different. Those ewoks dodged a bullet. Or probably a lot of bullets and rapes.


message 43: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Sparrow wrote: "hahahahah. Oh man. A Lynch Return of the Jedi would have been very different."

I just CAN'T EVEN PICTURE IT. Lynch Dune was freaky enough.


message 44: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure I did watch Elephant Man when I was a kid, but I have very little memory of it. I have also seen Mulholland Drive and Twin Peaks (movie). I feel kind of indifferent about Mulholland, and watching Twin Peaks was like getting stabbed with visual/narrative knives.

I am always worried with him that my Great Curse of Charlie Kaufman will transfer, and I'll start accidentally renting movies of his all the time.


message 45: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Yeah, you have to be really in the mood, and indulgent about a bunch of things, and not caring about other things....my favourite movie is Fire Walk With Me (which nobody else likes) mainly for Sheryl Lee, and Grace Zabriskie. It does have freaky shit in it, and IIRC at least one rape scene, and Bonus Random David Bowie, but I thought it was a lot less self-indulgent and squicky than Twin Peaks. Sheryl Lee really makes it.

Elephant Man is just one of those really competently made beautifully filmed amazingly acted films. With lots of heartstring-yanking. There is some surreal stuff, but it's presented mostly as memories or dreams, I think (haven't seen it in a long while either). (BONUS TRIVIA: Who was Elephant Man on Broadway? David Bowie! No, really! With no makeup. I think it specifies in the play the actor has to work only with his body posture and an assumed speech impediment, and it looked really draining.)


message 46: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Yeah, I think the mood thing is generally true of writers and directors. I think I might not have the Lynch mood at all, but at one point I didn't like any Woody Allen, and now I think he's great, so you never know what will change.

That's pretty cool about Bowie.


message 47: by Miriam (new)

Miriam (Also usually the Woman is expected to Fix the Man. Not the other way round. Unless he Fixes her by giving her babies, I guess.)

You're forgetting about Christian Discipline Marriage, Moi. There the man fixes the woman by giving her spankings.


message 48: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Yes, one million thanks for that, Christian men.


message 49: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Ahh Reckoner, one of my all time favorites! The first time I realized the backing vocals sing 'in rainbows' my head exploded.


message 50: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow It's such a good song. So beautiful!


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