So the power did eventually come back on in the wee hours of the morning. I’m not sure what time exactly because between daylight savings and me frantically pouring through the final chapters of Divergent, I had lost all sense of time and passed out as soon as it was done. The fact that I actually managed to finish an entire novel in a day without internet or power is probably pretty telling? But I’m going to chalk it up to it being a) really good, b) a young adult novel and therefore a pretty easy (BUT STILL GREAT) read, and c) it had been a long time since I’ve sat and been absorbed in a book. People compare it to Hunger Games, cause it’s definitely another dystopian future where a teenage girl protagonist is the key to you know, disturbing the disturbing dystopian “peace”, but outside of that it was different enough that I still really enjoyed it. And I liked Tris better than Katniss although they’re both more stone-cold than your average teenage girl main character. That had me questioning Katniss’s character (not as a good character but moreso as someone relatable), but it didn’t so much with Tris. Both characters acknowledge and question their unfeeling choices and I appreciate that, and certainly don’t need my protags to be touchy-feely. I am though, so it does affect the way I personally relate and see them in the story, as those traits will with any character from any book for me. Either way, I find it interesting if/when people pick apart insensitive (female) protagonists, as they’re so used to being able to relate to the person that when one is kind of a jerk, or cold, or ferocious, or unfeeling, there’s this instinct to recoil from the story as a whole. I know some people who have that problem with the main character in Orange is the New Black. I think it makes going through the journey with them less comfortable, but when you’re talking about dystopia, (or a prison, in OitNB) that’s kind of the idea? So I try to embrace it. And with Divergent, it was easy, I think overall Tris struck a bit better balance for me than Katniss ever did. Though we’ll have to see about the next couple books.

Uh, okay, there are many people who actually study this stuff that can word it all way better than I can, so I’ll leave it at that.

In other news, I Skype my parents tomorrow. Like I begun to say in my first entry of the month, it’s so bizarre being homesick. Not for the place, but for my parents. I’m not used to it. I never understood the people who went home every weekend for months my Freshman year of college. My mom said they used to call those people the “suitcases” back when she was at school out east, and that she, like I did, ended up forming my friendships with the people that stuck around instead, many out-of-staters, but some just people who didn’t feel it necessary to drive home even if it was only a couple hours away rather than a flight cross-country like mine was.

I remember, my first time away from home without my immediate family was a trip to Florida, to my grandparents, but I went with my cousins’ family instead of my own. I was having a great time, Granny and Grandpa had a pool and Florida was still an amazing utopia of beaches, sun, palm trees, and dolphins to me at the time, but I remember one night I had decided that I was Sad. I must have been crying or something, because my aunt sat down next to me and held my hand and was appropriately sympathetic-looking. She asked me if I was homesick. “Do you miss your mom?” Sniffle. Yeaaah. “Do you miss your dad?” Yeeeah. Big frown. “Do you miss your dog?” Yeeah. Because my aunt understood how dogs were equal parts of the family. And finally: “Do you miss your brother?” And that got me to laugh through my tears and I said “No!” Because brothers were annoying, especially little ones, and we were never ever supposed to admit that we loved them because gross, brothers, and he was supposed to do the same because gross, big sisters.

And then I was okay. And I have never remembered being homesick once in my life after that. Not at school patrol camp where we did actual camping things and were outdoorsy and I apparently had a blast even though when my mom came to pick me up I had a raging case of pink eye. I wasn’t when I went to any of my out-of-state music and band camps like the proud nerd that I was. I wasn’t when I went to Mexico with my grandmother and spent my days watching whales and snorkeling and feeling like I was in heaven. I spent a great deal of time at friend’s houses with no problem, and then when I moved to college, calling my parents was usually due to some sort of upset, or I avoided it because I knew that mom would just give me a list of things to do that I had either likely forgotten to do or knew I hadn’t touched yet so I didn’t want to be scolded about.

Now I can’t wait to Skype them tomorrow, just to tell them how Halloween was this week. I lived at home with them for two years after college and thought my dad or I was going to snap and strangle the other, but being at home for the majority of the time since Ross died has been okay. My friends have been amazing at staying in touch via WoW and Skype and IM, but when my parents told our grief counselor that it would be odd getting used to me being gone when I went to work 2 hours away all summer, I was a little baffled, because it wasn’t like we spent all our time together. They were at work for most of the day, I was up late chatting with my friends with a headset on for the evenings. But it was nice. I’m not saying I would want to live with them again, and that road trip still pushed us to want to strangle each other on occasion, but that’s family for me. It’s nice being so much closer to them. Sometimes I feel like I abandoned them, moving so far away only a year after we lost Ross, but they have never once made me feel like I should feel bad for not being someone who gets homesick. They couldn’t wait for Ross or I to go abroad, like they did. They supported my Seattle plans from day 1, even if they also expressed their concerns. Half my dad’s tribute to Ross at the service was about how he was so glad that Ross got to see different countries and experience things that were new and exciting, and I remember that whenever I worry that I should feel worse for leaving them. I know part of my mom’s excitement about it is a show for my sake. She doesn’t realise that I’ve been able to recognise her ‘let’s be excited for the kids (or the customers)’ voice for years now, but I appreciate it, nonetheless. The dedication in Divergent was to Veronica Roth’s mother, saying “To my mother, who gave me the moment when Beatrice realizes how strong her mother is and wonders how she missed it for so long.” I feel like I’ve had a hundred of those revelations since October last year and it really hits you sometimes. Maybe that’s what I miss most lately. Or maybe there’s the part of me that just hated seeing my dad wonder if Ross knew how much he loved him and hoping that he’ll never have to wonder that again.

  1. First book comments, then other stuff!

    Re: Divergent vs. Hunger Games, I actually liked Hunger Games better because it was even less touchy feely, but maybe that’s just because I’m sick of the OMG MUST HAVE A MAJOR ROMANCE IN EVERY YA BOOK thing that’s been going on for years. Tris + Four annoyed me, and it annoyed me even more in the second book. Granted, Katniss + Peeta annoyed me too, but at least Katniss was annoyed by it with me so we were in sync. (N*SYNC HAHAHA)

    I think the big difference between Tris and Katniss, despite them both being kind of cold characters, is the environment they come from. Katniss is cold because she comes from a world where they are completely oppressed, don’t have enough to eat, have to struggle for everything. THAT will make you a tough person. Tris comes from a society where most people she knows have enough to eat and all the essentials of life, she just feels stifled by her faction. Those circumstances make them very different in my mind. BUT, it’s also been forever since I read either Hunger Games OR Divergent. And I can’t seem to get off the computer long enough to read Allegiant. >_>;;;

    ALSO, I am writing a YA book and would be honored if you could read my first chapter sometime and give me some honest feedback. I actually have one version in first person and one version in third person and I’m trying to decide which to use (even if it means rewriting the entire rest of the story, it’s fine, so long as it’s the right decision!).

    Re: homesickness, I’ve been going through something like that myself, though of course very different from your situation. I’ve been running far, far away from Florida and never want to move back there, but now that I’m settled in one place and have started my career and am thinking about kids soon, I suddenly want my parents to be nearby. And not just for free babysitting! They’re getting older, and I want to spend their retirement age years with them, even though they won’t actually be retired. I hate that I only see them once per year. Years, ago, it didn’t bother me at all. But I think that once we’ve kind of had our times to be away and figure life out a little bit, we get over the whole “I don’t need my parents!” thing and start looking at them differently. But I know that your parents are honestly excited for you to start a new life in a new place and experience more. And I am rambling soooooo much so I’m going to stop now. Who knows if it’ll even let me post this whole comment. We’ll see!

    • See I think I got super annoyed with how big a deal the Love Triangle was in Hunger Games even though Katniss was ALSO annoyed by that fact. But the fact that they had to fake it for the audience (sort of, whatever) was a cool thing to explore but then I also got super annoyed at Katniss not telling Gale or Peeta what was up in private either. So as much as Tris/Four was pretty typical and I did eyeroll at times, I really liked Four as a character separately from the romance, and I enjoyed how while it was definitely a more typical romance, it also seemed like a way healthier one – and while I don’t think Hunger Games was trying to say that Katniss’s love interests were good/healthy ones at all (unlike some other horrible versions of romance in YA fiction), it was more comfortable for me to read. But I acknowledge that’s a pretty personal thing on my part. XD

      Honestly I think the main reason I warmed to Tris more is she has a sense of humor. I totally see why Katniss doesn’t and can appreciate that – but I’m just always a fan of the comedy relief in any cast of characters, so when the main character can actually be funny too, I enjoy it immensely.

      and I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to read your YA novel!! 1st or 3rd person is an interesting dilemma. I grew up reading Animorphs so I’m super used to 1st person and it wasn’t until recentlyish I found out that a lot of people can’t stand it. So when I give feedback about that aspect, keep that in mind!

      Re: homesickness – yeah, I can definitely feel that too. Mom keeps half-joking, half-seriously talking about moving out to west here once they retire (which will be probably another year or two for dad). My dad’s got some family in Portland and they love the coast here, and part of me is like yeeeeesss if I am here long-term please do, and another is like but then I’ll have no reason to come back to Stillwater ๐Ÿ˜ฆ And while most of MY friends aren’t there anymore, the amount of support we got when Ross died from the community blew me away, and I know my mom’s friends are all there now, whereas my dad’s are still mostly back in Madison where they lived in their 20’s. So I’m torn. Being an adult is WEIRD.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: