Saturday, June 16, 2018

Review: LOVE WARRIOR by Glennon Doyle Melton

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

I feel very conflicted about Love Warrior. From the first page until page 65, I absolutely loathed the book. I hated her depressing story so much that I almost put it down, but something in me kept reading. When she found out she was pregnant the second time and decided to keep the baby, that’s when the story turned around for me, at least for a little bit. I ended up liking the next part until page 92, which is when her son was probably a few months old. Pages 93 to 179 were not that enjoyable, but I didn’t hate them like I did the beginning. Then Glennon starts to undergo a transformation of herself on page 180 that was actually quite profound, and I think she learned a lot about herself and about life and love, lessons that we might all benefit from learning regardless if we’re single or married or divorced. So while there were parts of this book that I found interesting, my rating is so low because the parts I didn’t like were so negative, which was most of the book it seems, especially that awful first third.

Glennon was an imposter her whole youth. No wonder she got sucked into alcohol and cocaine and pot and shameful nights in the basement: she was trying to be someone else, putting on a facade every day of her life, so she never knew who her true self was. She constantly talked about how her “representative” was saying and doing things, but not her “real self.” How can anyone enjoy living a lie? I think she brought a lot of her issues on herself because of how she lived throughout her childhood and college years. Grow some morals and stop trying to live someone else’s life and maybe you’ll realize there was happiness in your own life all along.

Throughout this whole book, it constantly felt like Glennon was whining and playing the victim, even though she was only the victim of her own decisions. Yet I also felt like she glorified the degenerate times of her youth, which is just atrocious. I don’t understand a lot of the choices that Glennon made, especially in her younger days. I felt like she was acting so stupid all the time and really lacked common sense, and I could not relate to her at all.

These two sentences were in the same paragraph during her time about her college days: “I love my people [parents] more than normal people love their people,” and, “My survival means I have to keep harming my people. But it is not because I don’t love them, it is because I love them too much.” Oh puh-lease. Clearly you don’t love your parents more than normal people love their parents or you wouldn’t keep living that kind of life. How can hurting them possibly mean you love them too much? Loving someone means to choose the best thing for that person, regardless of how it affects yourself. Stop being a selfish twit.

Here are some other issues I had with the first third of her story, which helps to explain why I hated it so much: “The abortion doesn’t explain the past fifteen years of my nonlife.” It sure was a nonlife, and the abortion only added to that. Your own choices explain your last fifteen years. “I’m not killing myself. I’m just doing what’s required to live.” Right, because getting blackout drunk and lying to those who you apparently love is a requirement for life. Also, I don’t like that she claimed that you can’t talk to a hot guy if you’re sober. What a lie. The whole beginning of the book was like this: Glennon making poor decisions and lying about them and overall just being a horrible person that I didn’t care to read about.

She makes the comment at some point, “What is the point of getting sober if I don’t even like my sober self?” This is actually profound. I think way too many people feel this way and that is why they drink and drink and drink. What a sad way to live. The point is to become a person that you do like.

This is the first paragraph in the book that I didn’t have negative thoughts about: “Having this baby will mean getting sober. This is the difference between God and booze. God requires something of us. The booze numbs the pain but God insists on nothing short of healing. God deals only with truth and the truth will set you free, but it will hurt so badly first. Sobering up will be like walking toward my own crucifixion. That’s what it will take, though. That’s what it will take to rise.” That is so true. God does require something of us (religions that tell you otherwise make no sense to me). He is always on our side and always wanting to help us, no matter how low we’ve sunk. We will have to put forth a lot of effort, but with His help, we can emerge better than we were before. It’s wonderful that she discovered this bit of truth. This is the part in the book where my viewpoint started to change and I began enjoying the story.

I think my biggest issue with Love Warrior is that I just do not relate to Glennon in any way. I live a completely different lifestyle than she in that I’ve never drunk alcohol or done drugs or been to scandalous parties. My marriage is also the complete opposite of hers in that my husband is my best friend and we actually communicated about the future before we got married, and we continue to communicate truthfully with each other every day. Honest communication makes for the best companionship, and that is something she was severely lacking throughout her whole life. It is hard for me to empathize with someone like her, but I do believe that anyone who does live like her and have a marriage like hers will really relate to this book and find her story to be wonderful and helpful. I think Glennon represents a large portion of women who have similar pasts and marriages as hers, and that is the real audience for this book that will get the most out of it.

Lastly, I don’t think Love Warrior is an appropriate title for this book, especially given that (spoiler) she divorces her husband anyway sometime after the book was published, which makes her whole journey feel like a lie. The book ended on such a hopeful and positive note, and I really felt like she had made a ton of progress in defining who she was and what she wanted out of life, and it seemed like she was finally starting to be happy again. But then I come to find out that she isn’t even with Craig anymore and she’s remarried. It just made her whole journey seem false and conceited.

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