Allegiant

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Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Photo: HarperCollins)I wanted to jump on the Allegiant bandwagon right away for a few reasons.

For starters, I got hooked on the Divergent trilogy earlier this year when Courtney made it our first-ever book club pick and I feel like I’ve been waiting AGES for a new one – I’ve been after a conclusion to the question mark middle child that was Insurgent since I read it back in May.

Also, people areĀ talking about Allegiant, and there’s nothing I like less than feeling like the teenage literati are more plugged in than I am. (Oh, who am I kidding? I’m never going to be able to keep pace with the teenage literati. I just wanted to finish the series so I can talk about it with the kids who come into the bookstore where I work.)

Elizabeth, my lovely 18-year-old neighbour and former babysitting charge who lent me the first two Divergent books, is now grown up and away at university, so I had to fend for myself when finding a copy of this one. I eventually decided to Kindle it, because it doesn’t really make sense to buy the third book of a trilogy and display it on a shelf without its two companions. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like there’s something weird about that.

Anyway, there’s not a lot to say about Allegiant without completely ruining the story. There are a couple of completely mind-bending twists in there, including fresh details about the origins of the world and the five factions, Tris’s genetics and information about what lies beyond the walls of the city. There’s also a shift in the narrative structure from being completely Tris-narrated to blending the voices of Tris and Four, which is an interesting technique that I haven’t seen since I read Eleanor & Park earlier this year (Jodi Picoult is another example of an author that writes from multiple perspectives really effectively).

I’m not going to lie and say I LOVED the ending, because I didn’t. I thought it was strange and sad and a little bit over the top. But I also wasn’t disappointed in it in the same way that I was disappointed when I came to the end of Mockingjay and Katniss and Peeta were reduced to shells of their vibrant former selves. On the whole, I think The Hunger Games was a more enjoyable trilogy, but Divergent was probably more consistent in terms of character progression.

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The Disaster Artist

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Image Oh my goodness. Where to start with this one?

I’ve been crazy excited to read The Disaster Artist since I first got wind that the guy who played ‘Mark’ in The Room was writing a book about his experience making the film. The Room has to be one of the best bad films in existence, and it – along with Troll 2 – is one of my very favourites. I watched it for the first time about four or five years ago and fondly revisit it about once every six months. I notice something new every time, and quoting it never gets old. It’s quite fun, for example, to greet everyone that comes into a room with “Oh hi, [insert name of friend].”

I polished off Greg Sestero’s book in a couple of evenings. It’s a pretty compelling story (though maybe not if you haven’t seen The Room first – trust me, it’s worth the $10 on Amazon to do this before you dive right into this book) and Sestero and Tom Bissell do a nice job of weaving in the day-to-day insanity of the making of The Room with flashbacks to tell the story of the unlikely friendship between Sestero and the enigmatic Tommy Wiseau.

Sestero throws a lot of fascinating insight into what makes Wiseau tick (the answer? Nobody seems to know!) – and although sometimes I couldn’t help but wonder whether Wiseau thought of this book as a sort of betrayal by his former friend (and roommate. Seriously, these guys lived together!), mostly I just enjoyed the crazy story. I highly recommend this one for bad movie buffs, or for anyone who is having a bad day and needs to be cheered up. But fair warning: it’ll make you want to watch The Room again.

I leave you with The Room’s unforgettable flower shop scene. Hi doggy!