I can’t stop thinking about this book I read a few weeks ago. It’s called The Pioneer, and it happens to be written by one of our lovely readers, Bridget Tyler. I first learned about it while on a Zoom call with Janice Kao, in prep for her style & life interview. Janice is one of Bridget’s best friends, and was gushing over how good this book was, knowing I’m also a sucker for some good science fiction.
The Pioneer is actually Young Adult Sci-Fi, which often results in a faster pace, and an easier (and sometimes more fun) read.
I basically hung up the Zoom call with Janice, ordered The Pioneer, and finished it a few days later. Happily, there is also a second book, The Survivor, and I finished that within days, too.
Gang, these books are really good.
The premise of these books is space exploration, survival, a dying Earth, and alien planets. Bridget does an amazing job of bringing these things to life and has a way of making the plot lines seem plausible. Frankly, this story is haunting me. I seriously cannot stop thinking about it.
Mike and the boys had been listening to The Adventure Zone podcast, something Mike started back in December. (And no: technically it’s NOT for kids. FYI.) But we have a 30-minute drive to the mountain four days a week for skiing, so. But…that’s a lot of listening to four dudes play D&D, ya know? So last week, I switched it (amidst groans from the boys) from The Adventure Zone to The Pioneer on Audible.
Within minutes, all three of them were hooked.
Truthfully, Pax, age 11, is a little young for the book. He’s also pretty sensitive to sad events, and there are a couple of fairly traumatic death scenes. But he’s so invested in the story (and the story overall is so fast-paced and absorbing) that he definitely wants to continue listening. Raines, my 14-year-old, is ALL in, and even Mike, my husband, is enthralled.
Many Sci-Fi books treat space travel almost like magic: there’s some future discovery that we can’t even fathom that makes it all possible. Bridget has actually leaned into the science, proposing a solution (that she calls the “space-time bubble”) that isn’t far off of our current understanding of the universe.
“They’re obviously traveling faster than the speed of light,” Mike muses. “So to do that, you’d have to exit our universe all together. Rip a hole in the fabric, like a black hole does. I think that’s the space-time bubble she’s referring to.”
Yeah, we’re totally nerding out on this one. It’s prompted some seriously cool discussions around the dinner table, on both space travel possibilities and the ethics behind it. What happens if we find a perfect planet? Who gets to go and who gets left behind? What happens to any sort of native species? And, thanks, to Bridget, when a mountain range is made of crystal, what does the sunset look like?
It’s been REALLY fun.
Same, Raines, SAME.
Now, I know I certainly don’t have a Hollywood kind of reach, but Gang: let’s try something. I know you fellow sci-fi lovers are out there! Why don’t we all read the heck out of Bridget’s books, and then write up a bunch of Amazon reviews? I know that’s one seriously important step in getting these stories noticed.
Fingers crossed, Universe. If you’re with us, here are links to the series:
May the odds be ever in our favor.
ps. We actually have several seriously talented writers in our TME community. If interested, check out Sarah Lemon’s Done Dirt Cheap — it’s realllllly good (best for teens but I personally loved it), and Laura Bird’s Crossing The Pressure Line. I was lucky to get an advance copy, and it’s such a heartfelt read for the middle grades (and the book trailer makes me want to read it over again). Both feature strong female protagonists who defy stereotypes. If their names look familiar…Sarah wrote a really moving piece for us on depression several years ago, and Laura (who happens to be a librarian) rounded up her favorite laugh-out-loud books for us during the pandemic. Man, I love this community.
Bury me in these pants. No joke, the only freaking pants I’ll ever want to wear for the rest of my life are rag & bone’s Miramar Wide-leg Pants. They look so good on, it’s…actually bizarre. There’s something about the way they drape, especially around the waist, that makes them look like the most effortlessly cool pair of jeans I’ve ever worn (and soooo flattering, too). rag & bone must have made some improvements since Scotti & Laura reviewed the old jogger version, and oh wait — Scotti tried (and loved) the Miramar wide-legs, too. I give these my highest possible recommendation. (You may want to size down. I went with a size 26, and they’re a little loose, which I love.)
Golden Goose alternatives, part deux. As promised, I’m working on an article, but have two more sneak peeks to share. First, I just ordered Cariuma’s Salvas Sneakers (sustainably made and under-the-radar cool) and secondly, I also ordered Freda Salvador’s white sneakers with the sexiest cut-outs (also at Zappos). I met the Freda Salvador gang at a blogging conference years ago, and they’re seriously nice and — oh hey! their old outfits are still cute today.
A little cheek. Last year, I tried on almost ten different high-rise bikini bottoms, before finally settling on MIKOH’s Lami Bikini Bottoms. This was the only pair I could find that had a cheeky enough cut…without feeling overly exposed (and they’re comfy, too). Of course, by the time I figured this all out, they were out of stock. Backcountry recently restocked them…but it looks like they’re going fast. Another option is the Left on Friday line, which is Laura’s favorite, and it looks like Backcountry now carries alllllll the colors.
Best value. I’ve gushed before about how much I love Intermix’s in-house line, even when it’s not on sale. But when it is…whoa. Watch out. I’ve been stalking this cozy cardigan all winter, adore this silk dress, and think I mayyyybe *need* this elevated sweatshirt & pants set.
The cutest dress I’ve seen all week is this Apiece Apart dress, on sale.
Is Linzi is punking me? In our special Thursday newsletter, Linzi wrote, “My goal is to meet someone, at SOME point in my life, who would legitimately wear this special guy. Actually, Shana could probably pull it off.” Now I’ve gotta find something equally ridiculous to casually show up wearing. Or — hahahahahaha — just throw my wallet and keys into this thing and call it a day.
An update on “the mitten“. Still works.
Em had her baby!!!!!!!! I’ve been sitting on this nugget, waiting until Em could tell you guys herself. We’re all obsessed with the newest addition to our family. Em put some deets in this week’s Weekly Sales Report.
Our next step in world domination….We’re trying to get our subscriber numbers up on YouTube, so if you are interested, we’d love if you guys would subscribe to our YouTube channel. We’ve been working hard to publish two videos per week (and my next one comes out on Sunday). Recently we’ve covered everything from denim shorts reviews to swimsuit try-ons to my fav jeans for winter, but would LOVE to know if there’s anything else you really wanted to see.
What are the odds of life on other planets? NASA is on it.
Hang in there, Ukraine. The news out of Ukraine continues to be devastating, especially for the children stuck in the Mariupol theater that was bombed this week. Again, if you can help, please consider giving to some of these organizations on the ground:
The Ukrainian Red Cross’s website was just taken offline, so try Nova Ukraine instead. With all of the misinformation that Russia is attempting to spread, journalism matters, so also consider supporting the Kyiv Independent newspaper.