Inara gets these faraway looks -- don't know what t means, but I know not to ask. Still got the Tams on board, and Jayne hasn't tried to sell 'em out since we got those medical supplies on Osiris, so that's a plus. Shepherd's sill reading his book of fairytales. Zoë's still my first officer, and I wouldn't have any other. Kaylee keeps us running, and Wash keeps us flying.
Is it a good life or a bad one? The answer doesn't matter.
It's the only life we have.
I was a fan of Firefly from the first episode that FOX aired -- and was crushed by the cancellation. Serenity was a great send-off for the characters, but like for so many, I wanted more. However, for reasons I don't understand, I haven't read any of the comics that came out after (which bothers me). Maybe I was just trying to move on -- aside from the bi-annual (or so) rewatch of the series and movie. But when I saw that Titan Books was going to be doing a series of novels, I had to give them a shot. And then let it sit on my shelf for months.
Whoops. That was a mistake that I'm glad I rectified.
Before I talk about the novel, I've got to say that this is probably the nicest tie-in novel I own. It's just a high-quality production, from cover to printing, to ribbon bookmark.
Sometime between "Heart of Gold" and "Objects in Space," the crew finds themselves on Persephone picking up some cargo to make a run for Badger. In the chaos that ensues during a bar fight, Mal is kidnapped and Zoë and Jayne can't find a trace of him anywhere. With a clock ticking on the delivery, the crew decides they have no choice but to deliver Badger's goods, even with Mal in danger. Book stays behind to see what he can discover.
What he finds is evidence that Mal's been taken by a group of Browncoat vets still embittered by their loss to the Alliance. They've got a little track record of finding "traitors" to the cause, trying them in a kangaroo court and executing them. The ringleader of this group seems to have a particular hatred for Malcolm Reynolds and it doesn't seem that Mal's got long before he's convicted and executed.
Meanwhile, Mal's trying to make sense of what's happening to him and takes a trip down memory lane, going back to his childhood/early adolescence and reliving the days at home leading up to signing up with the army for the Independent cause. What we see is an immature Mal, with very little to tie him to the man he is -- the same mouth, certainly, and a little bit of the same style. But it's the war that turn him into the man that we all know and love.
Shepherd Book gets a nice little adventure on his own, able to use an old contact of his to extract information about what might have happened to Mal that Zoe and the rest can't get. Inara gets a moment or two to shine, as does just about everyone else. Zoë gets the spotlight thoughout (as she never quite got in the show, sadly), which was great. River's . . . River-ness(?) was on full display and was great. A lot of care was show in getting the characters -- all of them, either the crew or otherwise -- just right. And they did a great job of that.
It was a lot of fun exploring Mal's roots. I'm not sure what kind of background I'd imagine him having, but it wasn't this one. I could've bought another childhood/adolescence for Captain Tightpants, but this works just as well. Watching it come back to bite him seems fitting, really.
I wasn't crazy about the end -- the way that the crew left things with the kidnappers seemed a bit harsh. But the 'Verse they fly in is a harsh one, and sometimes you have to let things be rough. So I'm not going to complain too much, but it left a bad taste in my mouth.
Will this work for people who didn't like the show? No -- well, probably not. But why would they be picking up the book? Will it convince anyone not familiar with the show that this is a universe they want to spend more time in? Mayyyyybe. Will those people enjoy the novel? Same answer. Will this help fill the void that the premature cancellation left in the hearts of so many fans? Yes. It'll also get them asking for more -- this is a fanbase that doesn't seem to understand the concept of satiation. I know when it comes to these stories, I don't.
It's a very satisfying story, exciting, capturing the feel of the show and the characters. I loved getting to spend more time with these people and I hope Titan gives us several more books.
Eat the Damn Muffin: Confidence for Every Body by Jenni Dunlap is all about loving yourself and your body. She writes: “All bodies are good, and all bodies are beautiful. This is a fuck those beauty standards type of book, because beauty is a state of mind not state of body.” Okay, I’m definitely in!
The book isn’t about changing your body; it’s about changing how your mind feels about your body, and bringing out the best in yourself. Jenni is very clear that learning to love yourself is not about letting go of your own identity; she writes “Be your best self, not someone else.”
She’s super encouraging, saying that even if you don’t see it yourself, “Believe me when I say you’re stunning.”
She advocates wearing what you want and not using your clothing to hide yourself, and if other people don’t like it, well then “society can shove it.” There is also a list of body positive affirmations to try out.
Jenni encourages readers to keep taking small sips of positivity until suddenly you’ve got yourself a nice big glass of happy. This includes being kind to yourself, trying new things that make you smile, and pursuing the things that make you the happiest.
One of my favourite pieces of advice was to “diddle your skittle.” I may not have heard that particular phrasing before, but yes, I agree! Plus I love the fact that she mentions it, because we don’t talk enough about masturbation as a female pleasure, not just a male pleasure.
The book talks about the relationship between being physically healthy and having a healthy body image and relationship with one’s body. She writes: “Once I defined what made me happy, I used it to live healthier. Combining health and happiness was a lot easier than I realized, and I am still able to eat my damn muffins.”
As women (and also as men) we are constantly bombarded by societal messages about what our bodies are supposed to be, and how we’re supposed to feel about them. This book things that kind of thinking that limits us to the curb and embraces a much more positive concept of how to live within the amazing bodies that we’ve been given.
If you’re struggling with how to have a more accepting, loving relationship with your body, this book is for you.
2.5 star story for me
The narration was a 5 star
The first half was amazing I was completely lost in the woods, the tower, the village. There was a beauty and the beast feeling to it. There was a difficult man, a young witch, a world steeped in mystery and possibilities. I was excited to explore this new world. Then things stoped changing and developing in the story and it got stale for me. I felt like I was wooden, and was being repeatedly beaten in the woods with a gnarled branch. I heard, in the woods, from the woods, of the woods, woods, woods, woods, ARGUH ! Enough of the woods ! I never wished for a chainsaw before but I was driven to it. The girl, she was strong-ish, independent in a cold way, and thought about everything far to much, inner dialog drag on. It dragged on in another area that droned on, success. So many dramatic struggles, so many sacrifices, far too many failures. I was tried of reading this wooded loser story that just wouldn't end. Oh that is a terrible way to feel about a book, I know. I should have dropped it, but I expected a moment to happen and felt I'd worked hard to read it finally. Fizzle, fizzle, what that's why ?, the woods still, the end. It wasn't worth the hours nearly 18 hours of listening.
I own her dragon series but after this touch of her writing style I'll not read it. She is the author for me.
Lizzie’s parents had died and her brother Robert had been in the car and now laid in a coma it was still the early days but the doctors weren’t very hopeful that Robert would ever lead a normal life again. Lizzie’s parents had been coming to see her. Nick was at the funeral and at Lizzie’s side. Lizzie flinched but Nick kept his arm around her to offer the comfort he knew she needed. . Nick had lost his own parents when he was young through a faulty gas fire in the master bedroom during his first school summer holiday. Lizzie’s parents were like a second set of parents to Nick. When the cop had asked Lizzie if there was anyone they could call her mind went right to Nick and of course he had come to her. Even though there was the memory of his rejection between them. Then Lizzie decided to go back to the states shortly after the funeral Nick told her it was too soon but she went anyway to leave Nick to tie things up for her. Nick drove Lizzie to the airport. Lizzie couldn’t think or function. Her mind was numb. Lizzie begins to live a different kind of life and soon it is spinning out of control as Lizzie was consumed with depression on losing her parents Two years ago Lizzie left NYC where her parents had died and moved to LA. Charles had been Lizzie’s trainer and ends up her boyfriend but creates a sexual scandal with pictures released of Lizzie and him and a third man. Lizzie remembered having a couple of drinks with Charles then another man appeared a friend of Charles, Lizzie had drank only two glasses of wine but she started to feel funny. Charles got her a room in the hotel and Lizzie doesn’t remember anything else. Nick has tried to move on with his life and has a girlfriend named Sally. But Nick had never gotten over Lizzie when she wouldn’t answer her phone or texts Nick flew out to be with Lizzie. Lizzie hears someone at her door and it is Nick. Nick brings Lizzie back to the UK with him and she is also staying with him. What is going to happen with Lizzie staying with Nick?
I really loved this story and felt it was well written. I loved the plot and pace. I wish Lizzie and Nick had told each other how they felt about each other before Lizzie ever went to the states. Instead of Lizzie asking Nick to help her get rid of her virginity and him rejecting her. But I so loved how Nick was always there for Lizzie. Even if she tried to turn him away and he was the one she always thought of to turn to. Even when Nick had tried to go on with his life he ran to Lizzie’s side when she was in trouble and took her home. I was so happy when Nick showed up at Lizzie’s apartment even though she hadn’t contacted him or let him contact her. This was just a great read, a great romance and I loved it. I loved the character sand ins and outs of this story and I highly recommend.