Summer Reading

School’s out and has been out for three weeks I’ve just been lazy and haven’t posted this and I’ve very excited to share with you the list of books I’m going to read before school starts this fall. The only problem with the list is that several of the books are first books in different serieses (that’s totally a word don’t judge me) and I can see myself reading one, getting caught up in the series, and only reading said series for the rest of the summer. Fortunately, I am a fairly fast reader (if I stay off Pinterest, that is) and can possibly read one book a day if I’m not busy and the book is not extensively long. Anyway, here’s my list.

 

 

 

Apocalypse Dawn

Because I found this at a thrift store and APPARENTLY IT’S A COMPANION TO THE LEFT BEHIND SERIES? Therefore, I must read it.

 

 

The Secret on Ararat

I just finished the first book in this series, and let me tell y’all, I cried. Sadness galore. But now I must read the next.

 

 

 

Black Beauty

Somehow, I’m not really sure how, I’ve made it to almost sixteen years old without ever finishing this book. Not that I really want to read it at this point, it’s just that I want to be able to say I’ve read it.

 

 

 

Will in Scarlet

Image result for will in scarlet

I have a major crush on Robin Hood and love re-tellings of the age-old story. Skimming through the juvenile section of my local library, I spotted this and thought it looked like it had a nice spin on the classic tale. Needless to say, I’m very excited.

 

 

A Hitch at the Fairmount

Image result for a hitch at the fairmont

I love espionage-y adventure novels, and this looked like a good read. Plus, Alfred Hitchcock shows up in it? Sounds good to me.

 

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables ~ Vintage Book

I have read this one. I read the entire series, excluding The Blythes Are Quoted. But it’s been awhile, and after my failed attempt to re-visit old Anne last summer, I decided to try again.

 

 

Alex Rider: Stormbreaker

OK, I'll admit it. I really enjoyed these. They're great for when your brain needs a break (Dead Week reads anyone?).

Because who doesn’t love fourteen-year-old spies with a tragic backstory?

 

 

What are you all reading this summer? Have you read any of the books on my list? Do you have any big summer trips?

 

lots of love,

abilene (the bookwyrmish bibliophile)

 

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Enemy of Evil: Chapter One

“Stop in the name of der Fuhrer!”

The footsteps of the soldiers pounded behind me and matched the rhythm of my pounding heart. The forest, I knew, would be the only place I could elude the Chancellor’s army. With no money and only worthless German citizenship because of my blatant rebellion against the Nazis, I was as good as dead. But I had a reason to fight to stay alive. It was on my back.

 

“Hans,” my reason whispered in my ear, “are the soldiers going to kill us?”

 

Gisela had a rough life ahead of her, I knew. She was only a baby when the Chancellor rose to power and could remember no life other than the one in Hitler’s regime. Seven now, she was my only sibling and I had deep feeling that she deserved a chance to live in peace–peace that Hitler would never bring.

 

“Hush. No. Not if I have anything to say about it.”

 

We were almost to the edge of the woods now. The city patrol following us had no idea what the significance of the forest meant. I had grown up playing there with my best friend, Benjamin, and knew all the deer paths and shortcuts. That was before Benjamin was taken.

 

The year is 1940 and the world is deep in a terrible war, comparable to the Great War, which happened long before I was born. My father, however, served in the Great War when he was not much older than I am now. It was in the middle of wartime France that he realized he had a knack for weaponry, which put him on the road to success when he returned home to a defeated Weimar Republic. Now he works almost directly for der Fuhrer, the man who destroyed everything right that ever was in Germany.

 

I may sound bitter. It is because I am. I had not seen war until I was seventeen. Then, suddenly, it was all I heard or saw. Children were dragged from their homes, women shot in the streets, men herded onto freight cars like cattle. Everyone, though, embraced the solution to the so-called Jewish problem, except for the Jews themselves. They didn’t have a say. And so, Benjamin, the person I was closest to in the world, was dragged out of my life on a cattle car to a concentration camp. A concentration camp that my mother helped plan.

 

My mother and father, loyal devotees of der Fuhrer–thoughts of them turned my stomach. All of the bloodshed they had caused overwhelmed me, and they had turned me in as a traitor of Hitler. I wore the title with honor, and allowed myself to be taken to the jail, where I “awaited” my death. I escaped with several other dissidents and doubled back to my home city, practically kidnapped my sister–though once she realized it was me she was more than happy to come–and now we were on the run for our lives.

 

Shots rang out, cracking the night air, and I ran harder, the image of what would happen to Gisela if we were caught spurring me onward. The forest loomed closer. I lifted Gisela up onto my back further and leaped over the small creek that guarded the forest’s treeline, and before I knew it we were in. My feet found the well-known paths in the darkness though my eyes could barely see. Gisela whimpered, and I knew we were safe–for a little while.

 

After I had slowed, I gently let Gisela down and let her walk beside me, her small, warm hand in mine, her other still tightly clutching a stuffed animal to her chest.

 

The original trails in the irrgarten, or maze, were winding, meandering things that crisscrossed several times. Benjamin and I figured they were game trails, paths of creatures such as deer. Fortunately, we had tamed the maze as much as it would be long ago. The trails Benjamin and I forged were not necessary new, but they were definitely altered.  I knew them well–my footsteps in them now reminded me of the ghosts of my past–Benjamin, his sister Eliora, their little brother Aaron. Our romps in the woods flashed before me. I saw the first night we ventured into the maze’s night, the fear on our faces. Now the darkness comforted me, settling around me like a blanket that shielded us from the prying eyes of the Nazis.

 

I remembered the night before the Gestapo came to take Benjamin’s family away. Long before their bookstore had been forced to close, accused of selling “contraband items”, but both Ben and I knew the real reason. It was because he was a Jew. Eliora had been fired from her job at a nearby factory, and the neighborhood children shunned Aaron, calling him a rough translation of ‘star boy’ because of the bright yellow star stitched upon his jacket. Gisela and I had both been forbidden to talk to any of ‘the lesser race’, but I had no trouble justifying breaking that rule. Not when my parents were the uncivilized. Not when my parents were the Nazis–the killers.

 

The day before Benjamin was dragged out of my life, my father had hinted that soon there was going to be a raid, and so that night I met Ben in the woods. “I made Ben a promise” I said out loud to Gisela. “You remember Ben, don’t you?” She nodded. “Ben and I had a promise that no matter what happened, we would take care of each others and our own families. I couldn’t keep Benjamin and his family safe,” I swallowed as my voice started to crack. “But I promised him that I would keep you safe. That’s why I took you.”

 

“But what about Mama and Vati?” Gisela turned her face up to me, tears welding at her eyes. Her linen nightshirt caught the moonlight and made her appear as a phantom.  “They’re part of our family, too.”

 

“Gisela,” I began softly, “I know you don’t understand this, but Mama and Vati aren’t good people. They have done mean things to people like Benjamin, the people who were the yellow stars. That’s why I had to take you away, so you wouldn’t grow up and be a bad person, too.”

 

“Mama and Vati aren’t bad!” she nearly yelled, and I covered her hand with my mouth.

 

“Shh, we must be quiet, or the soldiers will hear us!” Off in the distance, a dog bark sounded. I threw the little girl up on my back and started to run until I hit the stream, then followed it south. An hour later I slowed, my back aching and my legs soaked to the waist. For the second time, we had lost the soldiers. I hoped it would stay that way, that the soldiers were off our trail for good, but I knew it wouldn’t.

 

 

 

 

We came out of the woods to a farmhouse that belonged to former friends of my parents, who would have nothing to do with them after they found out they were Nazis. A glance at my watch told me it was nearly two in the morning, so instead of knocking I left a note on the back of a receipt I found in the breast pocket of my shirt tacked on the door, and Gisela and I trudged out to the barn. We slept in the hay loft, my hand tightly wrapped around Gisela’s wrist so I could be sure nothing would happen to her. Her steady breathing relaxed me, and I dreamed of a different place, a different time, when my father and mother were good, honest people and we were all together. And I awoke, knowing that that could never be, that I would never see my once-loved father and mother again.

 

 

(Authors note: To clarify, this story is and will be hastily written and briefly edited. The chapters will be shorter than conventional YA fiction chapters but, I hope, will not be lacking in content. This story will continue to be posted whenever I finish the next chapter, which will be extremely erratic, and I’m sorry for that. It mainly serves as a break from the full novel that I’m writing, titled The Alley Runners, as a way to rejuvenate my mind so I can go back to actually working on a novel I’m serious about. This story will probably be full of factual errors, but at this point I’m not extremely concerned about the facts as much as the story itself, as I have too many things to research in my novel. Thank you all for understanding! ;D)

 

 

~abilene (the authoress)

Quote of the Day: May 14, 2018

Just keep doing the next right thing.–My pastor, Edward Mast.

 

–Abby

 

 

 

Book Review: Catch You Later, Traitor

Hey, y’all! Sorry I’ve been kinda quiet lately, I’ve been (thinks of my practicing one song on the piano yesterday for an hour and a half; the Spanish 1 final I took on Thursday; the science test, also on Thursday; my cousin’s wedding next weekend; my sister’s graduation in two weeks; all of my homework)…busy. And quite a bit stressed. High school is hard, y’all, especially when you want straight A’s. But I didn’t post this to rant…

Anyway, I’m doing another book review! Sometimes I don’t really like doing these and then I read a really, really good book and know I have to do one or I’ll explode. So here I am 😀

Catch You Later, Traitor

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by Avi

 

Goodreads description: Brooklyn, New York, 1951.

Twelve-year-old Pete Collison is a regular kid who loves Sam Spade detective books and radio crime dramas, but when an FBI agent shows up at Pete’s doorstep accusing his father of being a Communist, Pete finds himself caught in a real-life mystery. Could there really be Commies in Pete’s family? At the same time, Pete’s class turns against him, thanks to similar rumors spread by his own teacher; even Kat, Pete’s best friend, feels the pressure to ditch him. As Pete follows the quickly accumulating clues, he begins to wonder if the truth could put his family’s livelihood–and even their freedom–at risk.

 

Why Review? Because it was amazing.

 

Plot–5/5 Five thousand out of five stars. It was…amazing. I finished it in a day and a half and could not put it down.

Baby GIF

 

 

Storyline–4.99999/5 Because I’ve never read a novel that has an A+++++ storyline (well, except for maybe the third book of the Ascendance Trilogy) but this one came very, very close. It really made me think about things I’ve never really thought about before, like how the Red Scare impacted everybody and people who weren’t Communist were hurt by it.

 

Character Development–5/5 Pete…first a boy, then a man, and then a boy again. Avi did a great job with this.

 

Writing style–4/5 This was the first book by Avi that I’ve read, and I really enjoyed his style. Only a few scenes here and there that were oddly written prevented me from giving it five stars.

 

Overall rating–5/5 I finished this book late into the night and all I could do afterwards was sit on my bed and think about how good it was. I was near tears at some parts and laughing at others, and it showed me the Korean War era from a whole new perspective. It’s going onto my list of favorites–not only on the list, but somewhere near the top.

 

 

Y’all read any good books lately? Have any of you ever read Catch You Later, Traitor, or any other books by Avi? What are your favorite novels?

 

 

I’ll be back soon–after Kenzie’s wedding this week *squeals*, hopefully I’ll have a post commemorating that. 😀 😀 😀 😀

 

 

 

 

–Abilene

ONE YEAR OF BLOGGING!!!!!

Welp, guys, it’s official. I have been blogging for one year!!!

 

 

 

Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor <--- I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the little face he makes here. I think this is what clinched it for me <3
Realizing I’ve actually done it!

 

One year of blogging. Blogiversary. Today, lil bloggy turns 1.

 

 

When I was younger I started reading blogs. Younger as in approximately seven. I read them voraciously. I had a whole list that I would go check a few times a week. All that time, I desperately wanted my own. And I almost started one once when I was about nine (like that would have gone well). And then it fell through for some reason and I didn’t really think about blogging again until I was about eleven or twelve, when I stumbled across the blogs of a few people in my age group and realized Hey, people read the blogs of people like me–a general nobody, just trying to survive this crazy world. That’s cool. 

 

So, on May 9th, 2017, I started my first blog and uploaded the first post at 11:30 PM. At the time, I was almost fifteen years old. My first post was a mess (as has been every post since). I still don’t know how to write a decent looking ‘about me’ page, and my beliefs page badly needs redone.  But those can wait.

 

Right now, I’m still discovering the joy blogging gives–the rush when I come up with an idea for a stellar new post. The happy comments you leave me that make me squeal a little and smile and remember why I started. The joy of sharing my thoughts with the world. And I don’t ever want to lose that simple, pure, unadulterated happiness. Which is kind of stupid, I know–but I’m a writer. What can I say? 😉

 

So. What gives you joy? And did you like the revival of my old theme? Just kidding–I was very disappointed to find out this morning that WordPress no longer supplies it. 😦 Oh well…. ;D

 

 

 

–Abilene

 

Spring

Spring

by William Blake

 

 

Sound the flute!
Now it’s mute.
Birds delight
Day and night;
Nightingale
In the dale,
Lark in sky,
Merrily,
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.

Little boy,
Full of joy;
Little girl,
Sweet and small;
Cock does crow,
So do you;
Merry voice,
Infant noise,
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.

Little lamb,
Here I am;
Come and lick
My white neck;
Let me pull
Your soft wool;
Let me kiss
Your soft face;
Merrily, merrily, we welcome in the year.

A Very Late Update/Goal Release

Hello to all! Sorry for not posting over the weekend like I should have…I have been out of town and very busy after I got back. In an effort to conserve my sanity, I am smooshing both my end-and-beginning-of-month posts into one, and a very short one at that. Basically I’m not doing a long, thought out list–just keeping all my thoughts in paragraph form instead. Hopefully y’all do mind. 😀

 

Anyway, in March, I was not very good at any of my goals. The weather was very iffy, and I’m using that as my excuse for why I didn’t go jogging. I did pretty good on my Bible reading until the end of the month, when I started getting lazy. I didn’t drink nearly as much water as I should have. I failed at my exercise calendar. (These are all huge surprises, right, considering my track record of victories? ;D) I totally ACED my closet organization–it looks amazing. I read three complete books and started two others. I wouldn’t say I practiced piano six times a week, but I tried and I can definitely say my musical talents have improved in the last month. I finished the rough draft of my novel. I did three posts on my blog, none of which were the posts I thought I was going to post. I finished The Rising and The Regime. I didn’t really go that great on eating healthily, but I was absolutely terrible either.

 

 

In April….I plan to stay alive. Save at least $20 dollars (low, I know, but that way I can feel good when I fulfill my goals). I want to finish The Rapture, the very last book in my favorite series. I want to finish Jip. I want to eat three serving of fresh fruit a day. I’m going to post a review of The Rising. I want to perfect Bagatelle No. 25 (aka Fur Elise). I want to do ten push-ups a day. Cut out the soda. Read the book from the library I checked out about the DRC (for novel researching). Read my Bible and answer devotional questions.

 

 

 

That’s about it. Sorry this was so short. I’m preparing for a big hunt tomorrow and things are pretty hectic. Hope you all have a good week! 😀

 

 

 

–Abby