Monday, January 29, 2018

HIGHLIGHTS OF JANUARY // 30k words + heroes of olympus

I've wrapped myself in my plush throw blanket for the writing of this post, so I'm really cozy, but I have to say... I'm sick and tired of the cold. Is anyone else wishing spring would get here already?? Even though it's only the end of January??

Unfortunately, I have a while yet to wait. *pouty face* February will be here in a couple days, and that means more cold weather awaits. On a more positive note, however, that also means it's recap time!


Six books is pretty much my maximum count per month, just because of my reading speed (which is fairly slow, though I don't mind). Come to think of it, if it hadn't been for the latter half of winter break, I probably would have read even less than six.

Below, I've whipped up some super mini reviews of my January reads. You'll also find that they're in list form, so... everyone's happy.

The Royal Ranger by John Flanagan:

- awesome protag
- Will with a beard
- too many adverbs
- bows and arrows + sling
- 5 stars

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan:

- multiple POVs
- Percabeth!
- prophecies
- can't put it down!!
- 5 stars

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld:

- audiobook with stellar narration
- Darwinists vs. Clankers
- slow-burning, with bursts of action slipped in
- need book 2 now
- 4 stars

The Sound of Life and Everything by Krista Van Dolzer:

- not enough description
- powerful prejudice theme
- didn't like the ending
- super quick read
- had its humorous moments
- sci-fi + hi-fi didn't really work
- 3 stars

Image result for the blood of olympus

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan:

- an event I have dubbed "The Nico Revelation" :P
- super funny, as per usual
- T a r t a r u sssss
- Caleo <3 <3 (favorite part of the book)
- 4 stars

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan:

- new POVs
- Jason gets glasses (he looks great in them, doesn't he??)
- Reyna rocks!
- EPIC final battle
- 4 stars

As you can see, three of them were Heroes of Olympus books. I'm sad that this fantastic Percy Jackson spin-off is over, since I'm not going to be reading any further Rick Riordan books (content is clearly becoming more of an issue as time goes on), but I'll probably be rereading Percy Jackson and the Olympians one of these days. Or... one of these years.


In the title of this post, the "30k words" part seems to imply that I've written 30k words this month. Plot twist: I haven't.

Now, before you 1) jump to the conclusion that I'm a FAILURE, or 2) think I lied to your face, consider that the month is not over yet. We still have a couple of days! I'm at approximately 28k words, which means I am sooooo close. This will be no biggie, guys.

I think it's a personal record for me, to be honest: 30,000 words written in one month. At this rate, I can probably finish my current rewrite (started at the start of January) by mid-April. Then I can dive into the first draft of the sequel to Dusted Red, which I've been planning for quite a while now!


At the beginning of the month, I was listening to "Let You Down" by NF basically on repeat. Then I slipped into a Twenty One Pilots phase and couldn't stop jamming to Blurryface. Then, in the latter part of the month, I got into NF again and... I'm still in that phase. I don't even like rap, and yet I really like NF. Remember ThisNO NAME,and Lie. Go listen. Shoo.


These are the other January posts I've published here on the blog. In fact, they're the only posts I've published here on the blog, because in case you didn't get the memo, this is a baby blog. One month old, and looking a lot better than my former corner of the internet.

(graphic not mine ^^^)

In other corners of the blogosphere...

Tracey rambled about the books she read in 2017, and I confess that I kinda borrowed the way she formatted her mini reviews. Mine is different, though! Hers just inspired me, that's all. xD

Audrey shared different ways we can grow as both a Christian and a writer. It was inspiring. <3

Ivie wrote an encouraging post about her writing process, how everyone's process is different, and how we need to come to terms with the type of writer we naturally are.

Faith shared about her weekend at the March For Life, and it sounded like she had the most AMAZING time.

As for what God has been showing me this month (because He's always speaking - the question is, are we listening?), I've been struggling with procrastination, and with getting distracted by certain things when I shouldn't be. We joke about procrastination all the time, but I HATE it. So much. It's one of the most frustrating things ever.

But God has been helping me. That's all I can say. He's blessing me. He's strengthening me. And my flesh resists Him many, many times, but He never lets go.

Stop for a moment. Just stop for a moment and feel that promise. God is never EVER going to let you go.

~ Lila Kims

Have you read Rick Riordan?
How's the writing going?
What's your favorite NF song?

Yeah, they say when we grow up
You'll understand when you're older
Guess I'm still a kid, I don't know it
If I'll ever let go of this
- "Remember This" by NF

Monday, January 22, 2018

BOOK VS. MOVIE // the giver by lois lowry

We're all in agreement here that the correct term for our rare breed of humanoid is "bookworm" and not "movieworm," right? *nods throughout the audience* Right. Therefore, so-called bookworms who like the movie better aren't true bookworms, right? Such traitors deserve to mockingly be called movieworms for the rest of their lives, right? Right?? Otherwise, THEY'D BE LIVING A LIE.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong. We're all in agreement about that, I hope.

I think we're further in agreement, however, that usually - 90% of the time? maybe 85%? - the book is better. It's just that every now and then, our tastes will force us to read the book and be like "meh" and then watch the movie adaptation and be like "YAAAASSSS."

That's exactly what happened with me for The Giver. I'm sure many of you loved the book, and I'm honestly glad you did! But something about it didn't click for me.

The movie, however, was a different story.

For those of you who don't know, this classic dystopian story is about Jonas, a boy living in a world void of color, void of emotion, and void of chaos. It is a world of rigid conformity, a world of sickening sameness.

But the people - clueless as they are - don't consider it sickening. No, to them it's wonderful. Perfect. Utopia.

And Jonas is no exception... until he is assigned as Receiver of Memories. Suddenly, dark secrets begin to surface, flipping Jonas's perspective upside down.


- In the book, we get inside Jonas's head more. This is always what I first think of when comparing a book to a movie. While watching a movie, we get to know what goes on inside the MC's head by his actions, facial expressions, and conversations with other people. But the connection is greater while reading a book, since we're more directly inside his head.

- But in the movie, we get BRENTON THWAITES. *cough*

- And also, there are sooooo many adverbs in the book. Take it or leave it, but here's my advice: use adverbs very sparily. You. Do. Not. Need. Many. At. All. When I see an adverb in a novel, I sometimes can't help but sit there, raise one eyebrow skeptically, and consider whether or not it could have been removed.

Lots of adverbs are sprinkled throughout The Giver, and I confess they kind of drove me CRAZY.

- In the movie, Jonas's friends are deeper characters and more involved.

I really liked how they changed Asher's personality, and how so much more involved Fiona was in the story, especially the climax. And speaking of the climax...

- The climax in the book was a big let-down, but then the movie made it awesome.

The climax, guys.

The climax.


ARRRRRRGH!!! *a thousand headdesks*

All right, here comes some general spoilers. You've been warned.

In the book, Jonas had no opposition whatsoever during his departure. NADA. ZILCH. ZERO. There I was, listening to the audiobook, just w a i t i n g - and hoping - for someone to jump out and try to stop him. But noooooo he made it out just fine.

And then in the movie, we have all the climax-y action I was anticipating in the book but didn't get. For example, this:

And then in the book we didn't even get to hear what happened back with the Giver. I looooooved that they showed (WARNING: SPOILERS! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED) how the memories returned to the people. That was a powerful moment I dearly, dearly wish had been in the book.

I could ramble on about how I ADORED the romance in the movie - how cute and clean it was, and how the book should've gone further with its tiny implications. (As you can see, I'm a sucker for romantic subplots.)

I can understand why some wouldn't appreciate it, though, considering that movies ALWAYS make certain there's enough romance for there to be at least one kiss. *sigh* But they did an excellent job with the romance in The Giver movie. ^.^

And then we have the antagonist. It frustrated me that there was no set-in-stone bad guy in the book, and in my opinion, that is yet another thing the movie fixed.

I know the Elders were technically supposed to be the antagonist in the book (right??), but having the Chief Elder as the #1 bad guy in the movie was clearer to me and opened the door for more conflict. Meryl Streep made a perfect Chief Elder.

Basically, the movie took all the elements of the book and went deeper with them - characters, beginning, middle, and end. EVERYTHING.

And it's not to say that I hated the book, or even disliked it. I actually enjoyed The Giver by Lois Lowry. Maybe it's not my favorite dystopian, but the world was incredibly well-thought-out, and I was never bored. It's just that I went into it expecting so many things I didn't get, and that left me somewhat disappointed. In my opinion, the movie improved the story.

If you love dystopian, there's a good chance you'll love this book. I sincerely hope you do! *whispers* But after you're finished, you must watch the movie, 'kay? xD You don't want to miss out on that.

Aaaaaand writing this post has made me want to go watch it again.

~ Lila Kims

Have you read the book? Have you watched the movie? If so, what did you think? If not, do you plan to? Let's chat about The Giver!

Monday, January 15, 2018

THE BIBLIOPHILE SWEATER TAG // purple books + toy story

Long, long ago in a blog post far, far away, my good friend Ivie Brooks tagged me for the Bibliophile Sweater Tag.

It's been around three months, I think, but HERE I AM, finally getting around to this fun-looking tag! Yes, I should have done it way back in autumn, but at least it's still winter. If I waited until warm spring weather hit, no one would be wearing sweaters anymore, and that would just be awkward??

Anyway, I'm super excited to answer these questions because they're all about A) books, and B) sweaters - two wonderful blessings that help me endure the most bone-chilling winter days.


Give the person who tagged you a never-ending supply of cookies (or just thank them. Either works.)

*sends Ivie a never-ending supply of cookies* Thanks for tagging me, friend! <3

Answer all the questions and use the blog graphic somewhere in the post. 

Pass along the tag to at least five other people.

Wear a sweater. (This is optional, but why wouldn't you want to?)


Look at me, I'm wearing a turquoise sweater! (And I swear I've been wearing it almost all day - I didn't run to my closet just now and pull one on. Come on now. I wouldn't cheat like that.)

Fuzzy Sweater - a book that is the epitome of comfort

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. Every time I read this book, I am blown away by the beautiful descriptions. And the story in general is just so sweet and light and wonderful that whenever I read it, I feel like dancing through a meadow with a handful of flowers.

Striped Sweater - book you devoured every line of

Image result for cress marissa meyer

Cress by Marissa Meyer. There's no better way to describe what I did to this book - the other TLC books too, though this is the best one - than to say I DEVOURED it. Her gorgeous writing just begs to suck you in.

Ugly Christmas Sweater - book with a weird cover

The Merchant of Death by D.J. MacHale. I find this cover weird because I feel like its different elements don't work well together. Besides, I've never liked faces on book covers. :P

I still haven't read the further books in the Pendragon series, but I want to at some point, because this first book - despite the weird cover - was really good. Despite a spattering of mild language and a make-out scene on, like, page five. *cough*

Cashmere Sweat - most expensive book you've bought

Five Magic Spindles by Rachel Kovaciny, Kathryn McConaughy, Grace Mullins, Michelle Pennington, and Ashley Stangl. I ordered a brand-new paperback because I wouldn't have it any other way, and BOY were those 20 or so dollars worth it!

Hoodie - favorite classic book

The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas. This book, guys. Please. Read. This. Book. I don't even have any words to describe its amazingness.

Cardigan - book you bought on impulse

This has never happened to me, to be honest. In fact, I rarely buy books even when I really, really want to. #cheapskate

Turtleneck Sweater - book from your childhood

The Doll People by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin. I remember reading this series as a younger bookdragon and absolutely LOVING it. It has the same concept as Toy Story, but then it goes even deeper with it. The nostalgia... :')

Homemade Knitted Sweater - book that is indie published

I don't think I've read a single self-published book in my entire life. I KNOW, IT'S REALLY SAD. But I recently got a free ebook of Disowned by Sarah Addison-Fox, so it might be the first one I read. (Just look at the cover - it's so... purple. <3 <3)

V-Neck Sweater - book that did not meet your expectations

I had high hopes for There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones - hopes that it wouldn't adopt the following stale cliche: God isn't much involved in the story because the MC feels that God isn't really paying attention to her. Therefore, the story can now focus on the hot, mysterious love interest. Yay.

My book didn't meet those hopes. HOWEVER, it's a beautiful book anyway, with uplifting Christian themes. I actually really enjoyed it (except the kisses were a little too passionate for a Christian book, if you ask me *shakes head*). I was just disappointed because of my high expectations.

Argyle Sweater - book with a unique format

I'm too lazy to type out the annoyingly long title, but this Ally Carter book is the only one I could think of. Most of the format is perfectly normal - it's just that some of the chapters begin with a creative (and often hilarious) pros and cons list before returning to the story. The Gallagher Girls series is SO good, by the way - some of the best spy fiction I've ever read. Though, of course, I haven't read much spy fiction...

Polka-Dot Sweater - a book with well-rounded characters

Oh, geez. What a decision. Well, I'm in the midst of reading the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan, and the character development is just fantastic. Becoming really, truly, DEEPLY attached to characters is not as common an occurrence as I would like, but the seven demigods in this Percy Jackson spin-off jump off the page with everything that makes a great character!

I'm going to break the rules and not officially tag anyone for this. But I unofficially tag anyone who wants to do it!

~ Lila Kims

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?
Are you currently wearing a sweater, and if so, what color is it?
Aren't purple books beautiful???

Monday, January 8, 2018


Why do I say one thing, and then do the opposite?
I don't want to stay this way.

I suppose I'm a little late with my 2017 wrap-up post, but it's still pretty early in January - we're still saying our goodbyes to the past year, still storing all its lovely memories in a safe place in our heads, where they won't slip away.

2017 was a good year. It really was.


I found some new top favorite books this year, The Lunar Chronicles and Gallagher Girls most notable among them. Those series are GOLD, I tell you. <3

This was also the year I stepped out of my bookworm hole into the community side of a website I almost guarantee you're familiar with - Goodreads. This bookish social media site has been annoying at times, challenging at times, and fun at times. Fun most of all, of course! There's nothing like fangirling over books with fellow bookdragons. :D But through the Goodreads community, God has also taught me important things - about showing love to people who aren't showing love to you, about refraining from reading a book you know you shouldn't read even though it's SUPER popular (the struggle is more real than you think), about the way the world's standards and viewpoints are changing and how that is affecting YA literature.

2017 highlight: I became acquainted with Goodreads, and I'm thankful for the site because I love the community, and because there is quite a lot to learn from it.

2018 goal: Knock A BUNCH of books off that TBR.


My 2017 writing journey was a wild ride of awesomeness, from spending lazy summer days typing away on Draft 2 of my fairy tale retelling Dusted Red, to the especially exciting adventure that was my entry for Five Poisoned Apples.

Related image

This contest is one of the most exciting thing ever, because 1) just the opportunity and anticipation of it all, 2) I legit edited a story for the first time, and 3) I shared a story with beta-readers for the first time. Sure, I've been sharing stories with writer friends since 2016, but it was exciting and surreal in a different way, with The Seven Huntresses. There were giant smiles and bubbly giddiness because of enthusiastic fangirl comments. There were multiple whispered "thank-yous" because of incredibly helpful feedback.

Besides, I've never laid a story so earnestly and completely before Jesus' feet like I laid The Seven Huntresses. Because of that, there was a whole new layer of excitement and purpose to writing it.

2017 highlight: I wrote a story for the Five Poisoned Apples writing contest. (let's all cross our fingers for April 2nd, shall we?)

2018 goal: Let God into my writing life even more.


I feel like I already blab way too much about bloggy stuff. xD Here's a summary of great blogging-related things I have come to appreciate throughout 2017.

- The amazingness of blogger friends (YOU GUYS ARE THE TEH BESTEST <3 <3 <3)
- Rebellious Writing
- and now this new blog!!!

2017 highlight: Befriended some awesome fellow bloggers + RW + yeah, everything

2018 goal: Work hard to provide quality content here on The Red-Hooded Writer


My relationship with God throughout 2017 was such a whirlwind of adventures - joys and sorrows, rises and stumbles. Most notably is the mission trip I was part of in early 2017 - the most amazing time I've ever had. *wipes tear* God did so, so, SO much, and throughout the whole experience brought my relationship with Him to a whole new level. It seems longer than only a year ago that it happened, and yet at the same time it seems like it was only yesterday. <3

Fast forward to MUCH closer to the end of the year. I don't keep up with politics, but I did hear about our President making the decision to move the United States embassy to Jerusalem, and - in so doing - officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel! There is world-wide controversy about his decision - you can read CNN articles, Fox News articles, the Jerusalem Post, etc., etc. It's really interesting. But did you know that this very event lines up with prophecy in the Bible??!! I could probably say more about it, but suffice it to say - hearing about this important event was exciting. Stuff. Is. Happening.

Anyway, back to my smol life. :) Soccer seasons, church events, birthday, school, funeral, book club, new room, Christmas, movie nights. The fun, the tough, the bittersweet. Wow, guys. 2017. Twenty. Seven. Teen.

2017 highlight: Too many to choose from!!

2018 goal: Live every day for Jesus, in light of eternity. Lord, help me.

Thinking of it makes me extra excited for this new year, and all the unexpected blessings and struggles that await! We've already spent about a week of it, guys. That leaves 51 weeks left (if the Lord tarries, of course). Best of all, Jesus will be with us every single step of the way!

~ Lila Kims

How has your first week of 2018 been? What are something awesome things God did in your life in 2017?

No more going down and up and down so selfishly
No more going up and down and up
You take the lead

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

MY NEW BLOG // the red-hooded writer

To all the lovely newcomers! 

Well, HELLO THERE. Welcome to my blog, The Red-Hooded Writer! I have to say, I'm thrilled you've stumbled across my tiny corner of the Internet, and at the very first post too! You can read more about me on... well, on the About Me page, but simply put, I am a Christian, a writer, and a book dragon. On this brand-new blog of mine, I'll be talking about writing, books, the Christian life, and probably some totally unrelated stuff every now and then. Feel free to click around on my few other pages and - if you like what you see - possibly stick around for future posts! ;)

As for comments, leave them wherever and whenever you please. I vow to respond to every single one! Making new friends around the blogosphere is one of my favorite things EVAAAR.

I'm excited to continue blogging here. My former blog, The Cheapskate Bibliomaniac, was still in its youth - only a little over a year old.  Poor little thing. BUT, I have several reasons for switching to a new blog so soon, and if you're interested, you can read about it below.

To all the wonderful... oldcomers! (shh, let's pretend that's a word)

So, friends. What do you think? Does it look all right? I've tried to arrange things so the blog is simple and maybe sort of aesthetic, but there's room for plenty of improvement, of course. If you have any suggestions to make, feel free to comment feedback below! I would really appreciate it. <3

I know I already talked about my reasons for doing this in the announcement post on The Cheapskate Bibliomaniac, but I thought I'd tick them off again in a super fast list, because who doesn't love lists??

1.  I've detested my previous blog's title for months now.

Admit it, it's not pretty. And even if it isn't that bad, we all know that The Red-Hooded Writer is a much better title. O.O

2.  If I were to change it, I would have to change the URL, and for some reason I thought that might turn out kind of hectic??

3.  I wanted a whole new look, and I figured the easiest route to take was simply to make another blog!

After your enthusiastic response to my announcement post, I'm practically bubbling over with excitement to see what you guys think. And as for regular posting, that will begin next week on Monday morning. :)

Adios until then!

~ Lila Kims

P.S. I hope you had a wonderful start to the New Year! God has big plans for 2018, and I don't know about you, but I'm excited to see what He does.