Thursday, December 31, 2009

Review Policy

Reviewing books, hosting giveaways, holding interviews and guest posts are only a few ways I would be very honored and happy to be part of. I will accept to review Young Adult books and a few middle grade books, based on the synopsis.


I am open to all genres of young adult novels, but my favorite genres include, but are not limited to,

• Paranormal Romance
• Fantasy
• Realistic Fiction
• Science Fiction
• Historical Fiction

The only genre I am not interested AT ALL are any non-fiction books. (I read a lot of those for school, not for leisure.)


After finishing a book, I will post a review as soon as possible. If there is a certain date (i.e. a day before the release date) you would like a review to be posted by, please tell me and I will be happy to comply.

I review a book based on plot, characters, and how much I enjoyed it (enjoyability). If there is a specific way you would like the book to be reviewed, please feel free to tell me.

I rate the book on plot, characters, and an overall rating, all on a scale of 5.

Please remember that I cannot guarantee a positive review. My review will be 100% honest. However, I can ensure I will never tell readers to “NEVER read it” and will help ensure other readers try the book.


If you would like to host a giveaway through my blog or like me to hold an interview or a guest post, please feel free to contact me!



Contests in the Blogosphere

I hope everyone's enjoying New Year's Eve as a new decade rolls in (already!).
Here are some contests/giveaways in the blogosphere. (Most of them are all listed in the sidebar.)

300 Followers Giveaway @ The Hiding Spot ends Jan. 10 : 6 Winners
400 Followers Giveaway @ Mindful Musings ends Jan. 20 : 1 Winner (as of now) 
Mega 2010 Box Contest @ The Bookologist ends Jan. 31 : 1 Winner 
200 Followers Giveaway @ Shut Up! I'm Reading ends Feb. 14: 4 Winners  
December/January Giveaway @ Alaine-Queen of Happy Endings ends Jan. 31 
Ginormous 100 Followers Giveaway @ In Which A Girl Reads ends Jan. 19: 3 Winners  
The Spirit of Giving Giveaway @ Confessions of A Book Junkie ends Jan. 12: 1 Winner  
Big Blogiversary Giveaway @ Larissa's Life ends Dec. 31: 6 Winners 
Signed Copies of Fallen @ Book Chick City ends Dec. 31: 3 Winners 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Waiting On Wednesdays(1)

Waiting On Wednesdays is a weekly meme, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spolights highly anticipated releases.

Title: The Rise of Renegade X
Author: Chelsea Campbell
Publishing Date: May 11, 2010
Damien Locke knows his destiny--attending the university for supervillains and becoming Golden City's next professional evil genius. But when Damien discovers he's the product of his supervillain mother's one-night stand with--of all people--a superhero, his best-laid plans are ruined as he's forced to live with his superhero family.
Going to extreme lengths (and heights), The Rise of Renegade X chronicles one boy's struggles with the villainous and heroic pitfalls of growing up.

My Thoughts:  I have not actually read a book about superheros (unless you count comics about Batman and Superman). But the interesting plot of a growing up boy, with of course the superpower actions, I can't wait for the book to be released!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2010 Debut Author Challenge

This is my first challenge! Can't wait until the new year gets rolling! There are so many good 2010 debut authors and books I'm impatiently waiting for. I know I can probably read at least 12 books (hope school doesn't obstruct my way!). The challenge is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. If you want to join in the fun or just want to know what's going on, go here

2010 Debut Author Challenge Info
  • The objective is to read a set number of YA (Young Adult) or MG (Middle Grade) novels from debut authors published this year. I'm going to challenge everyone to read at least 12 debut novels! I’m hoping to read at least 30! You don’t have to list your choices right away, but if you do feel free to change them throughout the year. I will also be focusing on mostly Young Adult novels. 
  • Anyone can join, you don’t need a blog to participate. If you don’t have a blog you can always share your views by posting a review on, or any other bookish site. 
  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2010- December 31, 2010. You can join at anytime!
I'll start posting the list of books ASAP!

Devoured Review

Title: Devoured
Author: Amanda Marrone
Published Date: September 2009
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Price: Amazon ($9.99)

Megan’s twin sister Remy died in an accident nine years ago, and she’s been haunting her ever since. Knowing how crazy that sounds, Megan keeps this secret to herself and tries to lead a normal life. But when she takes a summer job at Land of Enchantment to keep an eye on her new boyfriend and his lovesick best friend, Samantha, she meets fellow employee Luke who can see Remy, too. Things get even twistier because Megan’s new friend Ari is sporting a massive crush on Luke, who seems to be developing a massive crush on Megan…making for a love triangle that’s positively possessed. Megan wants to keep her distance from Luke, but when Remy’s visions get crazy violent; she knows she needs his help. Because someone’s definitely in danger...the only question is who?

I am still reeling from the horror factors of the book. I finished this book in one sitting and the unique twist Marrone takes with Snow White made me turn the pages as I waited for the resolution. The unique perspective Marrone takes with the happy fairly tales that Disney created create this horrifying tale of jealousy.

At first when I picked up this book, I expected it to be shallow (even though the cover was contrary) and more focused on the romantic aspect of Megan’s life. Since the last supernatural book I read was Give Up the Ghost, I expected something similar to it in focusing more on the psychological and thematic aspect. But, was I in for a surprise! The horror Marrone depicts through her detailed descriptions of the vision of the dead girl and the mystery she surrounds it with made me turn the pages. However, the downside to having ten different situations occurring at the same time leaves you in a “What just happened state?” There were three different plots occurring at one time, the crazed visions Remy was showing, the strained relation between Megan and her mother, and the love, how do we call it, pentagon. Sometimes, the three plots create confusion as Marrone flits back and forth, but the overall effect, as it kept the plot moving, was addicting.

However, I felt the plot’s fast paced speed kept it from developing the characters. Sometimes, and maybe it just reminds me too much of my annoying sister, Remy became way too childish for me to handle. Sure, I understand she’s a seven year old. But her temper tantrums, from the nursing home incident to the time Luke’s grandmother tries to speak to her, get a little annoying as I get more and more sympathetic toward Megan and the stress she feels. I also wanted Luke’s character to be developed more, rather than the "nice" guy (He kisses Megan even though he knows she has a boyfriend. Where is his time for "jealous revenge"?).

Even though the characters could have been developed more by playing on the reader’s emotions, I thought Marrone did a great job on intertwining the horror effect, the fairy tale, and the themes of jealousy (I actually think that I would rather not have mind-reading power) and death.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 4/5

I am a shameless to say but the cover was the first attraction to the book. The stark contrast of the red makeup formed Megan into a player and created a breathtaking beautiful woman, but also an evil edge to it. I also loved the color contrast between the dark dress and the green apple, representing Snow White. Overall, the color scheme was superb.

Overall: 3.5/5

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Prada and Prejudice Review

Title: Prada and Prejudice
Author: Mandy Hubbard
Published Date: June 2009
Publisher: Razor Bill
Price: Amazon ($8.99)

To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips…conks her head…and wakes up in the year 1815!
There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant.
But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up?
More Cabot than Ibbotson, Prada and Prejudice is a high-concept romantic comedy about finding friendship and love in the past in order to have happiness in the present.

There are two sides of the book that countered each other when I started reading the book. The plot and the characters.

Before I start butchering the characters (ok, they weren’t really that bad), I absolutely loved the plot. I have never read Pride and Prejudice (I know, shoot me), but from reading garbled summers of it, the plot was a light and chic form of it. The subtle romantic journey between Callie and Alex makes you turn the pages, as you’re wondering when they are going to express their feelings for each other. I also loved Hubbard’s integration of the old style London with the modern feeling Callie brings in. (I really want to go to Callie’s school. A school trip to London!). The thematic element beneath all the craze and fun Callie has, as she learns to become more of an outgoing person and stand up to the mean girls of her school, creates a meaningful read. I thought the disguise as Rebbecca also helps with the plot.  Also, the ending made me smile as I imagined Callie’s happy future, rather than fretting what will happen and if there will be a sequel. Callie’s romantic life with Alex, rather than being cut short through the time change, continues to the present time.

Callie is portrayed as outspoken and generous character but Hubbard’s leap towards the abrupt change in the beginning creates an annoying and whining character. I thought the break through the quiet and shy shell in the beginning when she rebels against Victoria undermines the importance of the theme of changing into a girl who can stand up to herself. I think Hubbard stretched the theme to the extreme point and created a really pushy and annoying character, who just always to show off and prove her point. For example, if I was stranded in 18th century London (I wish I was), I would be polite when I first meet someone, even if that person insulted me on my clothes to my face. When Callie leaps back two hundred years and all of a sudden her personality changes from a quiet, lonely one to a frank and rebellious character, it creates this huge gap where the reader goes “What?” I also wanted Emily’s character to be developed a bit from this shallow character who still dreams of true love, even though it fits into a fairy tale setting. One character I was satisfied was Alex with his development, but sometimes I felt it hard to decipher Alex’s actions as signs of love or friendship (maybe it’s because I have no sense of dating and flirting).

Overall, I thought the book was a cute and fun read. After you get used to Callie’s frank and sometimes rude personality, the book is a fun read with the London and romantic twist.

Plot: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 3/5

The cover is very pretty with the swirls and the Prada heels, with the cute little teacup, but I felt as if the background could be decorated more wisely, instead of having swirls in the background.

Overall: 3/5

Friday, December 25, 2009

Matching Actors to Characters

This is a new meme, created by me (lol that sounds egoistic)! I know there are a lot of ardent readers, including myself, who always tries to create a mental image inside their heads according to the descriptions of the characters. Like, if they mention some brooding handsome guy, you always try to pick one of your favorite actors to help you coast along the story. So, in order to help you, each week (usually on weekends, when I actually have time), I’ll pick a character (please help me by suggesting characters) and look around for an actor/actress that best matches them. (By the way, if there already is a meme like this, please let me know, so I can revert to that. Thanks!)

My first character will be….Gale (from the Hunger Games Trilogy, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, which are both MUST-reads). I personally was in Team Gale, but after reading Catching Fire, I became a traitor and joined Teem Peeta.

So the actor Gale will be matched with is … Gaspard Ulliel!

My friend introduced me to Gaspard Ulliel as the perfect match to Edward (alas, but they chose Robert Pattison). But as I read about Gale in The Hunger Games, I thought Gaspard was the best match for Gale. Gaspard Ulliel is a French actor and is most famous for playing Hannibal Rising in 2007. His dark brown hair cascading down his forehead creates this careless handsome boy whom all the girls would fall for in school (I know I would). Also, Ulliel does not have a boyish face but not too much like an old man, making it perfect for the age range. I have not watched Hannibal Rising, but reading about the role Ulliel played as a killer, I think that Ulliel could portray the rebellious and hunting nature of Gale.

Tell me your other actor suggestions! Can’t wait till the final Hunger Games series gets released in August 24!

Contact Me!

If you have any questions, concerns, comments, or requests please feel free to email me at tuningintoyabooks(at)gmail(dot)com or fill out this form.
I will respond as soon as possible.


Organized by title
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
Candor by Pam Bachorz
Devoured by Amanda Marrone
Devouring, The by Simon Holt
Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, The by E. Lockhart
Girl, Stolen by April Henry
Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe
Halo by Alexandra Adornetto 
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Into The Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern
Maze Runner, The by James Dashner
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Once A Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
Perfect Chemistry by Simon Elkeles 
Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard
Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Wish by Alexandra Bullen
You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone's enjoying the holiday with their family and friends. I received the greatest present ever from Santa! 15 followers in one day! Thank you so much for following me and giving me support!

I would like to thank all of my loyal followers, Natalie at Mindful Musing for featuring my blog, The Page Flipper, A Book Lover's Diary, The Book Pixie, and Juiciliciousss Reviews for giving me advice and support when I started my blog.

More reviews and features are to come. But, I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Give Up The Ghost Review

Title: Give Up the Ghost
Author: Megan Crewe
Published Date: September 2009
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Price: Amazon ($11.55)

Cass McKenna much prefers ghosts over "breathers." Ghosts are uncomplicated and dependable, and they know the dirt on everybody... and Cass loves dirt. She's on a mission to expose the dirty secrets of the poseurs in her school.

But when the vice president of the student council discovers her secret, Cass's whole scheme hangs in the balance. Tim wants her to help him contact his recently deceased mother, and Cass reluctantly agrees.

As Cass becomes increasingly entwined in Tim's life, she's surprised to realize he's not so bad—and he needs help more desperately than anyone else suspects. Maybe it’s time to give the living another chance....

Cass McKenna is a protagonist you can empathize with, from her family issues to her feeling as an outsider. Crewe is able to integrate the supernatural ghost aspect of the character with the thematic elements of friends and elements. The unique element of the book is the ability to transition well from a novel of fun read to actually unearthing betrayal of friends and the feeling of exclusion. Also, the action-paced novel didn’t lag down the readers as they read through pages and pages of exposition. By telling Cass’s story within the plot, bit by bit, in how she was betrayed by Danielle and her sister’s story, I was able to enjoy the plot, without getting lost.

Also, Cass’s development is amazing! The characterization of Cass is developed through her every actions, as she is portrayed as a pushy character (which sometimes can get a bit annoying, so mean to poor Tim, lol), but through the retelling of her past is shown as a caring character, who really is sensitive. Also, the portrayal of Danielle differs from the regular bratty cheerleader, as her depth of character is revealed at the end. Also, Cass is finally able to change from being cold and mean, in which she is able to finally release the grudge. Also, Cass’s relation with the mother, the natural “doesn’t stay at home and doesn’t care about her children” mother, help tie into the interpersonal relations theme

Now, I know you all want to hear about Tim, the poor suffering boy who helps open up Cass to the public. But frankly, I was disappointed by Crewe’s development of the relation between Tim and Cass. Tim is of course the regular lanky, caring, blond guy, but underneath the confident image is the brewing of depression, which I thought Crewe did a good job on developing. BUT, (cry) there was no romance or friction, even though there were so many arrows pointing toward that direction. The ending disappointed me, but if Crewe decides to create a sequel (*cough cough* romance with Tim *cough cough*), then I’ll eat my words back up

Plot: 3/5
Characters: 4.5/5
Cover: 3.5/5

Overall: 3.5/5

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

About Me

Hey everyone! Welcome to my blog, Tuning Into YA Books!

My name is Jean and I am a high school student. I am an avid reader and read a variety of genres (mostly fiction, even though my mother insists I read non-fiction). My favorite genres include fantasy, realistic fiction, paranormal romance, and historical fiction. I live all genres, but I prefer most of my books to include a bit of a romance, lol.

My personal life is also busy and sometimes stressful, which is why I like to escape into the fictional world and forget everything that I messed up. Some activities I do include playing the violin and ice-skating. During my free time, I enjoy watching soap operas and of course, READ!

I started this blog through one of my failures. I applied for my library’s teen advisory group and I had to go to an interview. When they asked me if I had a blog, I looked at them questioningly, a blog? After I got rejected and I learned the many different types of blogs (at first, I thought a blog was only like a diary of sort) I resolved myself to create one, which brought me to here.
Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy book reviews and author interviews from Tuning Into YA Books!

I also would like to give credit to the images used in the header! Thanks!


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