ARC Review: Feuds by Avery Hastings

Title: Feuds
Author: Avery Hastings
Series: Feuds #1
Genre: YA Dystopia
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Published: September 2nd, 2014
Page count: 272 pages
Format: eARC
Source: From publisher via Netgalley

 Goodreads | Amazon 
Book Summary:
In this breathless story of impossible love, perfection comes at a deadly cost.

For Davis Morrow, perfection is a daily reality. Like all Priors, Davis has spent her whole life primed to be smarter, stronger, and more graceful than the lowly Imperfects, or “Imps.” A fiercely ambitious ballerina, Davis is only a few weeks away from qualifying for the Olympiads and finally living up to her mother’s legacy when she meets Cole, a mysterious boy who leaves her with more questions each time he disappears.

Davis has no idea that Cole has his own agenda, or that he’s a rising star in the FEUDS, an underground fighting ring where Priors gamble on Imps. Cole has every reason to hate Davis—her father’s campaign hinges on the total segregation of the Imps and Priors—but despite his best efforts, Cole finds himself as drawn to Davis as she is to him.

Then Narxis, a deadly virus, takes its hold--and Davis’s friends start dying. When the Priors refuse to acknowledge the epidemic, Davis has no one to turn to but Cole. Falling in love was never part of their plan, but their love may be the only thing that can save her world...in Avery Hastings's Feuds.

     *The Reader's Review*

     My rating: 4/5 stars
Behold this pretty cool book! You're in for a treat if you decide to browse this perfectly imperfect dystopian world. The concept is intriguing, people. It's about a society divided in two:  the Priors-- genetically altered people to grow up into perfect beings, and the Imps-- regular people (lower class) with "imperfections". They do not mix and it's actually illegal to get involved. But of course, what is prohibited makes up the best of stories!

Davis is a ballerina working hard on making into the Olympiads to live up to her late mother's reputation and to somehow make her feel proud of her. She's graceful, passionate, and like the other priors, perfect. She believes in her society that everyone should be perfect and that the Imps are dangerous. Cole, on the other hand, makes a living as a fighter at the FEUDS. Fighting is the only way he can as an Imp to make money and help out his family with food and medicine, and possibly gain enough to study and move out from the Slants. He's a good fighter and handsome as well, he could almost pass off as a Prior, but he hates the thought of them for all of what they have done to his people.

 One day, Cole is forced by his Feuds sponsor to seek out Davis and destroy her reputation by getting acquainted with her. But once they meet up at a party, sparks fly off from both ends. In begins a hectic ride of love, danger, secrets and betrayals. Their worlds begin to fall apart once the Priors start catching Narxis, a rare decease, and begin to die in a matter of hours. The Priors aren't supposed to get sick, ever.  Sadly, Davis could be next.

Feuds certainly has a lot of stuff going on and it might be a bit hard to keep up at first. There's the Feuds, Davis' ballerina Olympiads, the decease, the romance, and many other world-shattering secrets floating around. It was confusing and amazing at the same time. It was so much fun to enter this world and read about such a perfect race because even though they are perfect from the outside, they sure are not that perfect inside.

Besides from the interesting plot, I was excited to read about Davis and Cole's love story. As it turned out, their relationship developed quite fast, and it became a "Love at first sight/kiss" kind of thing. While this at first didn't make me happy because it didn't allow me to warm up to them as a thing, their relationship grew on me the more as I went inside the story. They actually ended up being a good couple after all.

Feuds also had a killer cliffhanger that broke my heart. It's been several weeks since I finished it and I still feel it. Ugh, that's why I hate cliffhangers. I really hope the next book comes out soon because I just need to know. You will understand what I mean once you read this book too. But for now, get your copy of Feuds this Tuesday!


P.S. Can you say cover love? It's so pretty!






*Note: Review written by Melissa, not Flor. Forgot I was using her account when I wrote this.* 

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon Sign-up Post


Hey guys! I decided to join the Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon challenge hosted by Wishful Endings. This challenge is about reading as many of your TBR books as you can in a period of two weeks starting September 8th. Sounds fun, right? I have been meaning to join a challenge for a while now to get my read on and this one is more than perfect.You can still join the challenge if you want in on the fun!

Okay, I'm not really sure of which books to read out of the many I have, but I think I'll go for these ones:

Books

 

Tesla by Mark Lingane and The Good Sister by Jamie Kain

Audiobook


Breakable by Tammara Webber

Three seem like a decent amount for me since I have other books that I have to read during that period. I'm taking this challenge to squeeze in books I want to read, and it's about time I did something just for the fun of it. Can't wait to get started! :)

That's What HE Said Thursday #22: Ash from The Iron Queen


That's what HE said Thursday is a weekly meme hosted at Chapter Break where you post a favorite line of a book boyfriend to his heroine. It's the perfect meme to share all those awesome quotes!

Today I want to share with you a quote from Ash of The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey #3) by Julie Kagawa.
                                                

"I will always be your knight, Mechan Chase, and I swear, if there is a way for us to be together, I will find it. No matter how long it takes. If I have to chase your soul to the ends of eternity, I won't stop until I find you, I promise."

                      Ash to Meghan, The Iron Queen







This quote made me cry so hard the first time I read it. Ash is so, SO beautiful and it broke my heart when THIS happened. He will always be one of my all time favorite book boyfriends. 

Book Review: Pieces of Me by Kira Adams

Title: Pieces of Me
Author: Kira Adams
Series: A Foundation Novel #1
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Dutton
Published: August 25th, 2014
Page count: 159 pages
Format: eBook
Source: From author in exchange for an honest review

 Goodreads | Amazon 
Book Summary:
For sixteen year old Peyton Lane, life has never been easy. She’s not popular, overweight, and oh yeah, her sister is embarrassed of her. But over the course of a tumultuous year, everything changes for Peyton. Suddenly all eyes are on her and it’s not because she’s fat. From a pair of handsome twins to a couple of dangerously sexy rockers, Peyton will have to find out who she can trust with her heart. From the ups and downs to the twists and turns—this is Peyton’s story of finding one’s voice and growing into your own. 

This is a coming of age romance that involves realistic situations and raw emotions. This is Pieces of Me.

     *The Reader's Review*

     My rating: 3.5/5 stars
I'm always glad when a book makes me step into the main character's shoes. I like the personal connection because it feels like if you're actually reading about a close friend instead of just a character. This is how Pieces of Me turned out to be for me and while not everything was exactly what I wanted, it sure was a good read (and a quick one too).

Peyton is a size 15 girl who is severely depressed with her weight and social life. She wants to be loved and find someone who won't be ashamed to be with her. After attempting to end her life, she plunges right back into it not knowing that she will face many changes, including a successful music career. Now everyone is paying close attention to Peyton, including her secret crushes. Love, heartbreak and a better her blooms into Peyton's life.

I liked that the main character has a very artistic side. She writes lyrics, participates in school plays and sings. Peyton is not your average book heroine and she's definitely not perfect.  I know many readers will feel related to her one way or another because she's a fighter and faces many issues like most of us. I know I did since back in the days I also had a bit of a weight problem and could definitely sympathize with what she was going through, of trying hard to feel comfortable in her own skin. The cool aspect of this book is how it makes you truly appreciate the character's personality rather than by her looks. I liked that everyone close to Peyton loved her for who she was, not for her weight, and even so, appreciated every inch of her beauty.

In retrospect, I wasn't much into Peyton's romantic relationships. I understand how suddenly she felt attached to every boy who would pay her the time of day (because that's how it is sometimes), but I would have liked her to take things more slowly. I did like Jace better than everybody else, yet he wasn't that great in my opinion. He was too indecisive about her and I didn't believe all the love he professed towards her. His twin brother, Jax, was plain old crazy and I never understood why he suddenly took interest on her. Colton was weird too and Noah was merely somebody there for her to like, he was cool but not enough for Peyton.

I recommend this book for the personal journey Peyton goes through. It was a nice change to find a character who deals with real life problems, and in the end, learns to love herself just the way she is. 

That's What HE Said Thursday #21: Josh from Isla and the Happily Ever After


That's what HE said Thursday is a weekly meme hosted at Chapter Break where you post a favorite line of a book boyfriend to his heroine. It's the perfect meme to share all those awesome quotes!

For this week's book quote I chose one from the stunning Josh of Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins!
                                                

"Just give me your hand.""W-what?""Your hand," he repeats. "Give it to me."I extend my shaking right hand. And--in a moment that is a hundred dreams come true--Joshua Wasserstein laces his fingers through mine. A staggering shock of energy shoots straight into my veins. Straight into my heart."There," he says. "I've been waiting a long time to do that."

                       Josh to Isla, Isla and the HEA


This part turned me into a puddle of feels! It's so beautiful how Josh and Isla just click. Right then and there they know they are perfect for each other. Love him, love him, love him! <3 Agh, gotta share another one!
"You know that because you asked me out, you're the one who has to pick the place, right?" Throat. Dry.  Dry throat. All of the dryness in my throat. "Whatever you suggest," he grins, "I'll say yes. You'll definitely get a yes. If that helps."

<3! 

Book Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #3
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Dutton
Published: August 14th, 2014
Page count: 399 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

 Goodreads | Amazon 
Book Summary:
From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

     *The Reader's Review*

     My rating: 5/5 stars
*Warning: Huge messy review, sorry!*


Aaaah, I can't take my heart right now. It's so FULL of good feelings that it practically hurts. It's just that this book is SO FREAKING BEAUTIFUL. I'm sooooooo in love! I feel like crying. I feel like dancing. I feel like I haven't really been living until now.  Feels, feels, FEELS, people! Isla and the Happily Ever After is THE book. Stephanie Perkins is hands down the best YA Contemporary writer ever. She makes you laugh, she makes your heart melt and she makes you suffer in the most precious way. 


Isla (eye-la) is a whole different experience from my other two Stephanie favorites, Anna and the French Kiss, and Lola and the Boy Next Door. This book is more mature, more intense, yet equally sweet and stunning. The romance swooned me off my feet and the special guests made my heart explode in happiness. Clearly I just want to gush and hug this book all day long. I'm actually itching to read it again now (and I will after my sister gets her scoop of awesomeness). 


It's so thrilling to be back now at the city of love with Isla and Josh. They are both so adorably cute together. Isla with her shy yet fiery persona, and Josh with his talent and ability to say and draw the most beautiful scenarios. I'm so glad this book doesn't let me wait that long for both to get together, unlike Anna and Lola (although I do love the anticipation). The attraction between Isla and Josh was so palpable and so right, it would have been unreal if they didn't fall for each other soon. However, they do have to deal with so many insecurities and things that are simply out of their hands, thus ensuing a big heart-wrenching rollercoaster ride.


But the best part *clutches heart* THE ENDING. The last chapters were so perfect and magical that I think my heart stopped from too much beauty. Now I want to cry again because Isla & Josh, Anna & Étienne, and Lola & Cricket always make me want to find love just like theirs. At least for a day, I'll take anything.

Seriously, you have to read this book like, now.  If you haven't started the series, don't worry, you don't have to start with book one as they can work pretty well as stand-alones, but trust me, it works better when read in order. 


On a side note...

I'm sad that this series has come to an end because it's not only the last about Isla, but Anna and Lola as well. It definitely hurts to know there won't be more. However, I'm glad the characters got their happily ever afters. 

If I had to pick a favorite out of the three books, Isla would come out at the bottom but not by much. It fairly stays in the same order because:

Anna and the French Kiss is this sweet story about being afraid of choosing what you want and making big changes in life. Of giving the chance to something you would never have considered before. It's a great book that builds up something huge, the anticipation pure torture, but extremely satisfying. It's the kind of book that makes you want to jump in and live inside forever. Not to mention my boyfriend, Étienne, who is the ultimate bookboyfriend of all times.

Lola and the Boy Next Door is all about identity and misunderstandings. Of speaking out loud and learning from mistakes, of forgiving. If Anna was sweet, then this one was bowls and bowls of bright colored candies and pies. Again, the anticipation for a great ending is terrible, but SO worth it. An extremely bright book with a bright guy. Cricket is the boy I would love to spend every minute of every day for the rest of my life.

And Isla and the Happily Ever After is the story about finding yourself AND believing in yourself. In what you can do, how much you are worth and how beautiful and interesting you can be even when you don't have your life all planned out. Like Josh says, it's okay to be a blank canvas because they are the ones full of possibilities, and artists are inspired by them. Terrificly raw, this book gives you another love story with a stunning guy you cannot live without.

So even though Josh is not my Étienne, and certainly not my Cricket (yes, the hard decision comes down to the boys), he is MY Josh and I wouldn't change him one bit. I have love for everyone, you see.


Now, THE END. *whew, I know.*

Family Portrait Blog Tour: Review, Character Guest Post & Giveaway


Welcome to my stop on the Family Portrait Series  by Gillian Felix blog tour! Today, I'm bringing you a review of the first book, Changes, and a character guest post. Also, you can find below more information about the books, the author and a great giveaway that is open international. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy!



Title: Changes
Author: Gillian Felix
Series: Family Portrait Vol. 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: GillianFx Publishing, LLC
Published: July 25th, 2013
Page count: 82 pages
Format: ebook
Source: From author in exchange for an honest review
Book Summary:
Adriana Banovic’s 15th birthday sucked! She got fired after eight years of playing Shayanne Montgomery on the #1 soap in the country, found out that her family was on the verge of bankruptcy and worst of all, forced to return to Westwood Academy. Her only saving grace was a chance glance at dreamy mystery boy Haze Lyndon. Armed with only his picture and a determination to find him—even if it means turning Los Angeles over on its ass.

In this young adult novel, you’ll meet Robin Banovic, Adriana’s father; financially challenged, dealing with the death of a family member and his brother’s disappearance. You’ll meet Savannah DaCosta aka Savi, mother/manager; Savi enjoys the life her rock star daughter Leighann has provided. When Leighann makes a choice to end her career, Savi sees it as a personal attack. You’ll meet college boy Haze Lyndon; New to Los Angeles, Haze soon realizes how quickly money changes hands in the City of Angels. Will he return to questionable ways to survive or go back to the safety of his family in Wisconsin?

     *The Reader's Review*

     My rating: 3.5/5 stars
Changes is truly a full on soap opera! There are many characters and subplots going on that it might take a while to get in the swing of things. We have a family who just inherited the mansion on their brink of bankruptcy, a teen soap opera star trying to get a new acting job after they fire her from her 8 year old role, a pop star who wants to have a normal life for once, and a model who's far away from his home in Wisconsin. 

Their lifes start to clash unexpectedly as each person tries to get what they want. Like the title of this book suggests, this book is all about Changes. The characters suffer in their own way trying to come to terms when things aren't turning out how they want them to be. The harsh reality makes them turn into a different direction than originally planned and with this choices, new opportunities arise.

I'm not particularly attached to any of the characters since I feel I didn't get enough time to focus on each and every one of them. I can feel them growing and changing, but I would have loved to have the ability to stop the book on some parts and stay, for example, with Adrianna for a while, no interruptions. However, the author did cover a lot of ground with only 82 pages! Awsome feat if you ask me.

I also didn't notice much in the romance department, but I know that part is coming pretty soon if I push on with the series. Like a good old soap opera, the book ends just when things are blooming. That's what I love AND hate about them, although I do admit that's what keeps you glued. I'll definitely try to read what's next and see what's in store for everyone.

******
The Double Standard in Romance Novels by Savi DaCosta.

If I were a man, women would love me. They’d fall on their knees for me. Why? Because I’m the bad boy women swoon over in novels... except I’m a woman. In The Family Portrait series by Gillian Felix (there is another series another series with the same title), I play the bad girl/woman everybody loves to hate.

Readers hate me so much that they’ve called for my reluctant lover to kill me already. In my defense, I enjoy bringing men to their knees, I enjoy a good scheme… or ten. I am not afraid to go after what I want, through any means necessary.

Not since Amanda Wentworth from the TV series Melrose Place, can I think of a memorable woman TV villain. Maybe writers have gone soft or think that women should be damsels in distress or that it’s sexy to be helpless. Frankly I like being the tormentor.

I think it’s very empowering when a woman stands up and show her male counterparts that she is their equal. That she will not be submissive, she will not be talked down to or brought to her knees.

In the series I have 2 daughters, one biological and one adopted, does that mean that I should put up with whatever comes my way? Heck no! I’m still young, sexy and in control of myself. 

I’ll admit I am hard on my girls, but that’s because I want to toughen them up. I don’t believe in the cuddling approach to parenting. I never had it.

Is there a double standard in romance novels? I say yes, we live in a world of the Alpha male. Come on ladies, there's nothing wrong with being the Alpha female, it's quite fun actually.

Catch Savi in the Family Portrait Series: Changes (Book 1), The Banovic Siblings (Book 2), Bastard’s Brew (Book 3) and the soon to be released The Perfect Escape. (Book 4).



Want to give the series a try? Changes the first novel in the series is FREE on Amazon !

About the Author:

I have been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I enjoy creating characters that could be your next-door neighbor, but would you want them as your neighbor is another story.

Originally from the island of Trinidad and Tobago, I moved to the United States in 1998. Since then I have been involved in the entertainment industry for over ten years.
I am an entrepreneur and advocate for women and children’s rights and I enjoy being in nature and volunteering.

I always wanted to work with Aaron Spelling because I grew up watching his shows, but he died before I got the chance, so in a way my books are an ode to him. I know he would have loved them. I tip my hat to him.

Social Media Links:


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The Week's Entrée #28

Hey everyone! Welcome to another edition of The Week's Entrée! This one will be the last one I spend here on the States and I'm a bit bummed about it because *tears* libraries and bookstores everywhere. Not that I bought many but I certainly sniffed a lot. I will do a recap of  OUR trip here soon. ;)

In Other News...
Alice in Zombieland is the FREE book of the week on iTunes! The offer ends today you guys, hurry up and snag this copy before it's too late.  ;)

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

Books I Bought, Won or Received:

{Bought}

 


{For review}



*****
To Read This Week:


Pieces of Me by Kira Adams

*****
I got a lot of books this week and even though I own most of them already, I am happy to have second copies. I think I'm officially becoming a book hoarder. My pocket is not glad but my heart is! 

Thanks so much for stopping by to another edition of The Week's Entrée! What books did you get last week? ;)

Tore Divided Love Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour of Tore Divided Love by K.D. Ferguson, hosted by YA Bound Book Tours! Please stay seated right where you are to read my thoughts about the book and to enter the sweet giveaway going on with the tour.



Title: Tore Divided Love
Author: K.D. Ferguson
Series: Torn #2
Genre: YA Dystopian
Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
Published: June 6th, 2014
Page count: 105 pages
Format: eBook
Source: Provided for tour by host

 Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 
Book Summary:
A future set in stone.

For eighteen year old Krissa Channing a government ruled pairing with Braiden Connor and a move to Headquarters were her set fate. Until Braiden's sudden disappearance threatens Krissa’s entire future.

After months of endless worry, Krissa has an unexpected meeting with Duke, a perfect suitor that could offer her the future she’s always dreamed of. Just when she begins to regain hope, Braiden returns. 

Now, Krissa must find where her heart truly lies. Torn between two loves, she must decide which of their worlds she belongs in. But is such a decision even possible when the choice rests between freedom and love?

     *The Reader's Review*

     My rating: 3.5/5 stars
Can I first say how much Tore Divided Love's world intrigues me? It might be because I've hardly read semi-utopian books before and this one fascinated me to no end. I liked how everything is supposed to be perfect. The government gives you the opportunity to live in one of the five districts or at headquarters depending on your efforts before you turn 18, with a house,  a car and anything you might possibly need. But that's not all, they also let you pick your top three pair choices, and they will assign one of them to you as a partner upon availability. All for the well-being of the community. How cool is that? (In a messed up way of course).

As expected, a society can never be perfect and there are many secrets that the main character, Krissa, is finally discovering. In Torn True Love, Krissa lives inside a bubble dreaming of her perfect life at headquarters with her perfect pair. But as it turns out, this doesn't come even close at the end of the book. Her boyfriend, Braiden, is strange, distant, abusive and un-supportive. He questions the rules of their government and flees their district, leaving a damaged Krissa behind. 

Now, Tore Divided Love continues on following the steps of Krissa after the fiasco that was her last year of high school. She doesn't have a pair or dream job, and she still has feelings for Braiden. Soon, she meets this guy who's different and a better person than Braiden and willing to give her the moon and stars. But of course, Braiden comes back and ruins everything, in part. He opens her eyes to some of the government's secrets and Krissa is about to be involved with those against it wether she wants to or not. Cue dystopian society.

That's the part where things start to get good and sadly, I can't say anything more about it because a) that's like giving the whole book away and b) because I'm still clueless on many things. Stuff is brewing though, that is one thing I am very sure of thanks to what happens at the end of the book. I really don't know what's going on with the government and what big secrets it's hiding, but I'm excited for what could happen and what can take me totally by surprise.

It's actually the first time I was more interested in learning about the society than the "love story". It does have a huge role in the book, but I wasn't that much into it. So sad. It's hard to like a guy who is nothing but a jerk (and I'm so, so glad that Krissa finally stood up to him) and to battle feelings for another guy who is practically married with the government. One thing is for sure: people do stupid things when in love (and I totally get that).

Overall, I believe Tore Divided Love is the kind of book that either you will like it or not. I look forward to knowing what happens next to Krissa, the rebellion, and if she discovers more government secrets. I want to see that place bare! Personally, I also want Krissa to build a better character so I can cheer for her without a second thought. I want her to be an example, someone to look up to and know she respects herself before anything or anyone else. Now that would be perfect.

Note: Would recommend this book to readers 17+ because it has some mature content.

Check out book one, Torn True Love on Goodreads!

About the Author:
K.D. Ferguson is the author of Torn True Love and Tore Divided Love.  Her first book debuted in April of 2013 and she is currently working on the third book in the series.  After receiving an associate’s degree in Fashion Merchandising from the Fashion Institute of Technology she earned a bachelor’s degree in applied science from the State University of Oneonta.  She moved away from her hometown, Oneonta, NY, upon graduation and moved to Concord, North Carolina with her husband where she pursued a career in the retail world.  Several years later, feeling unsatisfied in her career, Kristen dove head first into writing her first book.  She can usually be found with an iced coffee in one hand and a pen in the other.

Social Media Links:

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Blog Tour Organized by:


Blog Tour Schedule:
August 11:
Once Upon a Twilight  - Character Interview: Krissa

August 12:
Addicted Readers - Excerpt
August 13:

August 14:

August 15:
books are love – www.hello-booklover.tumblr.com - Review
Dalene's Book Reviews - http://dalenesbookreviews.blogspot.com - Review
The Reader and the Chef - http://www.thereaderandthechef.blogspot.com - Review
Confessions of a Book Geek - http://www.confessionsofabookgeek.wordpress.com – Review

Jany's Book Blog - http://janysbookblog.wordpress.com - Review
Fictional Reality - http://livinginafictionalreality.blogspot.com/ - Review*
Amazing Reading Experiences - http://amazingreadingexperiences.blogspot.com/ - Review*
Mousehead and Tales - http://www.mouseheadandtales.weebly.com - Review